Zumba, it’s good for you
Firstly, apologies for my last post. Barry Manilow. What was I thinking? I shouldn’t do that to you, dear, faithful readers. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.
So, back to the point of the blog. Health, fitness, the ups and downs of life on the run. I mean, running. Last Thursday I had an appointment with a leg specialist. I finally got around to seeing her after my GP had described the inside of my leg as “a mess” after that scan I had. Great. I had been running with no pain or discomfort (honest!) and then he told me he wouldn’t run with my “war zone” leg. (Yes, this is my lovely Audrey Hepburn doctor. I don’t think even she saves him now.)
Leg Specialist Lady has ordered an x-ray to make sure there’s no fractures in my foot which are impeding and biting into my tendons. I have some tendons on the point of collapse. Actually, the other way round. I know I should be grateful that all these doctors and clinics are properly wanting to get to the root of the problem, and I can see someone, like, the next day. But all I really want is a dodgy doctor from Buenos Aires* who would make something up to make me feel better and let me run. Gently, but run none-the-less.
Anyway, I had already decided I was going to try out my local Zumba class that night. I have never done Zumba. I thought: Zumba isn’t running and if it hurts, I’ll stop.
Let me explain something here. I HATE aerobics classes. I think they are silly and boring. But, part of me wanted to check out something in my new town of Wasserbillig, test my language abilities (would the class be in Luxembourgish, German or French?) and do something to mix up my fitness.
Turns out I didn’t have to worry about the language issue. The teacher didn’t even speak. There were Chinese, Portuguese, German, Luxembourgish there (plus me), so I don’t think any one language would have worked. Instead, she cranked the music up and flung herself about the place with such gusto, we just had to follow.
Zumba was created in the 1990s by a Colombian aerobics instructor, Alberto Perez, who had forgotten his workout tapes and had to use other music he had with him, which consisted of salsa and merengue tunes. This totally worked out and people loved it. He then went to the States, hooked up with a partner, sold it to the world and (I imagine) became loaded. Good for Alberto.
And good for me. Zumba is a lot of fun. Firstly, the music is the type I prefer on a night out, and being able to listen to tunes I danced to in my favourite Cuban club in Buenos Aires is a massive bonus. Secondly, it’s not like an aerobics class. It’s more like a dance floor and doing your own thing is totally cool. I tried to follow the teacher to the step, but you know, if I didn’t move my arms in the right direction, who cares? I was moving my arms. One little lady in front of me was completely hopeless, but she kept moving the whole time, dancing on her toes and swaying her hips. So what if all her steps were the same? When we twizzled, she did too. Just the wrong way round.
Lastly, Zumba is knackering. I was wondering after 20 minutes if I was going to make the full hour without turning into a sweaty mess on the floor. But then there’s the one good thing about a class: you look around you and see older, fatter, redder people and think If they can keep going, I can too. It’s stupid aerobics pride. But it keeps you going.
I have signed up for the year. 80 Euros for a year’s worth of classes is a bargain. Those darker, longer winter nights are going to be upon us soon, and I think some fun, high tempo exercise is the tonic to that. It doesn’t mean running goes out the window, of course. You’ve got to mix it up. This way I get the Zumba beat and the running buzz. And you can’t beat that.
Zumba: Highly recommended. Good for: Everyone.
Doesn’t matter if: You have zero rhythm. Helps to: Love Latino music.
*For the record, no doctor in Buenos Aires ever did that. Unfortunately.