Am I in Zumba??

I took for granted walking into the same gym for the last 3 years.  I forgot the feeling of walking into a building, not knowing a soul, clueless as to where the good cardio machines were, or where to find the cold water fountains. 

I realized this once I started visiting the local Ys around Nashville.  I've been to 2 now.  The first one is located downtown and looks like a resort or hotel.  Sure, it's nice and new and smells good, but I felt incredibly out of place.  I was expected to pay for a parking deck, which I despise to begin with, then take elevators up and over and around to walk aimlessly trying to find the elliptical machine.  I finally found the rows of machines of choice, each with full cable tv screens (Yes free cable!).  The windows overlook downtown Nashville, again spiffy, but I still felt uncomfortable!  Everywhere I looked was either body building man, marathon trainers, or contestants on Miss USA.  I worked out and practically kept running to my car that I couldn't find in the parking deck.

Luckily, my temp pass allows me to visit the different locations in the city.  The next Y I tried out yesterday was in the Green Hills area.  After wandering around, I found an older building and a newer addition.  I found my beloved outdoor pool and a great cardio area, with yes, more built in tv screens!  (I got in a few TLC episodes I so miss!) I liked this location much better, normal people with normal bodies and no parking deck.  Yet, the highlight of my day was my Zumba class.  Now, I attended zumba regularly in Charlotte and am used to abandoning my poise or any sort of class just to shake it, turn it, twist it.  However, this day was more than I ever expected. 

Our instructor started out with a mix of clubbing bump and grind and an altered version of latin dancing.  For a split second, I thought about walking out of the door to look at the schedule and make sure I was in zumba.  I look around and see 80 year old man who may not make it through the hour, then walks in 14 year old pig tailed girl who thinks she is featured on Save The Last Dance, who of course stands next to me.  In the back left was me, with the smirk on my face, laughing hysterically inside.  The instructor lady did not care about any traditional sense of dance or zumba... and I kindof liked it!  Surprisingly, I looked around and saw a random assortment of 40 people dancing and moving with every fiber in their bodies.  So, I joined.  I danced and pretended I could copy the clubbin bumpin jumpin moves going on up front.  Then, the soul train line formed.  Yes, the instructor said it was time to dance fo real.... 80 yr old man shook his thing and 14 year old crip walked, the worm even showed up.  No, I did not have a dance solo, not this time at least. 

I was definitely out of my comfort zone, but actually enjoyed it.  I would go back.  Why not?  I got a great work out and felt pretty good about it.  Zumba as I knew it is now tainted, but I'm okay with it. 

I sure do wish I had a video clip to add to this post... haha

life on a budget- without cable!

In effort to save money, we decided not to get cable here in Nashville. (Thanks Santoros for showing us it can be done!)  Instead, we opted for the ever attractive bunny ears! If they turn slightly to the right, you miss out on the local Nashville channel featuring Randy Travis wannabees.  Or when they get bumped left you will possibly get NBC & CBS clearly.  For some reason, our stubborn ears omit ABC, which features some of my favorite reality shows, such as The Bachelorette... all I have to say is thank goodness for online shows!
In the past week, instead of cable, we have watched:

- Lots of local news with places and people we are not familiar with.  They keep showing maps of tornado watches that could very well by outside our window but we have no idea!

- How Do You Know- a terrible Reese Witherspoon movie, I was very disappointed in my favorite actress!  We turned it off after 30 min, what a waste of the $2 bockbuster rental.

-Just Go With It- a typical Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston movie that we did stick with the entire time and laughed!  I actually liked this one and thought it was worth the $1 redbox.

- The Mechanic- thanks Sam for a gory, shoot em up, testosterone filled flick.  I had nightmares after this one!  These movies are like trainwrecks for me, I don't want to watch but don't want to miss something if I turn away! 

- Law & Order: NY, LA, DC, CLT... I think they have one for every crime filled city in America now.  We don't care, we watch them all!  I don't know how the writers of these shows do it, they still come up with riveting whodunnit plot lines that seem more original and creative than the last.

My friend Tiffany was then a single mom who worked full time and seemed to do it all.  I asked her how she got it all done.  Her response was "I don't watch TV."  In our generation, it's funny to me how TV has become the center of the living room, the topic of conversation, and an empty hole where our money has been thrown! 
Not that this box with lights is a bad thing, but maybe limiting the amount we watch might not be a bad thing either.

Walking our way around

If you know Sam and myself, you know we are not the most prompt, directionally inclined people.  In fact, I would describe us as fashionably tardy and directionally challenged, in a good way of course!  We would frequently get turned around in Charlotte after having both lived there for 5 years.  Upon our arrival in Nashville, getting turned around in circles was to be expected.  So far we've only had one directional turn around which was of course "at the fault of the GPS."  Still, we decide to explore and walk around until we discover the hidden finds in our neighborhood. 

A few of my favorite finds so far:

Star Bagel- walking distance, great breakfast and coffee, yes please!
Local Taco- small specialty tacos, again walking distance away
Starbucks at Vandy- spacious, lots of plugs and tables!
The greenway/ public golf course 3 blocks from our house
CrossPoint Church- we visited this church that is also very close and loved the environment and teaching! great way to start our weekend.

I love how pedestrian friendly this city is!  Despite the rain and frequent thunder showers, we have spent a lot of time outside in an attempt to become "locals."

For all our Charlotte friends, we are slowly unpacking and adapting well to our new city. 
Thank you again for helping us load up and supporting us through this process.  More to come friends!!

a city inside of a city

I had the privilege of visiting a community housed by a large population of refugee families.  Many of the younger kids that live here attend the school where I taught for years now.  It took me far too long to make my visit with my friend Scarlet and her ministry family, Serving Strangers.  The people of this ministry are incredibly generous and are impacing lives daily in order to bring glory to God. 

Walking into this community, you feel like you are walking into another country.  Yet, I felt very human, very American, wondering how they live without what I consider basic necessities.  Scarlet and her ministry offer supplies, support, and love to these families.  Today, I saw a glimpse of God's love that stretches over language and cultural barriers.