Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sometimes Change Is Just Different

I think most of us hate change. I know I do.

Every single time I've changed jobs I've expected to show up the first day and find out that I didn't really have the new, better job I thought I'd quit my old job to take. (Of course, once I was right in that the new job sucked even worse than the old one, but it was really there until I managed to get myself laid off.)

Change that I don't seek, well, that's particularly unwanted. Especially more recently as I've found a routine that has worked and keeps my head above water, so to speak. Just adapting to my daughter's changed work schedule, which is great overall, has been enough to deal with this spring.

Then "my" Zumba studio closed for the month.

While I understood a temporary shortage of available instructors due to everyone's vacations and other issues, when I first got an inkling it was going to happen, I came home in tears. The studio was more than an exercise outlet, although I do love PiYo and Zumba. It was a support network.

I know and love the instructors inside and outside the studio; not just them but their spouses, children and dogs. When Ethan died, they all came to his funeral bringing unexpected support and genuine love and caring. Each time I stepped into the studio, there were friendly faces and warm greetings from fellow students that I have also come to know and care about -- many who are facing issues that aren't that dissimilar to my own.

Suddenly I felt like all that was gone and I was looking at a month of literally sitting around when I should have been stretching and sweating to PiYo, or stumbling through new dance routines, or nailing the ones I knew. Although I didn't want to feel whiny and self-centered, it was easy to make it all about me. I felt abandoned.

But that was small of me and the feeling didn't last too long.

I began to look at alternatives. Although I can't find another "real" PiYo class in my area, I did find several Zumba offerings that were within the same driving distance and workable time frames and yoga classes as well. And I knew I had only scratched the surface with the three nearby recreation centers (I live in the geographic center of my county, which has nothing, but everything is within an equal drive). I know there are smaller yoga studios and possibly some Zumba studios as well if I just do some more digging.

Since I've occasionally found Zumba workouts (and discovered one of my favorite studios, REFIT Revolution in Texas, on YouTube), I turned to YouTube again and found a couple of full-length PiYo classes there as well. Since PiYo repeats the same class for about six weeks before changing, when I found one I could stand both the video and sound quality on, I decided I might be OK short-term.

I even managed to motivate myself to do most of the 52-minute class with only one water break and two "oh heck no I'm not doing another pushup" breaks. I wouldn't have done that in a live class. Of course, I don't think the thermostat at the studio is as high as I keep mine at home and I'll definitely need another fan and fewer clothes before I do it again. Still, while I missed the interaction, my muscles did tell me the next morning that I had worked them and that was comforting.

The next night I braved one of the Zumba offerings I had found at a rec center and was surprised to find two of my studio mates (both part-time instructors) doing the same. It was a small class with a new, young instructor and totally new moves and I had fun. Not only that, but I realized I would have had fun without my "homies," who were like ringers on a minor league ball team. At the same time, while we dressed the part and knew most of the moves, we didn't know the choreography and even the "pros" were almost as bumbling as me most of the time.

That experience encouraged me. I told my husband that perhaps I had fallen into too much of a comfort zone. Perhaps it was time for me to stretch my wings again. I recognized it would not be the same, and not necessarily better or worse, but that different wasn't always bad.

This morning, still feeling the effects of both workouts, I realized that there might be people in other places who would seek me out because of Ethan's story, just like there have been those who needed to talk at my old studio. There might be other people that I can minister to (if you can call it that) and help support on a difficult journey.

I also thought more about what I might like to do long term and decided this could be the beginning of more changes that I initiate and that help me in ways that I wouldn't have found had there not been this sudden lack in my life. As the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens.

Not that I'd abandon my old comfort zone by any means. No, when that group reassembles I'll be there. But it may well be a better me for the experience of being away.


  1. Change is always scary and painful for me. And yet, every time, there have been positive results. Every time. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Such a wise post - I know that change is good for me, but I fight it every time. Thanks for sharing!