The Beauty of Being a Beginner
Tonight I was a bold, wildly enthusiastic and utterly chaotic dancer. I did my first Zumba class. Despite being a reasonably skilled partner dancer, my technique, timing and ability to follow basic choreography was exceptionally low tonight. But I had gung-ho spirit, an adorable outfit and unwavering determination to survive 60 minutes of random bouncing.
Tonight I was a beginner. And despite having skills in a related area, I was immediately humbled by this new world. From the start, I was chronically behind and lost. I looked insanely stupid as I randomly flailed, kicked and hopped along to the up tempo songs (Elaine Benes would have beat me in a dance-off). Half the time I was so lost, I just kept bouncing while I tried to figure out what the move was.
And from the start, I was totally okay with this. Looking stupid? No problem. Being totally lost? Who cares! I was reminded that as a beginner, there were only 3 things that mattered.
I showed up and I got in the game. You know how many people never become beginners in the first place? Think about how often you hear someone say, “Wow, I’ve always wanted to try rock climbing!” or “I would LOVE to learn tango!”. And they NEVER get around to just showing up the first time and giving it a shot.
I didn’t care how I looked doing it. I know I’m a beginner; it ain’t going to look pretty and it isn’t going to be perfect. I gotta be okay with that. Go ahead and gawk… At least I’m DOING it and not just watching someone else have all the fun. You get total freedom to look stupid when you are a beginner because no sane person expects it to look perfect. You included.
Engage enthusiastically. Okay, so I spent good chunks of the first class facing the wrong way. But I kept bouncing along and even if I wasn’t doing the right move, I was at least doing some kind of movement. And I got in the front so I could see the instructor and myself in the mirror. Which was super entertaining (read: mortifying) for me to witness. Regardless, the point is to try everything (within reason) that is thrown at you. You might impress yourself.
Being a beginner is always humbling. And that’s a beautiful experience that I need to chase continually throughout my life… maintaining that humbling beginner mindset. Where I show up and engage enthusiastically without caring what others think. And with Zumba, I loved every minute of it.
Zumba honestly is a super easy and fun workout… Definitely give it a shot. 🙂