Sue didn't threaten me once during Salsa Burn at J'Adore Dance last night. She didn't give me the evil eye, or mutter about how much she hates me under her breath. She didn't even swipe at me during the meringue.
And yet, she had more than enough reason to.
Yesterday was a tough day, friends. Emotional. Frustrating. A living, breathing plethora of professional and personal absolute crap. At 4:30 p.m., I'd decided to skip dance in favour of a hot bubble bath, a good book, and a bottle of wine to drown the drama. By 5:00 - after the water was drawn and my new Wicked Lovely book open - I'd changed my mind.
Not just about going to dance. But about a lot of stuff in my life.
I've let "familiarity" comfort me for a long time. Fear of the unknown, as cliche as it sounds, has often suffocated me, chaining me to the status quo. I'm a sucker for "the cycle" because in the end, the relationship/friendship settles into some kind of "norm" - if only for a day/week/month.
But what is normal?
In a simple example, normal for me is to race to J'Adore twenty minutes before class starts to ensure I get my place at the very back of the room, hopefully behind two rows of ladies (or occasional guy) so I can't see myself in the mirror. I prefer to be slightly behind the instructor so I can half-ass follow along. Placement is important.
Last night, Sue and I arrived at Salsa Burn twenty minutes early, but when we strolled onto the floor, we didn't beeline it for the back row. We chose - gulp - the front, with me right. next. to. Meaghan.
So maybe it doesn't sound like a big deal. But let's go back 14 pounds and six months ago to this. I've come a LONG way, baby.
My cha cha is far from Naughty Princess status, and Meaghan's combo - with those tap, tap hop and amazing dreadful Suzy-Q steps confused the eff out of me - BUT *deep breath* no mirrors were broken in this front row dance experiment.
And there are a LOT of mirrors at J'Adore.
Truthfully, the butterflies in my tummy only lasted for the first ten minutes. By then, Sue and I were making faces at each other in the mirror, and I'd stopped obsessing about my bad - really bad - hair day and puffy crybaby eyes.
For an hour of Burn - and 15 minutes of, er, some strange pelvic mind exercises designed to make life in the bedroom more fun (you blushing yet, Meaghan?) - I stepped out of my comfort zone. I'm stupidly proud of both myself and Sue.
Not to worry though, normalcy returned just as class ended. Sue threatened the end of our friendship if there was a single "Suzy-Q" in this blog. (Not my fault, Sue-ber - Meaghan named that damn step!) I'm not worried - anyone willing to shake it in the front row with me isn't taking our friendship lightly (grin).
Oh - and before you get any ideas, Jess. There will be NO front row appearance at Fit Hop tonight. One step at a time, sunshine.
So how about you? What have you done - personally or professionally - to step out of your comfort zone lately? Did you reap the rewards or scare yourself silly?
The Book In My Bag Today: Radiant Shadows, Melissa Marr