Thursday, July 26, 2012

Am I Ready to Zumbaaaaa?!

So today I went to my very first Zumba class.

(For those not in the know, it's an exercise class that's "an exhilarating, effective, easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness-party"TM.)

I am not sure it's going to be a good fit for me but we'll see.

The negatives:
  • The class I went to was from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, not my favorite time to exercise.
  • I hadn't eaten all day, which was stupid, but I just never had a chance to fit in a meal or beverage. I felt very light-headed and dizzy when I was done.
  • I felt STUPID. Obviously, this is the first time I've attended so I am not expected to get it right away but I have NEVER been good at following exercise choreography. Never. And usually by the time I figured out the step the instructor was already on to a new variation. Time and several more classes will take care of this but in the meantime I HATE feeling stupid for not getting it because it's "easy-to-follow".
  • I do not care for the music so far. But there were two songs that I recognized (the instructor referred to them as "oldies" and they both came out around 1985; am I that old?! Yes.): "Conga", by Gloria Estefan, and "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" although they were "Latin-inspired" versions. But at least I knew what to expect.
  • There are mirrors on the wall. It's bad enough that I will get hot and sweaty but I don't want to see myself in the mirror all hot and sweaty. Plus it just accentuates how out-of-step I am from the other participants.
  • My shoes were uncomfortable but at least this will be the easiest thing to remedy. I tend to buy cheapie tennis shoes from Payless Shoe Source. My feet were getting numb by the end of the hour which doesn't make it easy to do any steps. I've been putting this off for a while. I'll be with CPA Michelle tomorrow so maybe we can go shoe shopping after our Costco run.
  • I was already sore from yesterday's workout. I tried the elliptical machine again and it was so hard! I could only stand four minutes. Then I biked for 20 minutes and pedaled like crazy the whole time. I'm not sure which made my front thighs so sore though. I will persevere and see if I can build up some stamina for the elliptical (5 minutes!) and maybe the soreness will go away as I develop muscle tone. 
  • I usually walk on the treadmill or pedal the stationary bike for 20-30 minutes, then I switch to weights for about 20 minutes. Doing ONE thing for an HOUR was LONG. (Plus I can READ while I walk or pedal. This is the big benefit of treadmill over walking outside!)
  • I wish I had a girlfriend to go to class with and sweat together! Time to convince CPA Michelle to sign up with the gym again (she already bikes around Sonoma County and runs for miles --- things I will never do --- so it's not like she needs more exercise!).
The positives:
  • It doesn't cost anything more as it's all part of my gym membership.
  • The people were nice. The gym people told me to start with Zumba Heather because she was great with beginners but she wasn't there. The substitute was very nice though. She was wearing an adorable Zumba-logoed shirt, very "Flashdance" with an off-the-shoulder look to it.
  • There were only 9 participants so there was plenty of room for me to flail about. Would day classes have MORE people, less or about the same?
  • I sweated like crazy, despite my lame dance moves, and definitely feel like I got a workout! 
  • I can buy some more exercise clothes! Yay, online shopping!
I will try again next week as there are classes at other times than 6:30 pm. I will have better shoes. I will slowly learn the steps. And I will try some of the other classes and find a better fit for me! The gym has step class, yoga, strength endurance, aqua aerobics and others. Just because everyone else I know who does Zumba loves it doesn't mean I need to love it too.

PS to Lady Chardonnay (or as Dear Abby would say: Confidential to Lady C): I had no idea what the "plank" was so I looked it up. I can hold it for about 7 seconds as of today. But I was tired, sore and faint with hunger when I did it. Tomorrow, rested, less sore and fed I should hit 8 seconds! We'll need to have a plank-off in August (though you'll no doubt win!). And "plank-off" somehow sounds so dirty!!

1 comment:

  1. Good for you for trying something new! I felt MORONIC and OLD and FAT and SLOW for an entire month, maybe more, and was sure that all the hard-bodied girls were judging me. They are now my favorite zumba buddies, and I love seeing them each week; it all feels very social, like we're in this together.

    You just never know.

    I like having a class around dinner time because it makes me eat a much lighter dinner. If you stay with the 6:30 class, my recommendation is to have a little something (like - an apple) an hour before class, then eat something light and tiny when you get home. Then take a bath!! Your weight will be way down the next morning. And even though two pounds of it are water, it still gives a girl a lift. :)

    I HATE mirrors. Keep a body between you and the mirror, and keep your eyes on the instructor.

    And don't worry about following the moves exactly -- as long as you're moving, you're working. You'll get it eventually. You will also lose your feeling of "I need to do this perfectly!" My teacher introduces new stuff all the time, and we look like a bunch of spastic gazelles for a few weeks. No one is looking at YOU. EVERYONE is looking at the teacher!

    Yeah, the music can blow. But it changes, thank God. (I will never live down the time my teacher announced that we were going to do "Starship" tonight, and I got all excited and began talking about Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane. Yeah. She meant "Starships" by Nicki Minaj, which I keep calling "Starfish." Starships are meant to fly? Well, duh! Wouldn't starfish make more sense?? As in -- defy gravity! get out of your rut! Nicki Minaj and I...not so much soulmates. Pity.)

    Having said all that, it simply may not be your thing. Several of my bestys make gagging noises when I mention zumba. The most important thing is to find something you like, and if it's reading while treadmilling and then lifting weights, that is a GREAT workout!

    (But try aqua aerobics. There's no sweat issue! And the classes tend to comprise old ladies, which means the music is less likely to be hip-hop, bleh.)

    "Can't wait" for our plank-off! (Meaning: shoot me now.)