Today was the first day of school for the boys.  So, as conscientious mother and doctor, I sought to productively use some of my free time.  I checked the Gold’s gym website, and the Body Combat class – which is in my comfort zone because I like kickboxing – was not running. So I chose Zumba!  

During the whole class while I was attempting to move to the music, roll my shoulders and wiggle my bootie as instructed, I kept thinking of this blog. I kept thinking of how I would share how ridiculous I felt. My arms and feet certainly did not move like the other participants. I felt awkward, fat, and out of place.

I was grateful that we are living in a new city and I didn’t know anyone in the class.  It didn’t help that I misjudged my driving time to the class and arrived just as it was starting and participated with a full bladder. This is not ideal for Zumba! I so wanted to move gracefully but my rhythm was off, my arms went up when theirs went down and I majorly relived some middle school insecurities. I felt I didn’t fit in.

Then I banged my ankle on the weights in the back of the room. Ouch! I seriously considered just leaving out the back door.  My mind kept replying some negative self talk. There was no way I could let go and just feel the music. I felt like a monkey. Then the instructor made note that if there were new people they needed to be patient, have fun, and the only rule was “no negative self-talk.”

Oh my, was she reading my mind? That negative self-talk is potent. We can chose to limit ourselves or not. I made it through the class. My brain and my body played games with me. New things can be hard, especially if we compare ourselves to others. I’m sure my boys experienced that a bit today at their new school. So, I need to “THINK” positive self-talk. Ultimately, I enjoyed the humor of the Zumba experience and the workout and found myself smiling and laughing. The laughing can release perhaps even better endorphins than the dancing! My goal of getting some exercise was achieved.

I thought of the new school orientation the other night.  Starting middle school, my son was asked what his favorite activities were. He thought he was asked his favorite foods. He answered “mashed potatoes.” That non sequitur had us all rolling in laughter, including my son. We turned it into something positive and will now forever remember the beginning of middle school and mashed potatoes.

So, go ahead and watch this You Tube video and think of Zumba mashed potatoes and smile! Get some positive self-talk moving through your brain, get your body moving — and go mash some potatoes.