Somedays, I have Workout A.D.D. I’ll go to the gym and spend ten minutes on the treadmill before my eyes go crossed with boredom, ten on the elliptical, 15 on the bike, 15 on stairs…and I’ll leave the gym feeling like I didn’t even work out.
So I like to mix it up a little by participating in the classes offered. In NYC, I spinned 3 days a week at 6:45 a.m which meant I was up at 5. I’m still not sure how I did that because down here I am absolutely unable to lift my head from the pillow before 6. My eyelids flutter open in mild surprise if the alarm beeps at 5:45 before flapping down like window blinds in an adamant refusal that it’s time to wake up. With the stagnant gym circuit and the inability to get moving in the morning, I knew I needed a shakedown.
Slim suggested I try zumba. She’d been going for awhile with a few friends and said it was a great workout that didn’t actually seem like one….my kind of exercise!
Zumba (for those of you who don’t know) is a fusion of Latin and International music that incorporates dance moves with a fast-paced cardio workout. Now…I’ll be the first to admit while I love to dance, I know I’m not the most coordinated person on the dance floor. You’re unlikely to see me bust a move in the middle of the circle; I’m more likely to lead the clapping for whatever brave soul jumps in with their version of the lawnmower. So, clearly I was skeptical when Slim told me it was a “get low” type of class, but I gave it a try.
Lili is the instructor; she’s a spirited chica who bounces all around the room to her Latin mix of songs. I stood next to Slim in the back while the Latin Mafia* filed into their positions in the front row. They’re all Latin divas who are 40, but look 30 and wear only Zumba tanks and wind-pants. As the music started, we salsa-ed through a warm-up and I quickly realized I was out of my element. These women were shaking parts of their bodies that I didn’t know could move independent of other parts.
A mirror ran the length of the front wall and I watched my awkward “white girl” body struggle to catch the groove and rhythm of the beat. Lili yelled, “Alright ladies, squat down and SHAKE IT,” the “it” being your butt. I tried, really I did…but Slim looked over at me and busted out laughing.
“KT, you’re supposed to shake your ass, not your head.”
Apparently in trying to wiggle my rump, I’d also been bobbing my head and jiggling my arms, but my butt was going nowhere. So I got lower and really concentrated on bouncing it.
But I ended up feeling more like Homer Simpson in Homer’s Triple Bypass when Dr. Hibbert says,
“Now I’m going to do a fat analysis test. I’ll start your jiggling and measure how long it takes to stop.
[starts it jiggling]
[jiggles for five seconds]
Homer: Woo hoo! Look at that blubber fly!
Dr. Hibbert: Yes. [to intercom] Nurse, cancel my 1:00.
than a vogue dancer from some movie like Step Up (yes I saw it and yes I liked it enough to reference it here).
“I don’t get it,” I frowned.
“You just shake….move it around…that’s it.”
Well, that was easy for her to say…she’d been doing the class for awhile. We sashayed across the room….meringue-d and cross-stepped through a few more songs. Then a song came on that caused everyone to groan…I looked around apprehensively.
Groaning is never a good sign.
Lili laughed, looking only slightly sadistic, as she hollered “Trabájelo!”
I recognized the song as “Apple Bottom Jeans” only here, instead of bopping my head to the song like I typically do, anytime she hit the floor came on we had to swing down to the floor and do push-ups, pop back to stand then, crunch our abs up eight times. I have come to negatively associate that song with pain
By the end of the hour, I was drenched, but it was fast, furious, and fun. Slim and I’ve been going to Lili’s for a few months now. She did a Turkey Burn around Thanksgiving and a Holiday Boot Camp at Christmas; both were an hour and a half of high-intensity zumba.
I still have trouble bending and shaking in some of the ways she asks us too, but I’ve managed to at least learn the routines pretty well. Slim and her other friends in the class joke about taking their moves to the bars. But I think I’ll wait a little longer til I show you what I’m workin’ with…
*10 of Lili’s “original” dancers who’ve perfected the booty-jiggle lifestyle with zumba and margaritas on the weekends.
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