Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The genesis of the Zumba mommy

I am a mother of two who is really into Zumba. Hence the name of the blog. I discovered Zumba when my oldest was 18 months old. Having weaned him only four months earlier, I had already lost some weight but not in the way I had pre-pregnancy. I was disappointed but accepting, thinking that's just how was after you've had a kid.

Wrong! I just needed to find the right thing and apparently the treadmill was not it. Zumba's slogan is: "Ditch the workout, join the party." That's not false advertising, it really is true. I talk to people about Zumba all the time, in fact if you ask my friends, they'd probably say I never shut up about it. But when I talk to random people, aquaintances and strangers alike, I get a lot of the following...

"I've heard that's really hard."
"I have a friend who tried that and said it was hard."
"I can't dance very well so that's not for me because I think it would be too hard."

Sort of a running theme isn't? I thought the same thing but my friend Don, well she thought differently. My excuses to Don for why I shouldn't try it were all the same as everyone else, but she convinced me to at least try one class. She's also my yoga teacher and owns the place where I do yoga. Conveniently, she had a Zumba instructor teaching class there on Saturdays. So the first Saturday in January (this was back in 2010) I decided to give this a try. Was it hard? Yeah, a little bit actually because at the time I couldn't dance very well. Okay, being totally honest, I couldn't even clap my hands to a beat and I got my foot stepped on by the next student over because I used the right foot when everyone else was using the left. In short, I looked like a dancing windmill with arms and legs all over the place. I stuck with it though and I was back again the following Saturday. I have been doing Zumba for three and a half years now so that says something about the kind of class Zumba is and the kind of teacher I was lucky enough to start out with.

That would be Rae. She is a fantastic dancer and teacher. She took the time (still does) to break down the steps when introducing a new song. Her style, and by that I mean the songs she would choose for class and the choreography, was very diverse. Not -all- salsa, or -all- hip-hop, a lot of everything which kept it interesting and fun. One of the secrets of Zumba that can really make or break the experience is finding a teacher whose style you can connect with. Rae was that kind of teacher for me and I'll be forever grateful. I know the difference too. Back in the early days, I had a few classes here and there with other instructors; for a Zumbathon, or maybe Rae needed a sub because she was away. I'm not disparaging any of these other teachers because they definitely had the necessary skill set. What I'm saying is that I simply didn't feel their personal style fit my own as well. Down the road I would meet, and become very good friends with, another teacher whose style definitely fit mine, but more about that another time.

Discovering Zumba has made staying healthy and fit so, so much easier and when I say that, I don't just mean weight loss. Taking a Zumba class once a week gives me energy and helps me manage my stress. I know people (myself included) working on fitness and/or weight loss goals who have had amazing success so far and one of the main things I know that can mean the difference between that and failure is the enjoyment of the activity.

Best advice: find something that you love to do, and then just keep on doing it. Deceptively simple.

No comments:

Post a Comment