What’s Your Motivation?
By Rhiannon Johnson, Zumba Step instructor at Soul Studio
In a conversation the other day, as most of my conversations tend to go, I asked the other person if they had ever been to Zumba. “No”, she replied, “I’ve got an elliptical in my basement. I watch tv and do that before work.” I’ve tried the “at home” experience and I’ve tried going to a traditional gym, but for me there is just something lacking… In our conversation I laughed, “I need the social motivation.” But it’s true – exercise has never been something that I craved to do. The buddy system of going to the gym certainly got me there, but I didn’t enjoy the setting – Individuals, exercising together, individually. And getting on my own elliptical in the basement, let alone before work? No way.
Over 5 years ago, a friend invited me to a Zumba class. She said how fun it was, and I had Northern winter cabin fever, so any excuse to get out of the house sounded good. And dancing? I was in!
What stood out to me about that Zumba class, and all the others that I’ve been to since, is not just that you have fun individually, but you have fun together as a group too. Weird how a dance fitness class could create a sense of community for a single hour, but it happens. You smile at your neighbours, laugh and share a quick word or two while you grab a sip of water in between songs. Soon that translates into an introductory hello while you change your shoes, or perhaps a prolonged chat in the parking lot outside.
However it happens, slowly these strangers become your friends. You see them every week at class, with perhaps a coffee date or meeting up for a bite to eat afterwards too. Invites go out for birthday celebrations and other occasions, and before you know it you don’t need an occasion at all to get together.
The common bond is the Zumba class, and now you go early, so you have time to visit beforehand. And once class begins, it’s the most incredible feeling to look around and know you’re dancing, laughing, having fun (and yes, exercising) with an entire room full of your friends! An elliptical in the basement? No thank you!