So, remember how last week I had to wait for the timing of some things before I could share big news? I'm ready to share part of it now....
When I was a little girl, my mom traveled all over the South selling dresses at craft shows. In the early 90's it was pretty much a going trend. My mother could sew like nobody's business. Our weekends were dedicated to working hard and it was our way of life for years. I spent hours watching dancers perform at these craft shows while my parents worked and I fell head over heels in love with clogging. It was the music, the beauty, the make up, and the frilly dresses. I could sit for hours and watch them. There was something so exciting and girly about it all.
When I was 8 my parents let me pick: dancing or sports. Without a doubt, I chose to dance. I started clogging and loved every second of it. I competed and performed on teams. We traveled to Dollywood and various craft shows. I was such a shy kid, but turn me loose in front of people and I had no problem. I had hundreds of trophies and knew my heart would always be in it. When I went to middle school, I decided to give up dance. I thought I wanted to play sports and none of my friends would be caught dead clogging. It just wasn't cool at 12 years old...With tears in my eyes, I turned loose and said goodbye.
In 8th grade, my middle school hosted their first talent show. All of my buddies were dancing in groups to all the popular boy band songs. Secretly, I started practicing my own thing. No one knew I could clog (probably didn't know what it was). Finally, I followed my heart and got up in front of the entire school to do what I loved. Funniest part? I actually won first place and a lot of people didn't think it was stupid. I performed in the talent shows through high school. I won the best dance category my first year. It took a lot of courage for a high school girl to jump in front of everyone in a frilly dress and do something no one else did. (I think I've always been kinda quirky and different....)
Over the years, I secretly wished for the chance to dance again. I took adult classes for a few months and was invited to try out for a traveling team. I don't think I was really ever ready to give it up. It never left me. When I started Zumba® classes last year, it put a fire in my heart again. I realized somewhere along the way that I love any kind of dance. It's something that moves in my heart and soul. There's nothing like getting to dance along to your favorite songs. Sharing that with others is such an amazing feeling for me.
I started talking to one of the ladies in the Zumba® classes. She owns two local dance companies. One just so happens to be about 15 minutes from my home. She came to my first solo Zumba® class a couple of weeks ago and we started talking about bringing Zumba® classes to her dance studios. As things progressed, I found out that not only am I going to be teaching my own class once a week but I also get to train and assist in tap and hip hop classes. The lady I'm training under? Former clogger.
Not only do I get to have my own Zumba® class, I get to learn to teach other styles and that is an absolute joy to me. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to do something my heart loves so dearly. The coolest part? I am being paid to do my hobby and workout. I get to work with others and hopefully instill of love of dance in them as well.
Three years ago, severely obese me would never have had this opportunity. There was a time that I couldn't get off the couch. There was a time I couldn't move my body with ease. I couldn't imagine trying this with 90+ pounds on me. I am free to finally live and I never want to take any of that for granted. The old me wouldn't have jumped into a Zumba® class, the old me couldn't have found the confidence to jump in front of everyone and dance, the old me wouldn't have tried. God has blessed me with this amazing journey and I don't take a moment for granted. I have been miserable because I was obese and I never want to live that way again. Now I know what happiness and strength is found in living a healthier life and it is worth every single effort I have put into it. It is worth the struggles, the set backs, and the heart ache. You will never imagine where this will take you, but embrace it and enjoy every single moment.
Now....Link it up!!!!