It has recently become glaringly apparent to me that blogging, unfortunately, is not a cardio-vascular activity.
Imagine my chagrin. In fact, not only does writing not get your heart rate up and whittle your waistline, it appears that it can actually give you a big ol’ blogger’s butt.
Or so I’ve heard.
So, after taking a couple of years few months off from having any kind of regular exercise regime, I recently decided it was time to get the aforementioned rear end in gear and start working out again. I used to take a great Pilates class with some friends of mine which was really fun (or as ‘fun’ as exercise can be.) But it kind of petered out, and then we moved to the ‘burbs and well, you know how that goes. But the other day a couple of friends of mine were talking excitedly about this new exercise class at the Y that they just LOVED, and on a whim I decided I’d give it a shot. It’s called Zumba and according to their website it’s the latest fitness craze sweeping the country. Whatever. It was invented by some South American aerobics guy (who looks like he came straight from one of those Spanish Channel soap operas) and it’s kind of like Jazzercise, but more hip-wiggly and pelvic thrust-y. So, of course you know I was interested.
I showed up for class in my (well-worn and slightly tighter than I remembered) yoga pants and tank top, ready to get my groove on. It was a very diverse group of ladies, lots of shapes and sizes, and not completely filled with teensy little twenty-somethings, which was encouraging. I staked out my place on the back row, and tentatively started doing a little preliminary stretching. Oh lordy. AM STIFF. Undeterred, I jumped into the first couple of songs with both feet–literally–and though they were throwing a lot of choreography around, I managed to keep up. But before I could get too self-congratulatory, the cute little 90 lb. teacher in the hip-hop cargo pants cranked up some salsa/merengue music and things took an ugly turn. By the end of that song, I was wheezing, sweating, guzzling water and staring unbelievingly at the big clock on the wall that was telling me I still had about 50 minutes to go. Just when I was seriously considering faking a heart attack so I could SIT DOWN, the siren lure of a Shakira song came out of the speakers. Ahhhhh…. bellydancing! My forte! I took bellydancing lessons in my 20’s and then again about a year or so ago, with Madi. This I could do. Get ready, you flat-bellied, midriff-baring, taut-skinned little Brentwood hussies– Mama’s gonna show you how it’s done!
Oh, I danced, dear readers. I shimmied, I shook, I whirled dervishly. There were so many women in the class that I rarely got a clear view of myself in the mirror, but that didn’t matter; I was one with the music, baby, I was feeling it. Then, out of the corner of my eye as I was busting a particularly spectacular move, I caught a glimpse of myself. Holy crap on a cracker. I did not see a Shakira lookalike, with flying hair and my-hips-don’t-lie sass. What I saw bore a startling resemblance to a booty-shaking Mrs. Doubtfire– I almost had a REAL heart-attack!
It’s now been two weeks and three more classes since I came face to face with reality. I have progressed to the point that I don’t think I’m going to die until about the last fifteen minutes of the class instead of the second song. I am keeping up better with the choreography and there are even a couple of numbers that I almost have memorized. I try to get there at least five minutes early so I can warm up, which will further reduce my chances of, you know, falling down and breaking a hip or something. *sigh* I am making peace with the fact that though my inner Smokin’ Hot Bellydancing Babe is alive and well, she is now residing inside the body of a 52 year old suburban wife and mother. I know. I’m just as surprised as she is.
**OK, this will give you an idea of what I’m talking about (this was the very Shakira song I butchered. I mean, danced the snot out of):
Check out the teacher in the front in the green bra-top thingy and what appears to be a dickie of some kind. Then look over to the left side in the back at the woman who inexplicably appears to be wearing Kabuki makeup and a kimono. Yeah. I’m shooting for something in between.
**EDITED TO ADD:** OK, watch the video again, and keep your eye on the Kabuki/kimono woman (man?) on the left, starting around the 1:00 mark, but REALLY around the 1:50 mark on. At about 2:00, you will be spitting your coffee out. I think I love her/him…