Last Saturday, I dusted off my mat and headed to the gym for what I thought was a nice, relaxing yoga class. I hadn’t been in a few months, and was looking forward to stretching out my weary muscles and doing some deep breathing.
But between my last class and this one, the time for Yoga had been switched, and now the ten o’clock class was Zumba.
Zumba, for the uninitiated, is a combination of Latin dance and aerobics. Think lots and lots of hip gyration.
Back in the day, I was quite the Latin dance enthusiast. When I lived in Colombia, I danced the night away in steamy salsa bars. On a trip to Brazil, my Samba dancing was featured on the national news because they couldn’t believe a gringa could move her hips that way.
So with a cocky toss of my hair, I thought: “How hard could Zumba be?”
The music started, and the perky teacher started to get her groove on. I followed along like a pro, until I realized that there was a serious problem with the mirror in the class.
The person standing in my place was not me, the hip, edgy free-flowing experienced salsa dancer, but a totally uncoordinated suburban mom imposter!
This mom struggled to shake it. Instead of Jennifer Lopez, she looked like Cloris Leachman on Dancing with the Stars.
I closed my eyes and opened them again, only to find in horror that the problem was not the mirror, but rather that I had apparently lost my mojo back in 1999 and simply hadn’t realized it.
The first questions to cross my mind were
- Will I ever get my groove back?
- Am I too far gone at 44? Is it possible to get these hips moving again before I have to have them replaced?
- Are my dreams of starring in the remake of Dirty Dancing totally dashed?
Thankfully, I looked over to my right, and saw someone who appeared to be about thirty years my senior, vigorously shaking her hips and shimmying her shoulders. There was hope.
What I needed, to use a term coined by my friend Jonathan Fields, was a body of evidence in the form of real, live people just like me who had faced the same challenge as I had and come out successful on the other side.
The more I thought about it, I realized that my own mother was part of my body of evidence. While never a Salsa dancing fool like I was, my Mom went from being a totally sedentary 25-year smoker to completely changing her lifestyle in her mid-50’s and becoming a healthy living advocate, and avid exerciser. She kayacked with whales in Baja, and hiked between chalets in the Alps, and started doing Pilates on a regular basis. At 77, she can still leave me huffing and puffing behind her on a hike.
What is the thing in your life that feels a bit impossible?
- Think you don’t have enough business experience to charge full price for your consulting rates?
- Feel like you are too old to get a handle on modern technology and social media?
- Think it is impossible to have a healthy business while being a good spouse and parent?
- Don’t believe you can travel the world, work from anywhere and still earn a good living?
- Think you will never be able to stop working in your business in order to have time to work on your business?
Your homework assignment:
- Name the thing that feels impossible to you right now (I’d love it if you could list it in the blog comments so we can help each other)
- Go in search of people similar to you who have proved that it is possible.
- Connect with them. Ask how they did it. Gather ideas and information.
- Use this body of evidence to help you create a realistic plan for attaining your goal.
- Feel better, and have the energy to get that thing done!
While I may never be considered for the remake of Dirty Dancing, I know that I can get my groove back. These hips have moved before, and will move again.
We can be so hard on ourselves. With a bit of imagination and research, few things are out of our reach. We just have to surround ourselves with the right people.
I would LOVE it if you would share the body of evidence you are looking for (real people who have overcome the current challenge you are facing) in the blog comments, then check back later to update it with whom you found.
Get to it!
Sorry I can’t stick around, I am late for Zumba class.