Recently, my daughter Cindy registered me for a class in “Zumba” (an exercise done to latin music) as a Christmas gift. Apparently, I don’t get enough excercise to suit her. My girlfriends all wanted me to email them after my class to let them know how it went, so here it is.
I know you’re all waiting to hear how my 9:00 am “Zumba” class went this morning.
It was certainly an eye opener.
I got to the gym, and when you first go in, you have to get to the fitness room through the gym, where all the dedicated early morning workout people have been at it for at least (by the looks of it) one or two hours. Some pretty “buff” people in there. I already felt intimidated.
I hurried to the fitness room, checked to see if there were any other old ladies in there, and was relieved to see some white hair in the front row. One lady looked like she’s done this before, with her matching black workout gear. And, although she looked a lot older than me, that broad was as thin as a rake, but really healthy looking! I scanned the room to see who else was there… great… no one I knew. My public humiliation will be limited to these twenty people.
I started out by doing the first ten minutes of exercise to really nice music, while thinking, “This is really ok, I’m kind of enjoying this.” My heart rate was beginning to get up there, and I hoped I could hang in until the end. Then I found out it was only the warm up!!!!! Yikes! I’d started to sweat already. Good thing I used extra deodorant today. My daughter Cindy joins me just before the real action gets going.
By this time I’m parched, and my throat aches from gasping for air. What’s this? She’s going right into the “Zumba” part, with no move instructions? Unheard of! Insane! All we get is, “Just follow along ladies. I’ll use hand signals for move directions” (she shows us her hand signals while turning up the music)… back, forward, side … you get the idea.
It ramped up and I started to really fling this bag of bones around. Fourteen songs ….everything from marengue, salsa, latin, belly dance, jive and other stuff that was obviously ‘south of the border’ music. It went on and on and on … NO BREAKS!!!!!! Continuous marching, arm waving, shuffling, turning, jumping, hand clapping and shouting…. No wait! The shouting was me yelling OW! Meanwhile, I’m thinking “Someone pull the plug on that boom box… and I sure hope someone knows how to use the defib machine!” (Don’t think I didn’t ask first, cause I did! No lie)
My brain’s constantly talking to the old bod… Here’s some of it’s great helpful ideas:
“Hang in there! You can do this….”
“That lady up front in the first row must be on acid!!!”
“Don’t do those jumps and hand claps, or your gonna pee a little!”
“Just make up a move dummy, no one will know you’re not doing it right!”
“You’re the only one here going the wrong direction, stupid!”
“Ok…. now just “pretend” you’re moving…”
I fake a “thirst” trip and go for the water bottle. Rest a second, (I can’t let those older ladies put me to shame) and get right back on the horse, as they say. My legs are turning to rubber. Incoming message from brain to legs…. Alert Alert!!!…. get those things moving, or we’re going down like a wounded water buffalo! Pull up, pull up! Emergency! Mind over matter. Finally, the tempo slows down a tad, and I manage to stay up. Even though I’m wobbling, I consider it a victory.
By now, I’m promising God anything and everything, if he’ll just put an end to this inhumanity. I look at my watch, tap it a little … good grief… it’s either broken, or we’re only a half hour into this!!! … Oh dear God… it’s not broken! I look at the others in front of me. It’s like a room full of bumper cars. No one’s going in the right direction, and no one’s on beat. The girl in front of me turns around and gives me the “eye roll”, as if to say “save me”. I shake my head and hope my legs won’t give out.
Meanwhile , Allison the instructor, is grinding her hips and telling us to move it … move it! I’m thinking I’ll need a hip replacement just like Elaine. Believe me, a sixty two year old lady grinding her hips, and suggestively moving them around, looks a lot different than a twenty six year old does. I oughta know, because I’ve seen myself in the mirror, and looking at that twenty six year old, there’s something that’s just wrong about these kinds of moves for us older gals. She looks sexy, and I look like I’m holding in a major crap!! Wahhhhhhhhh. Sixty two on the outside, eighteen on the inside. Life is so unfair.
On we go. My muscles are cramping, and I feel a major Charlie horse ready to make my morning worth every penny I paid for this torture. Wait a minute… did I hear her say we are winding down? Suddenly we’re into an Egyptian dance, legs bent, arms and hands at 90 degrees, head doing the chicken move…you know what one I mean. My thighs are burning, my brain is screaming, “Save yourself! Run away now!” The music slows, and we moved into what I thought were cool down yoga moves.
I hang my head, reach for the toes and relax. I look up and see nothing but bums. Soooooooooo funny! I hope I don’t crack up laughing, but most of all, I’m hoping the woman in front of me doesn’t let one go! We straighten up, Allison gives a big “Woo Hoo!”, and the class was over. I made it. I’m still alive!!! Everyone beats it out of there like someone yelled fire. Cindy and I were the last ones out… only because I couldn’t get the rest of me to move any faster. I was out of steam.
Let me just say this ladies, it’s a major workout and I’m going back next week. But I’m telling you, if I don’t feel fantastic after six weeks, there’s a problem Houston! Linda, you’d probably “Ace” this workout. The rest of you probably could too, although I’d watch the hip moves, Elaine. Me, I have to work on it. I’m out of shape. Next time I’ll go for Yoga….
Author Val Enders resides in Spruce Grove, Alberta. She married her high school sweetheart, Richard, and they’ve been together for over 40 years. Val doesn’t consider herself a writer by profession, rather she writes more for her own enjoyment. An accomplished artist, Val’s a member of the Allied Arts Council of Spruce Grove. Visit Val’s “Journey Into Art” website at www.vals.webs.com