Something that I have actively been trying to do lately is step outside my comfort zone and try new things. When I was in college, it seemed that things like that happened much more naturally and often, and they were some of the best experiences in my four years at Notre Dame…
…Like on the first weekend of college, when the girls who lived down the hall knocked on my door and convinced my roommate and me to come to the Morrissey Tomatina, one of the signature dorm events at ND. Morrissey Manor, one of the boys’ dorms on campus, stages a giant tomato fight in a parking lot behind the dorm. You pay for goggles and the privilege to throw tomatoes at friends and strangers, with all proceeds going to charity, of course. Chucking tomatoes at each other was the beginning of some great friendships.
…Or the time three of my friends and I ended up as the lone members of the church choir at a little parish up the street from our flats in London. For full details of this slightly mortifying, slightly endearing experience, I will refer you to the post on my blog from my semester abroad in London.
…Or when some of my friends decided to take an “Irish-American Tap Dancing” class during our last semester of Senior Year. With my natural grace and coordination (not), of course I was game!
So since I haven’t been throwing tomatoes at anyone, singing in a choir, or tap dancing, I figured it was time to try something new. Ok, that last part isn’t true. Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” was our big tap number–ask anyone who saw us do the dance at every single party during second semester senior year…I’m sure they never want to hear that song or see us tap dance again. Anyway, so the song came on the radio as I was driving yesterday morning, and I may be guilty of doing a little tap dancing/bopping at a red light on the way to the rink. But I digress. It was time for something new.
I alluded to trying a Zumba class in a post from this summer, but that was a short-lived foray into this new fad form of exercise. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Zumba, check out some of the sweet moves in this video.
My friend Kerrin and I thought that our usual exercise routine at our gym was getting boring, so we decided to try a Zumba class. Enter my something new, my something out of my comfort zone. Because, as I mentioned earlier, coordination and grace are not really two talents of mine, at least outside of an ice rink. Just last week I walked right into the frame of my bedroom door, which left my right hand looking like I had punched somebody, bruised and cut. For some reason, off the ice I am a complete and total spazz. So I wasn’t really sure how this would translate in a Zumba class, but I was ready to give it a whirl.
Luckily, my years of skating and semester of tap dancing have actually somewhat come in handy in our Zumba class, although I still can’t say that I look coordinated. I can at least follow an 8 count, and I haven’t fallen over yet! Our favorite spot is in the back row, in the center of the room (so no one can see us through the class doors on the right and left sides of the room), preferably with someone standing directly in front of us, so we don’t have to look at ourselves in the mirror. But once those requirements are in place, Zumba is actually pretty fun. It’s a great workout (my very sore legs the next day attest to that), and I’ve even been brave enough to venture to a few classes alone, without the support of a friend to laugh with me at our mishaps. I actually think it’s good for me to be able to laugh at myself, as I turn to the left when the entire class is going to the right. It reminds me not to take myself too seriously. I’ll get back to you if I break an ankle and my outlook changes, but for now I think I’ve found my new spot out of my comfort zone. Maybe I’ll even gain some coordination when all is said and done (although I’m not holding my breath)!