I decided recently that I really needed to get back into doing some exercise. Well who am I kidding? Just like millions of others around the world, I took one look at my waistline after the holidays and thought “I really need to do something about that.” Only I didn’t. Well not really. Both times I was visiting my family I went walking each day with my Dad but really that was never going to be enough.
Finally this week I realised I couldn’t keep putting it off. Afterall I’ve been paying the gym fees all this time, I might as well actually use it.
So today I laced up my shoes and snuck off to the gym down the road. Realising that I needed some incentive to keep going and that killing myself running on a treadmill or doing something else I didn’t like wouldn’t be any encouragement I chose to take a class. That class was Zumba.
Yes you’ve seen the ads on the TV. You might even know people who do it. Well me too ajd as I enjoy the opportunity to shake my booty, it seems a good match to me. I’ve even done DVD but it’s a whole different experience to go to an actual class.
My first thought as I walked in at 9:30 am on a Wednesday was “who are all these people?” It was really quite busy. Not only the Zumba class which was pretty packed but the weights areas and treadmills all had a lot of customers. Don’t these people have jobs? Who has time to hang out all morning at the gym? Then again, maybe they are like me. My job is pretty flexible and a lot of the people I interact with only come on later in the day so heading of to an early class is no big deal (as long as it doesn’t clash with a meeting or anything).
As usual I was running late so they had just started when I snuck in the back, happy to be hiding while I worked out what was going on. Looking around the group it was quite a diverse class. Women of all ages, sizes and ethnicities. Lots of tiny Asian girls looking great in their spadex. The Star who probably should be teaching the class. The older ladies who really shook their tail feathers. There was a lot of jumping and yelling and LOTS of smiling.
This class had two instructors and I’m not sure if that’s the norm but I found it useful. Usually one instructed from the platform and the other hung out with the group providing instruction. Helpful if you are hiding down the back. Then again, the Star was in front of me and I often found myself following her. The instructors had SO much energy. I think they literally bounced from start to finish. It was exhausting just watching them. A pair of tiny Malaysian girls (they looked Malay at any rate) with abs to die for. Said abs were prominently on display but then again if mine looked like that I’d probably never cover them up.
The workout itself is challenging mostly due to it’s high energy but also because there are dance steps to know. If you haven’t attended a class before then you should go to a class focussing on the steps or try the basic DVD. Even though I’d never done the class before I mostly managed to keep up because I’d learned the steps from the DVD and also from Salsa class. Every little bit helps. If there was a tricky step in the upcoming song they walked you through it but I gather there is not a lot of instruction done before hand (though maybe there was and I just missed it).
The routines are mainly in the salsa, merenge, lambada type style but there were also routines that were based in Hip Hop and Jazz. I must confess the Jazz one was my favourite. It was very easy to imagine I was a star on stage. (I have a VERY good imagination). We even did chorus girl kicks which seriously made me laugh. Towards the end there was a limbo line and I haven’t done limbo in absolute years to I lined up to have a go (did I mention they were short so their hands were not high).
One highlight was a track that clearly had its roots in african dances and I was amused to watch two Asian women leading a large group of white and asian women in a dance to “We are Africa”. It was fun and kinda cool.
I did worry for a while there I wouldn’t make it to the end. It’s unrelenting with the only breaks being as the song changed giving you only time to sip some water before you are off again. As a source of exercise it is fantastic, it got a proper sweat up and I’m not someone who sweats as a rule. As a source of fun well it’s certainly fun. It felt a little bit like being at a dance party which was even more enticing given it was during the work day. I’ll definitely be going again. Sadly I am not a glamorous exerciser. I’m not one of these girls who looks perfectly normal even while sweating. Being the pale face I am, I usually look like I’m dying. Or I’ve been wandering around the desert for a week. Without a hat. At least I know its working.
There was a lesson for me though. I ran out the door and broke my personal rule of not having pen and paper. “What would I need a pen at the gym for?” I thought. Well I was wrong. There was plenty to take note of and this post is proof. And who knows maybe something from the class will turn up in my other writing somewhere.
So what did I think of this as an Adventure? Fun Fun Fun! (and I never say that about exercise). Give it a go but perhaps look on YouTube at the videos outlining the basic steps first.