Sunday, January 15, 2012

Am I not important enough?

There are a number of people in my life who keep making snide comments about how Zumba is my life.  That's far from the truth.

It is a huge part of my life:
  • It's a hobby. 
  • It's exercise. 
  • It's a job.  
  • It's social interation.  
  • It's physical release. 
  • It's an emotional safe place.
  • It's something I happen to be really fricken good at! 
I know I talk about it a lot but it's one of the important things in my life that I feel comfortable talking about at great length.  I can't talk about a lot of stuff that goes on at work.  Marshall would throttle me if I were to go in to detail about stuff in our relationship.

Plus, Zumba's just FUN and far more interesting than either of the above topics.

So imagine how hurt I felt when I saw the following on my tumblr feed.


This made my blood boil and really made me feel like an awful person.  

I do everything in my power to be supportive of those around me.  I go to historical reenactments and various history related things for Marshall.  I have tried to get in to various yoga, barre, and advanced workouts to do them with Katie to share in her love of them. I played WoW to hang out with Katie. I supported Matt running his first 10K and wound up running my first 5K in the process.  I am willing to go anywhere and do anything with my friends to support them in their interests....

So why is me having something that's my own a bad thing?

Marshall has never once come to a Zumba class or come to support me when I've done a Zumbathon or Zumba demo somewhere. (He actually went to one once, slept in the car the whole time!)  Matt comes to class occasionally.  Katie has come three or four times.  I know it's not for everyone but I expect the same respect for my hobbies as I have for theirs.They don't have to like it but they need to respect it. 


It's been bugging me for a while how many people tell me I need to stop doing Zumba or stop working out because I'm doing it too much.  People who play Minecraft for hours a day. Or WoW. Or run on their elliptical. Or browse the internet. Or watch TV.


All in all Zumba doesn't even take up much time in my day.  1-2 hours most days, sometimes more as I learn new choreography or get ready for big events.  I do have friends from Zumba who I talk about it with a lot - it's a common interest!  And I talk about it a lot on Facebook - that's because I'm having fun with it and I want to share it with people.   Also, it's marketing for it since it's, you know, my other job.


Fitness became a priority to me about 2 years ago. I know it may be hard for people to understand that but priorities do change.  Two years ago my life was my close group of friends.  They were all I had and I made it my goal to keep everyone happy and every one close.  Then I got burned out and realized I needed to put myself first in some respect or I really was going to die at an early age. 

When I got laid off in 2010 I took a step back and reassessed my life and made a decision to take care of myself before I worried about others.  It was time to be selfish.  When I found Zumba it was like the planets aligned and I found something that I liked, that fit my needs, and that I was good at.  It was my escape.

I don't pass up social events, I don't avoid social interaction for Zumba.  The only thing that's changed is that I have an interest that's mine and mine alone.

I don't want to be made to feel bad for having something that's mine. 

If people continue to make me feel that way it may be time to re-assess who my friends really are.  I refuse to take a back seat in my life again.  

3 comments:

  1. I think that you have a handle on this. You don't need to defend yourself or your interests. Take a deep breath, square your shoulders, and trust that inner voice. You can't be everything to everyone, nor should you try to be.

    You're doing great. And I can't wait til Thursday.

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  2. You are a wonderful person Sammy. And Zumba is important to you, that's totally understandable.

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  3. Oh Sam...I've gotten the exact same comments from people around me and yes, I'm puzzled as well. It's almost as if my finding a new love and a new interest is a threat to others. In my case, it's yoga and working out.

    In my case, part of it is the fact that I'm just not available at the drop of a hat to my friends - now my time with them has to be scheduled to some extent. And yes, there is a whole lot of resentment even from people very close to me

    You are doing the right thing - because you are focusing on YOU. If you don't take care of Sam, who will?

    Time will tell who is really my friend and who I was just convenient for. Same thing for you...till then, keep moving!

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