Starts With “Z” and Rhymes With “Roomba”
I am not an exercise-inclined person. It’s a well-known fact to my friends and family that I hate exercise. Like, a lot. I hate running, I hate bike-riding, I hate any kind of weight-lifting, planks, burpees, crunches, really anything that involves physical effort. This despise of exercise mixed with my love for pastries and sweets is what makes me so utterly marshmallowy, but that’s not what this post is about.
This post is about one of the only kinds of exercise I do like. Not just like, in fact, but I love Zumba!
If you’ve never tried or even heard of Zumba, it’s basically just dancing in a really fun, upbeat way to (usually, but not always) Latin music. It’s mostly just a lot of cardio, but if you hold weights in your hand while dancing it can also be for toning!
For the past few months, I’ve been going with my mom to the YMCA in the next town over to go to their (socially distanced) Zumba classes. When I first started back in October, I was having a really rough time with it. Even though it was only for forty-five minutes, I would get so totally wiped out from it that I would almost black out every time.
I had to continually take breaks or go get a drink of water in the middle of songs because I felt like my heart was going to burst. And I was always so sore the next day. All of my muscles were like, never do that again! But then I did it again, and again, and again.
Eventually, I stopped getting sore. And I stopped almost blacking out. And I stopped needing to stop in the middle of songs to catch my breath.
I started looking forward to going, I started putting more effort into the dance moves and started not minding holding weights in my hands. I started really loving Zumba.
This is in part because I have such a great instructor! I think any class, whether it’s an exercise class or an educational class, can be good, no matter the kind, as long as you have a good instructor. Lucky for me, my instructor is energetic, fun, smiley, encouraging, and dances so beautifully that it’s hard not to want to improve so you can dance just like her someday.
It helps that I’ve always loved Latin music. But that’s probably just because I like music that you can dance to. I also enjoy EDM and techno for the same reason, it just makes you want to move; it’s so hard to not just want to jump around and pump your fist along with the music. I feel like it’s kind of hard to dance to a lot of American music, especially pop, which is most of what I listen to.
Some days, I really don’t feel like going to Zumba, but I make myself anyways. When I’m done, I’m always glad I went, and I always have a great time! I haven’t lost any weight from it, probably because I eat like shit, but at least it gets my heart pumping! It has to be at least a little beneficial, right?
Not only am I noticing myself not almost die every time, but when we stretch at the end, I’ve noticed I’m way more flexible than I was just a couple months ago! Even though Zumba is only twice a week, I feel like it’s making a difference in my muscles, even if just by a tiny bit.
Throughout my childhood/teenage years/basically whole life, I have been in many different sports, clubs, activities, yada yada yada, and I have always been a quitter. Literally my whole life. As a kid I would always try something out, like gymnastics, track, guitar, 4-H, all the standard things, and I would always give up after just a couple times. I always think I’ll like things, and then when it doesn’t immediately bring me joy like I imagined it would, I drop it.
At first, I didn’t really like Zumba, and I wanted to quit almost immediately. Not because there was anything wrong with it, but it made me feel bad about myself; the fact that I couldn’t get through one session without almost passing out, the feeling of not being able to do the moves correctly, or like everyone else is watching you misstep and move your arms in the wrong direction.
If it weren’t for my mom going with me and encouraging me to get up off my ass and go, I probably would’ve given up in the first couple weeks, like always.
I’ve always liked dancing, but I never really thought of it in my brain as exercise. Now I know that it totally is exercise; in fact it’s good for a lot of things besides cardio! Coordination, toning, balance (depending on the move), and is really one of those exercises that’s an all-over body workout.
If you haven’t tried Zumba before, I highly recommend it! I think it’s so fun, and just a nice way to get moving if you’re feeling a little couch-potato-y lately.
Anyways, I’m off to Zumba. Let me know if you have any particular songs you like to dance to in the comments, and have a great day!