Zumba and I became friends yesterday. After three years of denial and avoidance of the Group Exercise studio, I tested the waters of the fitness craze called Zumba that has seized the nation.
Caffeinated to the max, and accompanied by my brave co-workers Dina and Erin, I put on my dancing shoes. Carlos, our instructor, was charismatic, mesmerizing, and a brilliant dancer — the kind of dancer that makes you desperately wish that your hips moved faster and more in sync with the salsa sounds than they do naturally. The music was blasting, class participants yelling, and sweat pouring as the group of us performed our own variety of interpretations of Carlos’ moves.
I heard a song line the other day, and it stuck with me: “Happiness isn’t about acquiring things; it’s about loving what you already have.” While this seems to obviously apply to material possessions, it goes so much farther than that….
As I awkwardly fumbled my way through the hour of Latin dancing sequences, I thought about how much I wished I was a better dancer. Being the over-achiever that I am, I don’t just want to be a good enough dancer, I want to be great. While, right now, I can only hope to acquire the great skills and rhythm that come with Latin dancing, I realize that happiness in dancing comes from loving what I already do have: the ability to simply move my body. During my hour of enthusiastic attempts to move my body, I didn’t master the footwork, or even come close to it, but I did find great happiness and laughter in just doing (that is, being below average at) Zumba.
Embrace life by loving what you already have — be it skills, possessions, or people — and you will discover that happiness doesn’t come tomorrow, it happens today.