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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Flailing Around In a Mirrored Room with Three Elderly Ladies, i.e. Zumba

So just when I think I have completely exhausted blog topics, a complete stranger from the gym grabs me by the arm and pulls me into Zumba.

Well at my gym it's not called, "Zumba," it's called "Latin Heat." But still it's the same, the instructor wearing skin-tight leopard print pants assured me. Just in case I was worried which I wasn't.

Upon first glance, one might think she would have been a little too old to wear pants like those but who am I to judge (no one) because if someone is going to teach Zumba you'd almost expect them to be wearing leopard pants anyway despite their age and besides, she told us those were her "Vegas pants", and those are perfectly acceptable pants for Vegas (in fact it's almost silly NOT to wear pants like that in Vegas.)

But she was definitely a character and not some stuffy instructor and I love eclectic ladies I hope I am one some day.

So anyways, I had thought that this was Body Pump because I can do Body Pump, which is usually just loud music while you're lifting weights a thousandty times in a row or until you fail (or both.) It really requires no coordination whatsoever and having tried step class before and almost killed myself (whole class turns one way, I turn the other, flailing limbs and climbing, and then you add a hop somewhere in there and it's just a disaster. To music.) I usually refrain from coordination-based classes.

So I asked if this was "Body Pump" like it says on the schedule and was told "no," even though I knew just from walking in the room that I had either walked into another dimension or the movie "Cocoon."

 But one of the ladies yelled, "Stay! Stay!" and so I can't say no to that, I just can't. Besides, I've always wanted to try Zumba.

So I stayed.

The class started out simply, there was some latin music and some Cha Cha (I can do Cha Cha) and then there was some spinning around doing the Cha Cha (which was too much for my brain to process) and arm windmills and shuffling and I'd spend a few moves trying to catch up to the moves that the instructor was doing and I'd finally "get it" at least the moves, but they weren't "pretty moves," none of this actually flowed well, and then the song would end. Right when I "got it."

Eventually during a song I could feel my body moving on its own but still I am sure that I looked like one of those guys at a dance club who is just SURE that he can dance and feels the music moving within him but looks completely ridiculous.

I tried really hard to ignore the huge window behind me where the muscley men would sidle up and check out what was going on inside.

Which must have been sort of funny because there was me and three elderly ladies desperately trying to follow a lady in tight leopard pants and big earrings.

I did spend half the class just trying to "loosen up" because if you're going to Zumba with three elderly ladies and a woman in tight leopard print pants, you gotta give it your all and if you're flailing and uncoordinated, you gotta put everything you got into your flailing and uncoordinated-ness.

The songs were an interesting mix too. There was latin music which required some shimmying, sometimes a bunny hop backwards that was supposed to be more like a rump shake backwards but for me looked more like a backwards bunny hop. Mind you, latin music is supposed to bring out the vixen in a lady but even though the music moved me sometimes, I was pretty sure that my flailing equated to the most unsexy "me" in florescent lights and mirrored room ever. But I wasn't trying to impress anyone I just wanted to keep up with the old ladies, who pretty much had it down pat (they must be regulars).

I gave the shimmying my all though.

I can really shimmy. Not that that was ever in question. I've always been a good shimmyer.

I'm just saying.

So then there was some hip hop and I tried to channel my inner Brittany Spears with some cross legged jumping and jumping fist pumping and even though I thought I had moments of oozing cool factor (it's Jackson if you're nasty!), I'm pretty sure it's only how I felt on the inside. Which is ok by me. There were some parts where I pretended I was in a music video.

Then there came the African Anteater Ritual.

I'll let you sit with that picture in your mind for a while.

I really hope no one was watching that.

And we wrapped up with more latin music which rounded out the hour nicely. I don't know how long the class actually goes but I was in there for an hour and had to leave and the ladies were still going at it while I went in the next room and did some pushups and core work.

But I sweat up a storm in Zumba! Who knew!

And my tushy was really sore afterward! I think it was all the kick ball changes and squeezing during the Cha Cha.

I can still feel it now even as I write this.

I think the class would be a little better if it were filled, because the room felt so big and I felt so small and "on stage" in the middle of the gym. But I'd love to grab a girlfriend and try it again. These weren't the normal circumstances for which I like to try new things, but that just must mean I'm coming out of my shell if I can throw all caution into the wind and cha cha with strangers, right?

So that was my morning.

How was yours?

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