It took me a long time to come around to the idea of joining in a group fitness class at the Y. We've been Y members for almost a year, and I have spend my mornings there sneaking past the glass-walled fitness class studio to head upstairs and catch up on gossip magazines while listening to Lady Gaga. Oh, and work out on the elliptical machine, obviously. That's the main reason I'm there, right?
Recently I have hesitated while walking past all the ladies attending group fitness classes. They always look like they are having so much fun. And they are most definitely getting a better workout than my lame-ass is. "Man, I wish I had the courage to go in there," I'd often say to myself. But still, I'd head upstairs and work out at my own pace for as long (or short) as I wanted to. I don't know what it is about group fitness classes that freaks me out. I'd say it's a combination of insecurities, loss of control, and fear of the unknown. I don't like when I can't do something, and trying something new is usually accompanied with a lot of, "huh?" and "how do I..." I'm not a generally insecure person, but when it comes to moving my body in ways that I'm not used to I am totally self-conscious and embarrassed. Then there is that whole loss of control issue. When you are in a class, you are pretty much committed to working out the entire time you are there. There is no, "I'll just do this until I feel out of breath, and then go downstairs for some coffee..." when you are in the middle of shaking what your momma gave you.
Well, I overcame all of those fears today. I went to my very first group fitness class. And the class I picked? Zumba! Of all classes, this one seemed like the most fun, fast paced, and so packed with other members I wasn't afraid that people would really notice me. While voicing my fears to a fellow mom and YMCA member a few weeks ago, she encouragingly told me that I should try Zumba because as she put it, "there is always someone else worse than you are." That was certainly not the case for me. I can say with pretty much 100% certainty that I was the worst in the class. The class went left, I went right. They kicked their leg out in front of them, I twirled in a circle. They shook their chest back and forth while doing Shakira-esque hip thrusts in the air, and I just looked like a total spaz with all kinds of body parts moving that really shouldn't be. Seriously. I was pretty much a disaster on the Zumba floor today. I can't say I was the only one who didn't have a clue as to what I was doing, but I very well could have been the only one who was not able to get it together by the end of the class. Getting my arms to do one thing, move my hips, while my feet did something else, all the while staying upright was like mission impossible for me this morning.
I spent the first 15 minutes watching the door, wondering how bad it would be if I left. Then I decided I wasn't going to give up that easily. I wasn't going to let Zumba win. I reminded myself that if it wasn't hard it wouldn't be worth doing, and I kept going. I actually managed to have fun, smile, and clap on cue. As for the moves, I'm not sure I'll ever get those. I just really don't think I'm meant to dance. But that doesn't mean I can't have fun doing it, right?
So there, Zumba. I'll be back next week. Shaking, grooving, and trying hard not to get my steps all mixed up causing me to fall into the lady in front of me. (that did not actually happen today, but it is only because of the grace of God that it didn't!) Maybe I'll even practice this week and try to find my inner Latina. Ha! Just kidding. I have no inner Latina in me. None, whatsoever.