One resolution many people make at the start of the year is to get in shape, start exercising, lose some weight. It’s an admirable goal, especially for those who realize and acknowledge that life changes are good!
Personally, I am not a gym rat (and no offense to those who are!) I enjoy exercising, but I also enjoy eating, so for me it’s more like a balancing act in staying healthy. I’ve tried all sorts of gym activities, but the one I love most is Zumba. Imagine fast paced dancing like salsa and mambo mixed with squats and lunges and you have a small taste of this hour long class. It is an EXCELLENT form of exercise! Best of all, if you do the classes consistently, you really can see changes in your tone, strength, and endurance!
There are many Zumba classes offered around town – some classes come to your workplace (seriously!), some are offered at gyms, and some can be shown on a DVD or Wii. I like to attend classes at my local Y because it allows me to get out of the house and meet new people while keeping me motivated with my fitness goals.
The Monday before Christmas I was trying to decide if I should go to my Zumba class or stay home and wrap some last minute gifts for the holidays. If you are a busy mom like me (or just busy in general), you know how precious just an hour of free time can be! Although I was tempted to use the time productively to mark another task off my to-do list, I decided to head down to the Y and use the time on ME instead.
You can imagine my surprise when my Zumba instructor, Toni, opened the door wearing a Santa themed shirt and an obnoxiously huge elf hat made from skinny balloons. (Where was my camera when I needed it?!) Her huge smile radiated joy as she welcomed us into the class. What fun! I almost expected to see a clown in the corner, inflating and twisting balloons into requested shapes.
As we all found our places to stand, Toni grabbed a basket off the shelf and announced, “I have a little something for you!” You could hear the small gasps of “Awwww!” and “Oh, thank you so much!” as she made her way to each individual person in the class. When Toni made her way to me, I finally saw what made everyone else respond with such appreciation:
Our amazing Zumba instructor, with her own time and money, had purchased each of us special Zumba jingle bell bracelets and created a CD of all the music we dance to in class. REALLY?!? Oh my gosh, it was such a sweet gift (and the first I have ever received from a gym instructor!) Unbeknownst to Toni, we had a surprise for her, too, as we had chipped in with cards and money to purchase Powerade and gifts cards to show our thanks for all she does to inspire us on a daily basis.
It was a sweet moment of reciprocity, with both givers and receivers sharing in the emotion of surprise and kindness. Best of all? We spent the next hour laughing, smiling, and sweating as the sounds of jingle bell bracelets danced in the air.
Today may you be inspired! Try a new class at the gym or call up a friend to walk around your neighborhood. Sometimes the most needed random act of kindness is the one you give yourself! 🙂