So here it is July already, and I still haven’t attained swimsuit status. I’m beginning to ask myself, what’s the point? At this point in life it’s so easy to fall into the “I’m-a-married-mother-of-two-so-I-guess-this-is-who-I-am” status, but on a whim 10 days ago, my friend Lori and I decided to take a free Zumba class. I’ll admit it, I was curious as to what exactly it was, but I had little hopes of liking it or wanting to return. After all, I tried jazzercise with a friend a few years back and just wasn’t into it. How could this be different?
So we showed up to our first class. It was a very small class (hardly anyone in attendance), and right from the start I felt comfortable. Why? Because all the women present were me. Not supermodel-thin, twenty-somethings that had no business being there. No – they were middle aged women with REAL figures. Then the music began. We danced for an hour straight. Yes I said danced. Sure it was an exercise class, but it was a class full of latin dances, hip-hop dances, and all those fun dance moves you watch take place on Dancing with the Stars.
Now I’ll admit it – while I could dance non-stop into the wee hours of the morning 20 years ago, time has erased that little muscle memory in me. When the class went right, I went left. When my feet went left, my ass was still on the momentum to go right. Once I got one step down, we were onto something else. As Lori said, “I’m a white girl with a ghetto booty”. Yep, me too sister! I think I spent more time walking around in laughter at myself and how uncoordinated time has made my once graceful body. But even though I probably spent more time laughing than dancing, I walked out of that hour sweating. I felt great. Not that so-called “great” feeling you get when you have worked your ass out for an hour. But great like you just went to a party and danced like crazy and had a great time type of feeling. So did Lori. So we signed up for the month of July.
Now I noted that on the class calendar there are many forms of classes and many different instructors. The July 1st class was a toning class. A little similiar, but with an added element of weights. I laughed when I saw their weights were one pound and two pound weights. That’s it? Hell when I went to bootcamp, I was always at 10 or 15 pounds. So I grabbed a pair of two pound weights. NO ONE else in the class used two pound weights. They told me I was crazy. After just one song, I had to agree. I was crazy. The arms stayed up for the entire dance. My shoulders were on fire. My biceps were on fire. My triceps were on fire. But I remained persistent. Luckily during the next few dances the arms dropped a couple times. I needed those slight breaks. I struggled my way through that class, again, still laughing at all my mistakes.
The next “different” class we tried was a ballet style class. Now I was really excited about this, as I took ballet for 8 years when I was younger and regret every day since that I had quit. This time I really found out how time has changed my body. Moves that were once so easy I could do them in my sleep caused my muscles to burn like molten lava. On top of that, my much more developed figure added an increased complexity to each and every move. Still I was quite happy with the ease to which each movement came back to memory (even if my body didn’t cooperate).
I think yesterday’s class was the most fun to me. It was a Sentao combo class. Sentao Zumba is accomplished with a chair, and yes, it does have quite a seductive feel to it, but it was a blast. By this class, I took note of the increased attendance of “regulars”. Sure some were a little younger, but some were older. Some were a little skinnier, and some weren’t. Still, none had that supermodel perfect body that makes you so self-conscious that you don’t want to show up to class. Nope, we were all equally flawed in some fashion or another. I love the realness of it all.
Lori and I have continued on, attending several times in the last 10 days as our schedules have allowed. And in this 10 short days, I have seen faster results than I have in any other exercise regimen I have tried – even when I attempted bootcamp! It’s a fabulous feeling to see the difference! So even though you won’t see me on Dancing with the Stars or any similar show any time soon (or anytime ever), I think I will keep going with this one. Maybe – just maybe, as I develop the body tone I want, I may also develop just a little bit of coordination to make me look like I do know what I’m doing once in a while. 😉