For some time now, my cousin Jenna has been a regular Zumba class attendee. She speaks very highly of it and has shared her love of it with other members of our family, my mom, aunt and grandma in particular. While I have been meaning to get to a Zumba class, it wasn't until this past weekend that I finally gave it a try.
Jenna had invited me to an event she was hosting at my former high school, a Zumba-thon. As I understand it, Jenna oversaw the entire event -- from planning, to promoting to managing the actual event. Kudos to her for that!! After meeting Jenna to help her get set for the event, it was time to throw aside any apprehensions and Zumba my heart out, which I did for the entirety of the 90 minute session. What a blast it was! And after it was all said and done, I had to admit that it was a nice feeling beging back in my old gym doing something athletic -- it has been a few years.
Somewhere in the midst of all the working out and sweating, my brain was able to formulate a thought unrelated to Zumba. As I looked around, I realized that I was surrounded by some wonderful people - great friend, both of my parents, my cousin, my aunt, and my grandma. It was a clear reminder at that moment that I am part of an amazingly wonderful family... and a tenacious one. After all, my grandma, who will be 82 this summer, was Zumba-ing with the best of them (This is the same wonderful woman who hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park with us a few summers ago and called it her 80th birthday present to herself).
I also thought about what this event truly meant. Nearly two decades ago, cancer entered our family. My grandpa was diagnosed and bravely fought his illness until he passed in the summer of 1996. I know that not a single days goes by where my Little Grandpa does not cross my mind, and I would guess my cousins feel the same way. Supporting Jenna as she raised funds for the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life was especially important to me for that reason -- and because others in our family have bravely confronted this illness. Being surrounded by family made it all the more meaningful.
As always, time with family was a blast. Add the fact that I burned upwards of 1,000 calories (and got to go out for a Cinco de Mayo meal -- and complementary shot -- with the family) and I call that a day to remember!!
Again congratulations to you, Jenna. The great work you did and the money you helped raise means we are that much closer to preventing all other families from experiencing what we did when we had to say goodbye to Grandpa. You should be so proud of yourself for that! Love you, JL!!