Rick and I are members of an athletic club in Chicago that virtually has anything you would ever want to do in your life as relates to physical activity. Seriously. Want to jump rope for 60 minutes? Yoga while swimming? Shake your money-maker? Tennis drills with your toddler? Yeah, I told you. On any given day there are 10-12 classes BEFORE 7AM. And on average, 60-70 classes per day.
So when Rick kept coming home, sore all over, after taking all sorts of random classes like “Buff Yoga” and one-on-one pilates, I was secretly jealous. I needed to step up my game! And come on! 60-70 classes per day?! I’m going to be brave and start partaking in group exercise programs. Oh and p.s., I am not the “group exercise” type of gal. I run. I do the elliptical. Occasionally take a yoga class. And if I am ultra brave, I may go to boot camp. Otherwise, I consider it my alone time and I like to work out solo. So the thought of pushing myself to engage in group classes that have names that make no sense to me was outside of my comfort zone.
I went to Vinyasa Flow to start. I’ve done yoga. I’ve done variations of yoga. This should be a good start to ease into group exercise. Well, let me say that when I saw 30+ people line up for the doors to open, I knew I was in trouble. Oh yeah, and when the additional 30 or so people joined in and the extremely loud and upbeat music started, I freaked. And for the next 60 minutes, I did more downward dogs than a human should do over the course of a year. It was the hardest yoga class I’ve ever taken. I sweated more than I have in, um, a long time.
But, ironically, that’s not the point of this post. It actually has to do with Andanza.
Definition: Andanza is a great way to spice up your cardio routine. This workout will get your heart rate up while you learn hot Latin dance moves. There is no advance registration for this class.
6:3opm – 7:30pm with Gloria Ayara.
Hmm, seems fun. Different. Spicy. Not too difficult. A little risky. Fun dancing. I’m in!
And then the class started. And within about 4 minutes I received the confirmation that I completely suck at dancing. You see, I never grew up a dancer and certainly didn’t grow up a Latina dancer. I played sports out of my mom’s womb. Tennis. Volleyball. Softball. My mom was never a huge advocate of dance classes and programs and perhaps it was because she knew my handicap in this arena.
Okay, let me continue. 15 minutes into the class Gloria comes over with her rocking bod and killer moves, trying to teach me how to mambo and literally my coordination was around a D plus at best. And she tried. And tried. And I failed. And failed. And then I laughed (but deep down was crying and mortified). Meanwhile, women in the age range of 40-60 were rocking these Latina cha-cha-chas all over the place.
30 minutes into the class the other first-timer-white-not-Latina-lady made an exit. She actually was better than me and left. the. class. And it was there I knew God was humbling me. Just FYI the definition of humbling is “decisive defeat.” Oh yeah, I was decisively defeated all right. And now I know why there are mirrors in those dance studios…to confirm that all those times in my life when I was dancing and thinking man oh man I have killer moves and look goooooddddd are all a lie. Sorry, Ann, you are defeated. The proof is in the mirrors.
But, I kept going and tried to make the best of 30 more minutes of
vulnerability Andanza. And I enjoyed the ride, regardless of the fact I could barely conquer the first 4 of 20 steps in the dance routine we learned.
As the class ended, the women were nice enough to do the “you did great for your first time!” sympathy rally and I looked at them, defeated, smiled and said thank you.
What did I learn? Well, the obvious is that I really am not a good dancer and I SO appreciate J-Lo and Shakira far more than I did before attending Andanza. But more importantly, I learned to embrace the moments of humility. I could have left (and perhaps should have for the sake of those around me) but instead, I grinded out 60 minutes of complete lack of confidence and increased frustration not knowing how to do something. I was SO uncomfortable but was reminded to loosen up, have fun and let God humble me on the dance floor