Saturday morning, I went to a Zumba class at the gym.
I love Zumba. Have we discussed this already? Because I do. I really REALLY like to dance. I mean, that’s a whole post in itself, about how I used to hate to dance and now I love it, so we’ll save that for another day. But the real important part is that I. LOVE. TO. DANCE.
So the fact that Zumba, which is dancing, counts as exercise, is quite enjoyable to me.
Saturday morning, a handful of us loaded up and headed together to the 11:15am Zumba class taught by Lorenza. [She’s the best. Hands down.] Halfway through the class, two men and a woman walked in. They all went to the back of the room and stood together. She soon began to dance with us, but the two men just stood there. Staring.
It was clear that they didn’t speak English. I don’t know where they were from, but they were definitely not from Nashville.
Before I realized it, I was in defense mode. I kept looking over my shoulder. Keeping an eye on them. And my heart was racing.
Because I couldn’t get my friend Anne Jackson out of my mind.
[Yes, that sentence actually makes sense- stay with me.]
Anne has spent the last week or so in Moldova learning and writing about sex trafficking. And her posts have been really moving and heartbreaking and descriptive.
And though I knew I was safe, I had glimpses of the things that Anne wrote about all week.
What a nightmare. What if someone could just walk into a gym, grab me by the arm, walk me out, and sell me across the state lines? Never seeing my family again, leaving my home and all my belongings, being forced to do the most horrible things?
I was scared in Zumba. I was not scared because I felt like I was in danger, I was scared because I knew that somewhere, someone just like me truly was in danger. IS in danger.
I’m safe from being trafficked. But some girls? Sex trafficking is the only life they will ever know. It is so disturbing that the fear even sneaks up on me in Zumba when the weird situation mirrors the sex trade stories from Anne while in Europe.
I can’t exactly explain it. I don’t know if I’ve done the story justice here. And I don’t have any clean, wrap-up answer. I just know that Anne’s stories have deeply affected me this week. I hope you take time to read them.
[Also. Just so you don’t worry about my dancing safety, the men in the back of Zumba ended up being completely kind and nice and are members of the gym. No biggie. I promise.]