ok, zumba. I started with the zumba a few months back. For those of you who don’t know, zumba is the aerobics of the new millenium. Insted of Jane Fonda up front leading the class in a high cut bodysuit with matching headband, the leader is in baggy cargo pants and bra top with the zumba logo emblazoned on it all. To be fair, it is fun. It is more like dancing in a club, with all the lights on and no one is drunk….well, at least
Now, I have had a rough couple of years and I have fallen out of the pristine shape I once was in. My muscle tone has left me and I have no stamina. It crossed my mind that maybe I should start drinking and hitting the clubs again when all of the sudden the zumba craze erupted!!! Oh happy day…no hang overs for me!!!
What a shock that first class was. I had no idea that there were actually cliques of women and a hierarchy to the whole gym experience. I was so naieve. I figured we were all a bunch of out of shape ladies who were coming to get in shape or at least feel like we were getting in shape and have fun while doing it. Little did I know…
I was getting my zumba on and laughing at myself. Zumba uses latin rhythms and movements with some hip hop thrown in just to make sure that we feel really silly. I was loving it and watching myself try to imitate the instructor was hysterical. Being the friendly girl I am, I nudge the lady next to me and say “Oh my gosh…my butt is still moving even though the rest of me has stopped!!! Hahaha ha ha…” I got a grunt out of her. I turn to the one on the other side of me and say ” I almost peed when she took that triple ‘up a notch’ “….no reaction. Ok, well, fine. These women are very serious about this zumba thing apparently.
About half way through, my knees started to swell. This is nothing new to me. My knees are very sensitive and always have been. So, I take off my sneakers to ease up on the resistance on my legs. It’s my body, I am 38, I know how I work. No big deal, I think. After all, every other day I am in this same studio with bare feet for yoga. And immediately my knees start to feel better which leaves me free to zumba my ass off!!! There I am smiling away, shakin what the Lord gave me, looking like your quintessential white chick when the short lady from up front marches back to me and takes my jiggly elbow to lean me down to her and says “We recommend that you wear sneakers for this class” with a very smug/snotty look on her face. I was so high on zumbadorphins that I smiled and said “yeah, well, I have a broken toe and my knees were starting to swell” to which she replies ” Yes, exactly, we don’t want you to get injured!” to which I replied “I’m all set thanks.” and she finally marched away…literally…it was the march sequence. What the hell was that? The zumba police? Why would this little woman care if I had sneakers on or not? It’s a rule??
Then, after class, I saw her telling on me to the instructor! I was outraged!!! This short, older, out of shape woman is trying to tell ME about footwear protocol in a studio for a psudo-dance class? I thought logically about the whys of their sneaker rule. There was no logic to it. None. I have danced barefoot all my life. Sometimes on carpet, sometimes on tile, on the street, on concrete and on sand. There is NO reason why I should have to wear sneakers if I am uncomfortable in sneakers. That woman ruined my zumba.
I didn’t let her stop me though. I returned later in the week. And I took my sneaks off half way thru so as to relieve my knees. And I gave her my award winning smile as I did so. She just gave me the finger.
After this confrontation about the sneakers, I began to watch the interactions of the 40 or so women in the class. Where they stood, who talked to who, who had the licensed gear on, who was smiling and who was trying to look cool. Nobody looks cool. We all look like assholes. The music is way to young for us and the moves make things on our bodies shake that shouldn’t shake. It’s a great workout but I don’t see how zumba is going to further anyone’s career or personal relationships. I haven’t heard of a performing zumba company. I don’t get competition in a gym atmosphere. It’s just silly.
Anyway, I stopped going for about 2 weeks and I did miss it. I missed the music and the movement and the teacher singing along with the song. Plus, I gained back some pounds and I lost some stamina. I went today and she had changed the entire routine!! I didn’t know any of the steps or the music. But whatever, I still looked hysterical. I still laughed at myself. I still had a good time. And the lady next to me was totally new and she was having a hard time also, not because she was new but because she had NO ASS!!! She was built beautifully, but she didn’t have hips. I mean, obviously she had to have hips otherwise she would have fallen down. You can’t walk without hips. She just couldn’t shake them. Her flat ass was not made for zumba, which is what she said to me half way thru. I realized then that I had just climbed a rung on the ladder of zumba popularity. My large hips and ability to shake them made me one up from the lady with no idea where her tiny ass was or how to move it!!
And as I took my new found status out to the parking lot, I realized that the car next to mine had parked too close. As I was squeezing into my car, trying not to bang the other car, I thought to myself what is an asset in zumba is a liability in the parking lot. One of the bigger lessons zumba has to teach!!!