Zumba: In Which I Laugh While Shaking My Boom Boom

23 Aug

As part of project Get Joy’s groove back, I’ve picked up a membership at a ladies-only gym. The monthly fee is a little steep for us, but it’s month-to-month, there’s no sign up fee, no contract, and no hidden towel washing fee (I just made that up). Plus, the gym is a five-minute car ride away and the locker room looks like a spa. Beyond all of that, the monthly fee is (in my estimation) still cheaper than Wellbutrin.

You know how I am on this thing about exploring my soul? (Read here) Well, when I reflect back on the times when I was the most happy with myself, when my outlook about life was the brightest, it was when I was working out like a nut – at a gym.

I love how the harder my body works, and the louder my heart pounds, the cleaner my brain feels afterwards. Working out is a huge filter for my negative emotions.

There was a time when I would go straight from work to the gym every night for at least an hour or more. And. I. Loved. It. But now, as a mom of two little ones, time at the gym feels like an absolute luxury these days.  Let’s not kid ourselves, it is a luxury.

I mean, the last time I gave myself regular chunks of time to work out was when I had a trainer back in 2007. She kicked my tuckus into the best shape of my life. I had muscles that you could see, I mean really see!  (Proof: would you just look at my shoulders in this photo. Rawr!)

Toned arms: proof that it’s possible.

All of that said, last night I did it. I spent two hours at the gym and it was AWESOME (insert jazz hands and DJ Lance voice right here)! I attended two classes in a row, Cardio Sculpt and Zumba. It was fantastic, and no, I’m not being sarcastic.

I’m really into group classes. I enjoy the energy and the feel that comes from a room full of sweaty maniacs working out together. I’m also motivated by the instructor making sure I push myself – which I don’t really do that much of when I work out by myself.

Also, as someone who spends their entire day around two little kids (that I love), being in a room stuffed to the brim with fun, savvy ladies makes me feel like I’m hanging out with friends for a few hours. What’s not to love?

But seriously, can we talk about Zumba? The room is packed, blazing with energy, and pounding with thumping music. The instructor is gyrating in ways that I’ve only seen on MTV.

Here’s the cool part, she’s my age, (nothing like attending a gym class and the instructor is a so far from your reality that you lose your morale just by looking at her) she’s hilarious, and she’s bringing her awesome Zumba moves with a huge side of sexy. I’m totally inspired by my instructor, and I want her to be my friend. I’m think I’m going to leave a love note in her locker, for real.

The sad truth is with only two classes under my belt I’m so not even remotely close to knowing the Zumba routines yet. I’m that girl who is two steps behind the entire class trying to perfect my “drop, shake, and shimmy” while everyone else is already merengue-ing down the room. Yeah, okay, it’s not that sad, it’s actually hilarious (except if you’re standing next to me in class – then it’s annoying).

You know what though? Sometimes in the middle of the dance routines, I’ll just stop and laugh at myself. These days laughing this hard feels just as good as shaking my boom boom, if not more.

Honestly, I’m getting hooked.

Do you Zumba? Do you love it? Any tips for a newbie like me?

8 Responses to “Zumba: In Which I Laugh While Shaking My Boom Boom”

  1. Shannon August 23, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    I LOVE Zumba. I go at least once a week. It is so therapeutic!! It is the first exercise I’ve ever done where I cannot help but smile!! In 3 weeks you will learn the dances and look like you know what you’re doing :)

    Just be careful about the shoes you wear, that they don’t “stick” on the floor and tear your knees up. And pay attention to your body because some teachers go super high impact and you’ve gotta ease into that funky stuff!!

  2. Kristen August 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    I love Zumba!! We would let the girls use the videos to do it when I worked in juvy in Denton and I thought it was ridiculous, but I had a coworker who got me to go to classes with her at the local community center. I was usually one of the only white people in the room, and even once I’d figured out the steps, I looked like a fool in comparison to all of the people surrounding me who were born to dance. (and had the hips to prove it). It was also the most fun I’ve had working out, ever! Enjoy!

  3. Nikki August 23, 2012 at 11:29 pm #


    I did Zumba for 7 months after I had Evie and I truly love it. It was hilarious and whenever I was laughing instead of dancing I took pride in knowing I was burning calories :-). I hope to go back one day when we live near a fitness facility that I can commit to regularly. Congrats on the next step in your journey. I feel we’re in very similar situations right now and I really enjoy your perspective.

  4. erica August 24, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    I love group classes!!! and I heart ZUMBA!!!

  5. Esther August 25, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    I Zumba! I’m an instructor actually. Tips: It will take at least 6 classes before you can kinda remember where the instructor is going and what she’s doing! So keep at it! Also, just keep having fun! As long as you are moving (doesn’t matter if you’re not doing the move right) then you are still exercising. If you have trouble with a tricky move/step then ask the instructor after class and she will be sooo happy to help you! Enjoy the classes and if you stick with it, shop online and invest in a beautiful pair of Zumba cargos! You will love the feel, fit and most of all the look. I felt like a “real instructor” when I bought my first Zumba outfit. I felt like it changed the way moved cause I looked more like the instructors I would see and they are super comfortable and sweat wicking! Also, those butt tassles are the funnest things ever!

  6. suze huie August 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    My good friend Kim sent this to me. I get it. After 6 months and 30 pounds of Zumba 3-5x a week, I am now an instructor with my own “peeps” It has kept me moving for 3 and a half years now. Love the laughs, the successes, the music and the new family. You can drop in to a Zumba class anywhere by going to zumba.com and putting in your zip code. It will give you a list of current instructors and classes. And…when I go to someone elses class…I am still 2 steps behind and laughing. Good for the soul. My oldest student is 84 and she can do crazy legs like nobody else! Zumba has it’s first Zumba convention baby this year! Keep on rocking, girl.



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