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.  


  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.

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

  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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