A lesson in patience

Got more than just exercise out of Zumba class today. I got a nice lesson in patience.

I came in about five minutes before class and was the third person in the room, but lost my usual spot, so I went to a spot in the back. More people started to file in and then the class started, but a few more people came in after the class started and the room started to get a little more packed, but people still had dancing room. Someone came in after that and crowded where I was and just started trying to follow the dancing, but was all over the place, close to running into me. I was backed against the wall trying to stay out of the way but I didn’t have much room to do the exercises. My first thought was, “There would be plenty of room for both of us if she would just scoot over!”

Annoyed, I thought about leaving, but I just kept on anyway and tried to be patient.

After about ten minutes, she finally scooted up a bit so I had some room, but not much. Then after the song, she turned around to me with this huge smile and said, “Today is my first day here! I’m so excited and proud of myself.” My annoyance turned to joy for her and I told her, “That’s so awesome! Good for you!” We introduced ourselves to each other and it turns out her name was also Mary. After every song, she turned around to me and said “That was so much fun!”

I thought about the fact that I just judged someone before I knew them. I immediately assumed she was just trying to get me to leave on purpose by crowding me. Turns out she just didn’t know. Being that it was her first day doing Zumba, she didn’t know how much space people needed, so that was why she crowded me. It wasn’t intentional.

If I had left in annoyance like I might have done before I started to become a more patient person, I not only might have ruined my own day, but she probably would have known that I left because of her and it would have ruined her first day at the gym. Because I was patient, we both ended up having fun, and I got to meet a new friend.

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