So, a few things...
< mini confidence crisis > Another instructor came to take my class Wednesday. I should just be honored. Period. It's wonderful that she chose to spend an hour of her day following me, instead of leading! And here's the thing: a beautiful part of Zumba is that every instructor is SO VERY UNIQUE - some are super Latina grinding hip-shakers, some are slower & smooth, some are crazy hip-hop-heavy. I am like an all-American cheerleader on crack. :-P :-D My routines are very fast, lots of jumping around, and less intricate Latin ballroom footwork. This is on purpose, b/c even though I've got moves, I know that 90% of my class does not have a dance background; this is not the "watch how amazing Susie looks dancing for an hour" show. I like to make my teaching moves a little more basic & less stylized, so that everyone can learn & follow; if you can't follow my steps, I'm not doing my job.
...But Wednesday, I caved a bit under the pressure. This visiting instructor is a total model-esque hip-swiveling Latina goddess, and she danced FULL OUT front & center all class. I don't blame her a bit: I would do the *exact same thing* as a class participant, (& I have. It's how I almost died at my first Zumba class ever almost 4 years ago! :-D) But I felt myself the whole class thinking, "Do any new people think she's way better than the teacher??? Ramp it up!!! Wait, don't compare, don't compete - smile & trust yourself! ...But dance HARDER!!!!!!"
I *did* dance harder. And thanks to her, I burned almost 100 more calories than I normally do, :-P but I hate that her looking amazing & video-worthy made me second-guess myself so deeply. I don't want to be an intimidating instructor; I can show off on my unpaid time. ;-) I know God brings the right people to my class for the right reasons, and I trust that He's got us all where we need to be. < / end mini confidence crisis >
< boss crisis > My boss is the best boss I've ever had in my life. Hands down. I've never been given as much breathing room while still being 100% supported like this. She doesn't bother with stressful, nitpicky personal evaluations; she KNOWS that if your teaching quality slips or if your class isn't up to par that the members are going to pour into her office and let her know. She doesn't need to employ duress to make us successful (unlike...other locations) because she trusts that she's hired the best. She doesn't have to keep us under her thumb, and we thrive! She is also the first to go to battle for us: the lady from where I left actually tried to get me fired from my current club this summer (I've always known she's out to get me; I don't know why I scare her so, but apparently, I do - even from afar) and my current boss would have none of it. She stood up for me 100% and wouldn't even let me worry about that nut. :-P For her edifying encouragement, loyalty, & wonderful management style, I am so grateful...
...and now so heartbroken, because she has been given a new job in Raleigh, NC! (She's originally from Columbia, SC - another way we bonded.) She's leaving in November, and I can't lie: I am terrified as to who will replace her. Please pray that whoever comes to take over is just as confident in us as she has been, that they will trust us, and that they will bring positivity & encouragement, instead of fostering a culture of coercion & intimidation. I don't want to go back to praying the boss's office light isn't on when I have to walk by... < / end *worrying* about boss crisis...even though it's not done >
< PRAISE TIME!!! > A few months ago, a new lady starting taking my class. She came up afterwards one day and thanked me, saying how even though she has CANCER & was currently going through more chemo, this class helps her so much, that it's like her therapy. [*THAT* is God, right there!!! ♥ Only He could work like that! ♥ That is the whole purpose of these classes to me.] We kept chatting, and a few weeks later, she mentioned that she wasn't Stage 1; she was actually STAGE 4: they had first found the cancer in her breast right after she had her little son, and - as if that weren't heart-wrenching enough - it had since spread to her liver & ovaries. In February, her doctor gave her MONTHS to live...
I felt like I had been punched in the gut. This precious woman weighed so heavily on my heart... I kept thinking, "There's going to be a day soon when she's no longer here. I'm going to be teaching, look over in her spot, and she will not be there. She won't run in late. She'll be dead." I just kept praying. I asked my FB friends to pray. I sat down several time to blog & ask y'all to pray, too, but I just couldn't stand to write it all out in more detail.
She recently went in for scans. She had been under a great deal of extra stress (stress = super bad for cancer!) because she was so worried about a friend of hers in a possible domestic violence situation (!!!!!) so she wasn't sure how much advancement the scans would show.
And when I say "nothing", I don't mean "no advancement". I mean NO CANCER. ZERO! It's GONE!!!!! I screamed when she came into class & told me!!!!! How amazing is God, y'all?!?! She' s still finishing out her treatment and will keep getting monitored, in case it returns...but she is CLEAR!!! It gives me chills to type it out. It's the best news I've ever heard at Zumba! :-D < ...never ending praise! :-D >