100 Happy Days: NTC & Zumba

Yesterday came and went like any other Wednesday. No it didn’t. I usually kick off my off day with yoga with Melvin. Peep the post Yoga Runs Deep and you’ll understand why. Flowing with him in the morning sets my mood right. Strengthens and relaxes my body. And reminds me to put things in perspective while letting go of frivolous notions heaped with expectation. Damn it read the post. I’m suppose to be talking about NTC and Zumba.

Back to the future. After a day of laundry, some writing and a whole lot of soul searching I headed out the door to NTC. But not before skating to Sage Vegan Bistro in Culver City. That makes two days in a row. My wallet can’t keep up. Noshed on an oversized blueberry muffin while I waited for this super laid back chick with a flowery vibe to finish making my Green Colada. Patience has never been my strong suit.

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Arrived at the 24HR Fitness on Slauson ten minutes late. Which means by the time I check in, head to the locker room and sort through my gym bag for my NTC towel, gloves and water, I’ve lost another five minutes.

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Throughout class Claudine was encouraging us to work out with her for this hour. In other words keep the hell up. Her class is hard enough. She upped the intensity by flying through the drills at a rapid fire pace. Each one felt like five minutes instead of the normal 30-60 seconds. She did her usual darting in and out of spaces challenging students to jump higher, lean further back doing Russian Twists and to leap faster on Frogger.

Nobody beat her. Because nobody could keep up with her machine like pace. Including me. But it made me want too. And I tried even harder. Instead of focusing on the students who continuously gave up barely five seconds into each drill, an annoyance of mine, I focused on those who gave it their all when they found themselves doing a face off with the Nike gladiator. I was grateful for that moment. Grateful that Claudine thought enough of us to push us beyond our normal NTC limits. Grateful because I did a few times. No questions. No doubt. I just did.

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Round 2. Off to Zumba with Lesley over at the 24HR Fitness in Hollywood. Rushed to catch the 212 bus headed north only to spend the next hour or so moving through the stops and evening traffic at a turtle’s pace. I was beyond heated. It was definitely one of those moments where I wished for a mid-size card to suddenly appear out of thin air to whisk me away to the land of world music and hip gyrations.

Alas, Goldi No Locks, what you ask of me is simply not possible. I thought, was that a genie? Side glancing over my right shoulder expecting to see a tiny, dark man with a long beard wearing Hammer pants. There was no man. Perhaps the funk from the bus plucked him back to his dimension. This time I would be thirty minutes late for class.

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The Zumba party was in full swing by the time I arrived. It’s always a party if Lesley’s throwing it. I barely saw regulars Louis and Alma as I spoke in passing. All I could see was red. It took more than a few minutes for me to settle into the groove. I was still fuming from the long bus ride and then having to skate in traffic.

Then I heard it.Ole, Ole, Ole…Put your flags up in the sky. As I was jumping up and down with my index finger pointing skyward I joined in the singing, Show the world where you’re from. Show the world we are one. I couldn’t help but smile as I clapped along with the other Zumba zealots. The cloud was gone. My spirit lifted. I was free again. Free because I allowed myself to embrace that moment in that moment.

The vibrations in Lesley’s classes are always high. From the moment you walk in there is a sense that every single person who is there wants to be there. Her smile is alarmingly contagious and that energy flows throughout the class. For that I am grateful. To be a part of something that has nothing to do with me. But everything to do with we.

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I decided in the wee hours of the morning to participate in the 100 Happy Days Challenge. Ironically, the first time I saw the 100 happy days hashtag was on Lesley’s Instagram page about a month or so ago. I was curious but not curious enough to inquire. Then I begin to see it pop up on other folks pages. Now I was a Curious George.

Turns out a guy, Dominic Golubnichy, started this challenge to find more ways to be more appreciative of his life. I could relate. Although my life in comparison to this time last year has seen a complete turnaround, I too have been feeling heavy on the sadness vibe and wishing for a better life. I honestly had no idea that this challenge had become such a social phenomenon. The pillow underneath the rock where I exist is rather comfortable.

So here I am. Deciding to find something in my life each and every day that I am grateful for. Not because millions of other people are doing it. Once again issuing life under a rock disclaimer. I’m doing it because there are so many things in my life that I have to be grateful for. With each day’s passing I hope to lift some of that sadness by remembering just that.

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