For any readers who go to Zumba, you know that the bumping music is half the fun. It really gets you revved up and helps you go that extra mile in class. Tonight, the stereo system was broken at the gym. I was pretty upset because I had a bad day, and I was really looking forward to de-stressing in class. The instructor was not told about the busted sound system beforehand so she had to improvise. Someone had one of those tiny portable speakers (and I’m talking tiny). You could barely hear the thing. Some people walked out of class. However, I’d say forty or so people stayed and danced the entire hour, even with music you could barely hear. I have to admire their dedication. It would have been easy just to go home because there was no music, or the instructor could have easily canceled class. But we all stayed and rocked it. I’m proud of my workout group. Plus, I somehow managed to burn 700 calories, even with minimal music! So this post is dedicated to my fellow Zumba goers on Tuesday night. Y’all are awesome!
I know that I should be happy that I’m healing and am out of the boot. Last night, I ran for the first time since being diagnosed with the stress fracture. I made it one mile. I’m proud of that. However, my foot was pretty sore. I know the doctor said there would be soreness for another month, but it’s still frustrating. I’m taking things slow and modified plenty of my movements in Zumba tonight. It’s just so much less fun when I’m doing things halfway. I want to jump and kick and do all the moves as if my foot was back to normal. I’m trying not to pout, I promise. I’m just ready to run and dance 100% free. Part of it is fear that I’m going to re-injure myself. I really hope that fear goes away with time. Two months ago, I never would have thought I’d be talking about my feet so much! Thanks for hanging in there with me! I’m hanging in there, but there is still that haunting shadow of the boot.
Except that everyone was…
Let me back up. (Warning! Long-winded background coming up). Zumba. I love Zumba. I tried my first Zumba class in 2009 when I joined the Hot Springs YMCA to distract me from a rough breakup (sound familiar?). I loved it from the very first minute. I quickly started attending the class every Tuesday and Thursday evening. Nothing interfered with my Zumba nights. Loving the class helped me develop a cardio habit. Soon I was at the gym five to six times a week doing at least forty-five minutes of cardio. Over seven months, I dropped around sixty pounds. It was the smallest I had ever been as an adult. Dancing was just so fun. I was pretty good at it, and my Zumba time became a safe haven where I didn’t stress about work, or my love life, or any other worry. I was happy and free and the rhythm of the music just completely took over my body. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. My instructor at the Y was so motivating and kind. One day, she approached me after class and asked me if I had ever considered getting certified to teach. She thought that I could inspire people on my journey while teaching. At the time, getting certified was cost-prohibitive so I didn’t follow through. I regret that. The instructor suddenly passed away later that year, but I will always be grateful for her class and the faith that she had in me.
2010 was filled with quite a few changes. I got laid off and ended up cancelling my gym membership. I had to move back in with my parents, who were on the cusp of divorce. As much as I love my parents and am grateful that they took me in, I was completely miserable. I was a twenty-seven year old without a job, and I shared a tiny two-bedroom apartment with my parents. So I started to emotionally eat (it is what I always do). I no longer had Zumba either. I would go to the apartment gym and do the elliptical, but it just wasn’t the same. Of course, I gained weight. Then I found a job in Little Rock and had an hour commute, each way. By the time I made it home at night, working out was the last thing on my mind. About a month later, I moved to Little Rock. I quickly made friends and became social. There were lots of fattening foods and beers involved with our hang-outs and social events. I didn’t make working out a priority. I was popular damn it, and if we learned anything from high school it was that popular kids didn’t have to work out. So I gained back all the sixty pounds I had lost and then some.
I was back at square two. Square one was the 325+ pounds I had weighed during law school, and luckily I was nowhere near that again. Now we fast-forward three years (with those three years being full of ups and downs on the scale). I joined a new gym about a year ago. Shortly thereafter, I picked up a Zumba schedule. I found that I still love Zumba. It still makes me happy. Even better, I made a core group of Zumba buddies (or Zisters as we call ourselves). They are amazing. I genuinely enjoy coming to class each time and acting like huge goofballs with them while sweating like a pig. It’s fantastic! As soon as the warm-up music starts, I forget all about my bingo arms or kangaroo pouch (a term I learned from one of my Zisters). I let the music take control, and I have a blast.
So back to the dancing like no one is watching, even though everyone is. Last night, my awesome Zumba instructor asked me to lead one of the songs. Even though I was self-conscious about my outfit (I had bought new pants that were low-riders unbeknownst to me, and I kept having to hike them up every two seconds or risk flashing some crack), I didn’t hesitate. I jumped to the front of the class and began dancing. I even messed up at the beginning, but it didn’t stop me. I yelled out a warning to the 70+ crowd of people, “SORRY IF MY CRACK SHOWS” and went to work. After the song, I went back to my spot breathing heavily and guzzling water. A guest instructor was dancing beside me. She leaned over and asked, ‘Where do you teach?” I replied, “Nowhere.” “But you’re certified, right?” She asked. “Nope,” came my reply. She shouted over the music as the next song started, “Well you should be!” How awesome is that? I gave her my standard reply that I want to be in better shape before I get certified so I have the stamina to teach an hour class. But really, what am I waiting for? Y’all have a great night!