Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The origin story continues

Last time, I wrote about how I became the Zumba mommy that I am. I should state, for the record, that none of that would have been possible without my loving and supportive husband. Since class was on Saturday morning, Bry would watch our 18 month old son. It made for some really nice daddy-son time. Since that first class, Bry has continued to support me in all things Zumba and the Zumba journey has been a long and winding one for sure; but I don't want to get too ahead of myself here.

I call myself the Zumbamommy now, but I sure didn't back then. Back then, I was that girl dancing (hiding) in the back row and hoping no one was watching. The truth is, they -weren't- watching, I just thought they were. Once class gets started, nobody is really looking anywhere else but at the teacher, I promise you. Someone who doesn't watch the teacher because they want to rubberneck is probably going to fall on their face. But forget the non-existent watchers for a minute because I need to talk about how unprepared for class I was. This is how I showed up to my first class:

1) dressed in sweatpants and an over sized t-shirt
2) with my shoulder-length hair down
3) with no water to speak of

Why are these mistakes? Those out there who've taken a high energy fitness class before, I know you're all laughing at me and that's okay because I laugh at that girl too. These are mistakes because 1) I overheated in that outfit, 2) my hair went everywhere, got in the way, and with it down I overheated, 3) with no water of my own, I had to make continuous trips to the water cooler between songs with a Dixie cup and this barely kept me from passing out from overheating.

Pretty dumb huh? But I was ignorant of a lot of things back then, not just proper preparedness. I mentioned in my last post that I couldn't clap to a beat. Clapping is a bigger part of Zumba than many people realize. I also had no (zero, zilch, nada, none) dance background to speak of. I didn't understand what "single single double" meant. I didn't know what a ball-change was, much less be able to execute one. I couldn't turn around for any reason because it meant losing sight of the teacher momentarily. Here's a weird one, there were times in the first six months that I actually had to stop moving and stand still so that my brain could actually process what it was seeing - meaning that, back then, I found the steps so complex that I could either keep moving, or stop to watch to actually learn the step; but not both at the same time. Crazy right? For anyone reading this who has never done Zumba, you're probably wondering why in the world I would recommend something so difficult and how in the world I stuck with it.

The point in all that is this: If someone who started out like I did can become a front row dancer and actually master the dreaded ball-change, anyone can. ANYONE, and that means you. Yes you! What's that you ask? How did I find myself in the front row? Interesting story but that's for another time.

Best advice: When (that's right, I said when...) you try your first class, 
1) wear lightweight clothing, a tank-top if you feel comfortable in one
2) if your hair is long enough, tie it up for goodness sakes!
3) bring a bottle of water - the one I travel with now is 33oz (approx. 1000 mL for you metric folks) and it is empty by the end of every class

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