I like to think of myself as a moderately enthused fitness enthusiast. I enjoy being physically active even though I am no spring chicken. The activities I have generally engaged in to keep me moving include jogging, biking, cardio machines, and resistance training. While I have exercised with a trainer, a workout partner and even a running club in the past, I’ve never been big on group exercise. The running club started and ended in the same place, but you ran pretty much at your own pace.
Anyway, I’ve been pondering a change in my exercise regimen and thought maybe I should try one of those classes. After watching a few, I was shocked to find myself drawn toward – of all things – the Zumba classes. Why? Well, I think it’s because those classes are very different from the exercise I can do on my own. You know, why join a class where I repeat pretty much the same work I already do? In the past, I have heard some fellow male colleagues (non-dancers, I’m talking about) speak glowingly about Zumba classes at their gyms. Also, while the classes I watched were predominantly crowded with people of the female persuasion, they all had one or two guys in them. So I decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a try.
I took my first Zumba class two weeks ago from an very nice and energetic instructor named Jamie. As she described it to me, her class was heavy on cardio and lighter on the dance moves. That suited me just fine! Although, I think I still screwed up every single “routine.” lol Undeterred, I decided to try her class again that Wednesday to see if I could do better. I didn’t do significantly better, but I do think I was at least keeping up with some of the others in the class. Of course, that could be self delusion talking. Deluded or not, on Saturday I tried a different instructor. The class was posted as being taught by “gym staff”. Turned out to be a male instructor named Tomas subbing in. This guy took it to a different place … that dancier place. Surprisingly, he also turned the music down to a level at which we could hear the beat but didn’t make our ears ring afterward. Anyway, I don’t think my hips have ever moved (or at least been asked to move) in that way in public in my entire life. But in for a penny, in for a pound! I gave it my best effort.
That Saturday night as I tried to fall asleep, I realized that I was more sore than I have been in years. Cumulatively sore, no doubt, in places I haven’t been sore since I was a kid learning to ride a horse. My legs were a little tight, sure, but I really felt it all through my midsection – especially the obliques and serratus (those little muscles over the ribs). I have also been sweating like a horse after every single class. Good exercise? I should think so! Don’t know if this will become a regular part of my regimen. There are some movements my body just doesn’t seem able to accomplish, and some of the instructors clearly gear their classes toward their main audience with choreography that is decidedly not masculine (and which I choose to forgo). Even so, I’m impressed and understand the hype now.