Today I attended my first hour long Zumba class.
I lasted only 30 minutes and holy hell, do my legs hurt.
This past weekend, I bit the procrastinating bullet, and bought a gym membership at CRUNCH. It’s inexpensive and the atmosphere is very down-to-earth. Their motto is “No Judgment”. When I went on the 10 cent tour, I was relieved to see that it wasn’t filled to the brim with 20-something hard bodies. You see, the last time I paid for a gym membership was back in the mid 1990’s and it was Gold’s Gym. Everywhere you looked there were young men sweatin’ to the oldies as they did their jogging, bench presses, and arm curls.
Sure, lovely to watch, but hella intimidating.
CRUNCH has a diverse clientele. Men and women were equally 50/50 and I saw ages ranging from 20 to 62. Goth chicks and overly tanned soccer moms. Very fine men with tats and older men working on working off their beer bellies. More power to them.
My inner geek spazzed out a bit when my tour guide explained how the ellipticals, tread mills, and step machines all had iPod ports and headphone jacks. They even have USB ports so one can charge their smartphone while they workout. Some also have built in fans.
So why after more than 15 years am I back in the gym saddle? Simple. I’m overweight.
I have been blessed with a 9-10 hour day job. Unfortunately, it has me sitting on my ass all that time (cubicles kill!). My diet is very healthy, but I’m at that age now where diet alone is not going to cut it. I need activity. And since dance classes would run me a couple hundred dollars a month, I figured my best bet would be to do the gym.
Also, it will keep me out of the sun while I exercise. This time last year I was walking three miles up and down hills both ways, every morning, in my neighborhood. You wouldn’t know that by the way my body felt today. Fuck.
I stretched for 15 minutes before the class. Latin music began pumping through the speakers and I started following the instructor. Thankfully there was no tightness in my chest and I was remembering to breathe. But my muscles? Oh no, they were ready to give up after three songs. My left leg almost went out underneath me. I took sips of water between each song and after 20 minutes, I sat out for one. Then I did 10 more minutes.
That’s all I had in me. And I was FLUSHED. Oh my goodness.
And to think ten years ago I was kicking ass in ballroom and dancing all night long. I have a lot of work ahead of me. My goal, believe it or not, is just to be active. To increase my energy level. My “gee wouldn’t that fuckin’ rock” goal is to lose a bit of weight in the process. When I saw myself in the Zumba class mirrors (are they same ones from the dressing rooms in the mall??), I felt terrible. I barely recognized myself. How in the hell did I allow myself to get this heavy?? I felt awkward and clumsy doing the dance moves, my body remembering how to do it easily but not being able to execute it 100%.
Funny. One would think the scar on my chin would make me self-conscious, but it honestly doesn’t bother me. It tells a story. However, the donut around my middle tells a story I don’t want people to read. A story that glaringly advertises I’ve allowed myself to slack off.
Granted, I do not plan to be Triathlon warrior-cut like my awesome inspiration, Tiggy. And I won’t be as ambitiously dedicated like my other awesome inspiration, Innowen. My plan is simple — baby steps. Begin working out 30 minutes / 4 days a week just to get the metabolism jump started. In time, increase it to 60 minutes / 4 days a week. And if I happen to lose 15-20 pounds in the process while I’m grinning from ear to ear with all this new-found energy I have? Awesome.
I want to keep my curves, simply get rid of the rolls.
On the plus side (ha-ha), I did last longer in Zumba than I anticipated. I’m also still very flexible. When I began stretching, I had no problems pressing palms to floor. My weight likes to hang around my middle, so with some cardio and yoga, I can dwindle it down. My routine will be very DIY. I’m gonna mix it up. 15 minutes on elliptical, 15 on row machine, take a yoga class, walk on tread mill, do free weights for arms, take kick boxing class, do some Zumba, etc. I want variety. I want activity.
I’ll keep you guys posted on my progress. Here goes nothing!