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!
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.