Day 8: Learning The Steps

 

salsa-barbara-ruzzene
“Salsa” by Barbara Ruzzene

In Zumba class this morning, I spent much of the hour avoiding looking at myself in the mirror. Part of that was because I am slow to catch on, and need to watch the instructor’s feet intently to get in time. However, a larger part is because I caught a glimpse of myself at the beginning of class, and was grossed out by what I saw: two left feet and completely out of sync with the rest of the class, sweaty hair plastered limply to my forehead, too-small tank top clinging to improperly propped breasts (also due to a too-small and very old sports bra), the gray of the tank top blending seamlessly into the gray of the workout pants, an already beet-red face adding the only color in the entire picture.

I spent much of the class attacking the moves with dogged determination, considering why it is that I love Zumba when I know I look absolutely ridiculous. The fact is, I might be heavy and plodding, but when I get the footwork right, it makes me feel good about myself. A little less awkward. I get to climb out of my head, and live in a body that’s doing what I’ve asked it to. It’s not Zumba that I love, though the class is a decent enough outlet; it’s the solo salsa steps that I truly crave.

As the class danced, I started to daydream a little. I imagined moving to a place where I could add solo salsa dancing to my weekly routine. In my imagination, I went to the club to dance with everyone else, but I was too sweaty, and had two left feet. Where the other women undulated, evoking passion and mystery, I shimmied and shook in all the wrong places, inviting ridicule, or worse, pity. I resolved to persist, to get better, to fit in with the other women there, the ones who had grown up imbuing their every day motions with a salsa rhythm, that smooth sexiness rolling off of them without a second thought.

Back in reality, at the end of class, one of my favorite songs came on. It’s always the same steps with this tune, and I moved along without thinking about anything much at all. I looked up and caught a second of myself in the mirror. My hips swayed just right. My arm movements looked relaxed, not forced or awkward. My steps were on the beat, and in the right place. An easy smile touched my lips. For a moment, I was beautiful.

Today’s Weight: 193.4 Lbs.

Today’s Exercise: 1-hour Zumba class, 10-minute 8Fit workout, and I’ll update this once I know how many steps I got in. I’m going to walk to Refuge Recovery tonight, and I’m already at 12k steps, so guessing I’ll hit at least 17k or so.

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Author: Anna

Aspiring writer. Hiking & backpacking enthusiast. Walked the Camino de Santiago (Camino Francés) in 2015, and hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim in 2016. Slightly obsessed with St. Francis of Assisi and Elen of the Ways. I write about whatever comes to mind, but spend a lot of time dissecting my journey with anxiety & depression, recovering from compulsive eating, living in New Orleans, and my three cats.

5 thoughts on “Day 8: Learning The Steps”

    1. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. It’s important for me to be open, to take the shame and secrecy out of my food and body issues, so I can move the hell on!

      Liked by 1 person

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