Zumba with the neighborhood kids

Today we started an intro to some unofficial weekly Zumba fitness classes in our living room for the neighborhood girls. A small group showed up, breezed in and out and a handful stuck it out. (the full 30 minutes… this was only an intro.) Most of the class was utter chaos but I learned a long time ago it’s ok to make plans as long as you hold onto them loosely. We blasted One Direction and Carly Rae Jepsen (some of my current faves) so it was easy to roll with the punches. I had this idea not only because I adore dance-infused workouts (or because that is the only way to trick myself into working out at all) but because I am concerned with the lack of physical activity in which many kids are participating. This is strange for me seeing as how for pretty much all my life athletic activity has equalled torture in my mind.

Recently, things like fitness and healthy eating have crept their way on up in my priority list. I think a lot of this has to do with being out of my parents’ house and around healthier twenty-somethings at my university. And getting older puts things into perspective. Like thinking about how your body will operate in the future according to how you treat it now. Who knows, maybe a couple Zumba fitness lessons might make cardio fun for kids who dread exercise like I did.

Leading these choreographed songs in front of a group of giggly girls was a blast and reminded me of the VBS music classes I led for a couple summers in a row in Mexico. It amazes me how impressionable children are and what a great privilege and responsibility it is to lead them. I know that hanging out with kids a couple times a week comes no where close to the experience of parenting but I feel that I have learned a thing or two about being a mother. You become more conscious of your decisions. You choose your words a little more carefully. And you learn how powerful encouragement & affirmation can be to a fragile soul.

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