Saturday, January 23, 2016

The One With Zumba

My son’s girlfriend, Codi, and Savannah dragged invited me to a Zumba class a couple nights ago. As I approached the building, wearing my one and only pair of leggings with a long, baggy t-shirt, I babbled nervously. “I feel so self-conscious when I walk into a gym because I’m fat. But you need to go a gym so you can get un-fat. It’s really a paradox.”

It was dark so I couldn’t actually see them roll their eyes, but I’m pretty sure they did.

“Really,” I continued, “they should open a gym specifically for fat people. You’d have to be at least 50 pounds overweight to join. And they could sell work-out clothes in plus sizes because let me tell ya, you can’t find that stuff in regular stores! And regular, normal-looking people would work there instead of crazy-buff, hot guys and model-looking girls who make you feel like why bother?

"Are you done now?”

“I thought it was a good idea,” I muttered to myself as we walked inside.

Once inside the studio, I took my place at the back of the room, far away from the instructors, and more importantly, the enormous mirrors that completely covered the front wall.

“In my Fat Gym, there wouldn’t be mirrors on the walls,” I stated.

Codi and Savannah shook their heads.

“Ooooo, oooo! Or there would be mirrors, but they’d be fun park mirrors that made you look thinner! Yes! Now THAT’S motivation! I am totally on to something here! I know there’s a market for it! I, for one, would join the Fat Gym!” I gazed in the distance and announced dramatically, “The Fat Gym – a comfortable place to work out. I have a slogan and everything!”

Before Savannah and Codi could tell me to stop talking, the music started and everyone collectively moved; synchronized dance moves that everyone, but I somehow knew. I felt like I’d been plunked in the middle of a musical where everyone but me knew the intricately choreographed dance moves. I tried to follow the instructor’s lead, but since I’d taken up residence at the very back of the room, I couldn’t see the instructor. I did, however, get a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I looked like this:


Unable to see the instructor, I picked out a person who looked like she knew what she was doing and tried to follow her. Savannah and Codi who had never done Zumba seemingly picked it up with no effort. Maybe they weren’t as polished as the women who had clearly been doing Zumba since the day they’d learned how to walk, but they were following along and holding their own. I, on the other hand, could not, for the life of me, make my body move even remotely like anyone else in the room. Except for the man in the back with me who was 75 years old if he was a day. I was doing almost as well as he was. Almost. Being shown up by a member of the geriatric crew does wonders for one's self-esteem. 

I stopped trying and stood there nervously laughing. "I don't get it! I have no idea what everyone is doing!" I felt like a total dork. Why had I agreed to try this? And why was the music so darn fast???


After about half an hour, I finally started picking up some of the moves. The only problem is that I was 2 steps behind. By the time I finally caught on to what they were doing, everyone else had moved ahead and was doing something else. As everyone moved to the left, I moved to the right. I crashed into the woman next to me. “I’m so sorry.” I tripped into the person on the other side. “Oh gosh, I’m sorry. I don’t know what I’m doing!”

She responded, “It’s okay.” What she meant was, “What’s wrong with you?!” I felt like I was in an episode of I Love Lucy. And I was Lucy.


Feeling a modicum of confidence since I'd been able to make my feet move like everyone else's (albeit a few moves late), I got cocky and decided to add arm movements. Up until this point, my arms had just hung like fat sausages at my sides. This is the point when I learned I have zero coordination. ZERO. COORDINATION. I am physically unable to make my feet and my arms move with any semblance of agility whatsoever. I am a total and complete spaz. This is why I never dance unless I've consumed copious amounts of alcohol at which point I cease caring about my spaziousitude and just have fun. The next time I go to Zumba (isn't that funny how I imply there will be a next time?), I'm going to drink first. Then I'll just rock out to Shakira and Pitbull without a care in the world.



Polli said...

"After about half an hour, I finally started picking up some of the moves."
You do realise that this means you are able to do 30 minutes of exercise without dying on the floor due to lack of oxygen - right?
That's a good sign!

noexcuses said...

I've yet to attend my first Zumba class, but since I could be considered almost "geriatric generation", I am looking for Zumba "Silver"...not a whole lot being offered. I love your idea about a Fat Gym...Richard Simmons sorted started something like it years ago, by offering classes that moved according to the crowd. His teachers were overweight which helped make people feel a little more comfortable. I was honored to be one of those teachers. I can soooo relate with your frustrations with the moves, keeping up, and looking like you know what you are doing! Don't give up...I know the dancer in you is just begging to break let her! Great post! Liz

Debbie said...

You got there! Great job! But, yes. I have no problem picturing you as Lucy. Every Zumba class likely ends up with one comedienne. That day, it was you.

Janice said...

Fat Gym, it is called the Y. Yes, you will see thin pretty people but mostly it's old folk. There are even geriatric classes. Zumba is good, but dance party..yikes that will put you in an early grave ;-)

Jen Lemyre said...

Nope, I'd die within 5 minutes.

Those that Zumba have way more energy than I could even dream of!

Catherine said...

What a wonderful story! I loved it! :)

Mel said...

I can totally relate to the fat gym Idea. I WANT ONE. After my third child I decided I wanted to get my pre-baby body back, such as it was. I obviously will never step into a gym one because well I have three children and not enough money to pay for both the gym and a day care for said children. But mostly because it embarrassing. I discovered that after three children I now jiggle. And not the 'thin girl who just needs a little toning jiggle' but the I'm 50lb over weight JIGGLE. When I jump up I pull the jiggle up and when I land I have to weight a half a second for the jiggle to catch up and then brace for impact and hope it doesn't pull me over. It's AWFUL, and more than a little disheartening. I have decided no more jumping until I can get some toning done, if that's possible. I can't imagine being in a gym with all those skinny little non baby having beautiful women. I prefer to keep my embarrassment private thank you very much. Power to you for going to zumba I would not have braved it in my current state. I love that you are so candid about your experience, its hilarious since I can relate! lol Good writing.

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