Monday Motivation: Just Don’t Care What People Think. #Dance

We spend a lot of our waking time caring what other people think–how they perceive us. As someone who spends most of her time interacting with people, I’m always thinking about how I’m perceived and how that reflects upon the company I work for.

One of the greatest lessons I learned in school was, perception is reality. Sometimes it’s difficult to flip the caring switch off. This Monday motivation is inspired by Phoebe Buffay. Yep, that Phoebe Buffay. The Phoebe Buffay of “Smelly Cat” fame. In this Friends episode, Rachel and Phoebe go running in Central Park. While Rachel is focused on fitting in with the other runners, Phoebe runs with her hands flailing about. As the episode progresses Rachel sneaks out of the apartment to go running without Phoebe. She’s ashamed of the attention Phoebe draws to them. Watch it for yourself here:

Yesterday, in the cold, arctic tundra that is Minnesota, the sun came out. As someone who hasn’t seen the sun in months, I decided to take my workout outside–ice skating I went. I hadn’t been ice skating in years. After a few trips around the rink, I hit my groove. This is where Justin Timberlake Pandora Radio comes into play. The dance moves came out on the ice. I’m sure it was funny for people to watch. But I haven’t felt that free in a long time. Not a care in the world.

I encourage you to turn your favorite song up, and dance it out. Who cares what you look like, just have fun!

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Zumba: Creating the Rhythm of Your Life

After a month-long hiatus, Zumba class is back in session! Grab your bright colored workout gear, a water bottle and let’s get ready to dance like no one’s watching.

Shake it. Enough said.

Zumba, for me, is that one hour during the week where friends, new and old, meet to workout, everything is perfect and the world does not exist outside of the dance studio. We support each other. We have a good time. We are not afraid to challenge ourselves. The world is perfect.

I’m a very active person, and have become addicted to being challenged. When you’re challenged — when you are pushed to your limits — you learn a lot about yourself and your strength. It’s my experience that your mind usually gives out before your body does.

So, the question is, what life lessons have I learned from Zumba?

First, try, try again and then try again. Whether you are a newbie or an experienced Zumba-er, it takes three classes to get into the groove and feel the choreography. You may not get the samba on your first attempt, but it’s that failure and that re-attempt that allows it to finally click.

One day you will get it. Be persistent. Don’t give up despite a failing attempt. Use your attempt as motivation to keep trying. And, when you finally get what you want, don’t be afraid to celebrate your success.

Second, get out of your comfort zone. I love to make people laugh. With that said, I will often bust out dance moves or jokes at inappropriate times, of course, for the sake of laughter. However, that’s comfortable to me. On the other hand, Latin-inspired dances require a certain amount of sex appeal, which is foreign to me. As you challenge yourself to expand and explore this new side, you learn about yourself. You open yourself up to a new part of you, and you become fearless in the face of new challenges, what ever those challenges may be.

That’s Zumba.

Finally, have fun. I have been blessed with over thinking every aspect of my life. Sometimes — well, more like most of the time — I forget to have fun or even that I deserve the opportunity to have fun and get  away from work. Zumba has taught me to let go, have fun and that it is good for your mental and physical well being. Even while you are having fun, your mind continues to process life’s daily struggles and battles. And, most importantly, it clears your mind.

While Zumba may not be for everyone, I encourage you to find an activity that allows you to escape the stress of your life, clears your mind and allows you to have fun in the process. And, possibly, takes you away from your computer, the Internet, Facebook and your phone.

Unplug yourself and have fun. You deserve it!

Zumba: The Best Workout You’ve Never Had

Not a professional dancer? Never taken a dance class? Afraid you’ll never be able to salsa or merengue?

Well, here’s some good news for you. I am neither a professional dancer nor have I ever taken a dance class. While many young girls laced up their ballet slippers and twirled across the dance floor, I laced up my softball cleats and  headed out to the softball field in hopes of striking out my opponents. And guess what, I can salsa, merengue and get a completely different workout. The best news of all–You can, too!

A 45-minute Zumba dance session can burn between 400 to 500 calories, according to Shape Magazine. While the moves are repetitive, it’s a great cardio workout paired with fun, upbeat music. To be honest, I often forget I am working out.

“The moves are very simple and repetitive so all you have to do is listen and follow the instructor,” said Julie Kelly, a Zumba instructor and certified trainer, according to Shape Magazine. “Zumba really works your core because the Latin dance moves specifically target the abdominal area.”

Still not convinced? Here are three of my favorite Zumba workouts from YouTube:

1. “On The Floor” by Jennifer Lopez

2. “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 Featuring Christina Aguilera

3. “Waka Waka (Time For Africa)” by Shakira

Are you convinced now?

Let’s get active and celebrate our bodies! If you miss a step, laugh it off and keep going.

For more information on Zumba, visit the official Zumba website.

Zumba in the media: