Friday, October 19, 2012

Bombay Jam: A Writer's Greatest Tool

 I really didn't want to become a Bombay Jam instructor. The last time I took something I loved a step further was when I said to myself, hey, I like reading books, why not write one and now I have two bald spots and one giant bruise on my forehead from pulling out my hair and beating my head against a wall from that bright idea. Despite all that, I got certified. And then, amazing things started to happen.

In case you haven’t heard me rant about Bombay Jam, it’s a dance based fitness program that uses the latest, hottest Bollywood tracks and engineers brilliant routines that simultaneously incorporate the moves from the big screen while achieving target heart rates so that you’re too busy feeling like Katrina Kaif to notice all the calories you’re burning.

I had pictured myself getting certified, spending the winter memorizing routines, practicing cues (stressing out) and starting to teach early next year.

One week after my certification, at a Sunday morning Bombay Jam class, my teacher said, “Phi, which track are you teaching this morning?”
I laughed. “I just got certified.”
“Which track?” She was not laughing.
“I don’t even have my CPR.”
“Great, 'Dhaeon Dhaeon' it is.”

And with that, she slapped her microphone onto me and hit play.

My body began moving and words came out of my mouth. “And clap it. Hip sway. Looking good!”
Just like that, my teacher began my teaching career. No stress, no mess. The following week, I took on a regular gig and next week, I add another.

I began to wonder if the same applied to my writing. It’s been two years, nearly two and a half. Yes, it’s hard work and yes, I’m learning as I go and no, there’s no certification program for publishing a book but still. There comes a point when you just do it.

The other really groundbreaking event happened last night. I was asked to sub a class three hours before it began. No time to stress, lose a night’s sleep, did I mention stress? Again, the mic came on, the music played and then it was over. At the end of class, people said nice things. When people say nice things about my writing, I smile but in my head, I’m thinking, you’re an idiot. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Last night, though, about twenty people high fived me, patted my shoulder, smiled smiles that didn't seem malicious or even patronizing. And I thought, maybe I should believe them. Maybe I’m not bad. Maybe I’m good. Maybe I’M the idiot for being so hard on myself.

Photo courtesy of awesome hubby

So it turns out this thing I was so afraid to take on has become like the aircraft that the Space Shuttle Endeavor was strapped onto as it made its way home last week. It’s pulling me along, guiding me gently to accomplish my life's big endeavor.