Remember the television show Cheers? While I was definitely too young to be a true watcher of the show, my dad was a fan, so I often overheard the theme song and learned the tune myself.
(Sing it with me now...)
"Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
And they're always glad you came;
You want to be where you can see,
Our troubles are all the same;
You wanna go where everybody knows your name."
From what I can recall, the show centered around the lives of the bartenders and regular patrons of a local (whole-in-the-wall?) bar. As indicated in the theme song, it was a place for them to belong. A place to be surrounded by like-minded people who know and care about you.
I realized today how much my Zumba class has become my "Cheers" after attending a two-hour master class this afternoon. I love, love, love my instructor and the many friends I've made since joining this class nearly five (!) months ago. The fact that I have them has been a huge motivation for me to keep going. I know that if I miss a class, someone will notice... and they will care! I love catching up with them each day and sharing parts of our lives, and I love how many of those relationships have extended beyond the walls of our gym.
This group is so important to me now that I don't have a real teaching job because I lost that sense of belonging when I had to sub. Even in my long-term positions, it doesn't feel the same because I know it's still only temporary. At Zumba, though, I'm an equal. I'm not there filling in for the day or even for the semester.
And I love it! :)