What Motivated Me to Leave a Toxic Relationship

“I was in a relationship for 9 years. While we were mostly happy together, there were a lot of things that were emotionally and mentally abusive on his end. I didn’t always feel the way you’re supposed to feel in a relationship. I wasn’t appreciated, I wasn’t supported, and was spoken to in ways you wouldn’t speak to a stranger. But, I stayed because I thought I was ‘supposed to’.

As a Zumba Instructor, I would go to class and enjoy myself for 60 minutes, smiling and dancing with my students…but it wasn’t genuine. I would get in my car, the feelings would dissipate, and I would dread going home. So, I started adding more classes to my schedule and was soon teaching six days a week. The endorphins did their thing. I felt fierce, empowered, sexy, and free. I was having the best time ever while teaching.

I loved the way the music made me feel. I loved the energy in my classroom. I loved the never-ending love and appreciation from my students. I began to realize, if I could feel this positive, happy, and free in a 60 minute class, why couldn’t I feel this way every minute of every day? If someone in my life diminishes that feeling, that person shouldn’t have a place in my life anymore.

I made the decision to end my relationship. Cutting that negativity out of my life has freed me in ways I could have never imagined. That feeling that I get while teaching and dancing follows me all day, every day. I am smiling, and I mean it.”

Brianne Rogers, licensed Zumba® Instructor; loves taking her positive energy and transferring it onto others

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