The zumba dance craze might not be for everyone. Here’s a look at my experience.
Sometimes in life, we have a wild idea to try something completely crazy and utterly new. Sometimes in life, it goes really well, and other times, like today, we wonder where such a ridiculous idea even came from. Sometimes, we get encouraged to try something completely crazy and new. Something like Zumba.
When I bounced out of bed this morning, I had drive. I had so much energy and so much that I wanted to achieve and do. I don’t even normally blog on weekends (she says, blogging regularly on weekends!) but with Wolfie working until 3:30pm, I wanted to squeeze in a cheeky little post, in between all of the housework.
Today, I also decided to give Zumba a go. I couldn’t tell you where to find it in Helen’s Book Of Regrets & Bad Decisions, but it’s in there somewhere. Maybe somewhere in between trying to walk down two steps on rollerskates (what could possibly go wrong?) and that time I squeezed the talc while shaking it. Found it? There we go.
A little about me: Currently I weigh much, much more than I should, At the height of the average woman and the weight of three baby hippopotamuses (I’ll probably get my ass whooped for that, but hey ho), I knew that something had to be done. Last year was a bad year for me, but when you can’t browse and shop on the high street because nowhere has anything in your size, you kind of have a problem.
And any problem can be resolved if you put your mind to it.
Now, because of my disabilities, I need to be kind of a little bit select about what exercise I do. It’s not that I don’t want to exercise, it’s simply that, for one reason or another, a whole bunch of the regular stuff is pretty hazardous for me. Gyms have things that I can pull down on myself or trip over, and contact sports when you live with CRPS are a no-no. One accidental knock on a pain site could be months or years of discolouration, swelling and pain. Thanks, but no thanks.
For a long time, I used to swim. Take it from a self-professed aqua baby, I love to swim! Before I got married I used to swim 3 times per week with my second-in-command bridesmaid. After that, I’d get myself some free water fitness by getting myself admitted to the pool as my Dad’s carer, who got discounted swims through his doctor. After Dad’s passing (and the termination of the friendship with the aforementioned bridesmaid), I was on my own and had to pay £8 for two hours of travel, sit on the poolside and watch and wait for the kids’ swim classes to get out (how do you behave without looking creepy in that situation?!) and then only having a 45-minute swim. In short, it was a lot of effort for little reward, and so I stopped.
So I started walking through the local woods instead. At first, walking was good. It was local and free and I could go as fast or as slow as I wanted to. It worked well, but every time I’d pick up the pace, Hugo would stop for a smell. That was fine if I was walking him, but it wasn’t much use for a workout. There was also a sexual assault on two single women in the woods, and I was promptly banned from the woods without an escort. Ahh yes, the fitness buddy I no longer have.
So I needed something else.
When my brother (who also has CRPS) was on the Pain Management Programme, he learned an exercise programme that the medical staff referred to as “body conditioning”. With two of us having the condition, we initially implemented the new fitness regime as a whole family, and it worked.
If you have ever done a monotonous workout on your own, you’ll know it’s not something that you want to stick with. Sure enough, after eight days of dull workouts, I was done.
Enough, I decided, exercise simply wasn’t for me.
You know where that got me.
Today, I decided I had to pick back up with getting fit, I HAVE to – heart disease and diabetes really aren’t an option. I’d heard good things about Zumba so I decided, in the comfort of my own living room, let’s give it a go.
The first task was getting my Chromecast to work. I asked Google to find “Zumba workouts for beginners”, and she instead found 6 results for ‘Numbers for beginners’.
Really, Google? Really?! I’m fat, not stupid!
“Okay Google, Find Zumba workouts for beginners on Youtube”
“Okay, here are some suggested videos. Which one would you like?”
Google found ‘samples of cats for beginners’ on Youtube. I was introduced to various breeds of cats, on Youtube, and what’s so good about them.
This was painful, even without the burn.
It took a good eight attempts, but I was eventually able to work with Google for long enough that she played me a 10 minute Zumba for beginners” video, by Nestlé.
That was great! It was fun, enjoyable and relatively painless, so I moved on to the next.
The problem with this video is that there is no talk through, you just have to kind of watch and do it. There was hopping and skipping and energy and I had no idea what I was doing. Overwhelmed and frustrated, I asked Google to stop the video.
Time for something else.
I managed this video okay, right until we got to the right-back-left bit and the twirling around like a spinning top. If you aren’t someone who works out to this type of video and doesn’t know all of the moves, you end up doing anything if only to demonstrate some sort of coordination. Far from any kind of dance exercise, I was vaguely aware of my resemblance to an abandoned satellite, bouncing around in the space that was my living room.
Zumba (and dance workouts, on the whole) definitely got my heart rate up, but if I’m honest, I don’t know that I’ll do them again. I said no, but then I said yes, so I’m saying maybe? I hated the Zumba enough for sure that I felt like nothing short of an idiot and I knew for sure that I had absolutely no desire to join a Zumba class. If I Zumba at all, I will do so entirely from the comfort of my own lounge.
What do you think? Have you ever tried Zumba? How did you get on? Do let me know in the comments!
Until next time,
Stay safe & have fun,