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Fitness Classes & Social Anxiety

At the beginning of this semester, I attended some of the free group fitness classes on campus. The first class I attended was beginner/ intermediate yoga and it was such a calming experience. After enjoying the flow of muscle movement and quietly guided meditation, I figured I would keep attending the free classes. The next day I went to Zumba. I would like to start off by saying I’m only 5’0 tall and I have symptoms of social anxiety around large groups of people. Unlike the small yoga class, this room was packed full of students trying to get their workout started. I couldn’t see very well and I didn’t know more than a few people. I didn’t want to leave but I could tell I was going to be stressed. 

Fast-forward to the first song, and I started to get into the groove of things. I actually thought I’d be completely fine during this workout. Well, I suppose I settled down too quickly. Soon the instructor was doing a routine that was familiar to some of the attendees and heavy in foot coordination. Not only was that very intimidating, but I couldn’t see her feet for the life of me. I couldn’t get a better view due to the previously mentioned packed room, so I was destined to flailing my feet in whatever direction I thought might be correct. 

After an hour of stressful dancing, squatting, and hip shaking, the class was done. I had been so focused on figuring out what was going on that I didn’t get enough of a workout as I would have liked. I was so embarrassed that I went to the gym and ran for a few extra minutes just to get over it. 

But the next time I attended the Zumba class, it was an entirely different experience. I got a little closer to the front, settled down, and enjoyed the workout. By the end, I was drenched in sweat and had a great experience. Now I regularly attend Zumba and tell all of my friends that it’s the best workout ever! 

Moral of the story: get closer to the front and don’t give up after one bad Zumba class. 

Samantha Collette

Framingham '22

Fashion Design Major. Lover of the environment, ethical textiles, and pumpkin picking.
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