I Tried Zumba.. And I Hated It (Plus: Why Google Is Not Your New Gym Buddy)

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.

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 Elena’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 an any problem 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 me 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 afforementioned bridesmaid), I was on my own and having 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 everytime 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 Pan Management Programme, he learnt 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.

And 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 isn’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”, she 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 I 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. 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!

Be Bold Be Bright, Be Beautiful,

Helen xx

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One thought on “I Tried Zumba.. And I Hated It (Plus: Why Google Is Not Your New Gym Buddy)

  1. Rather than a response post I’d, thought I’d write a longish reply.
    Firstly Mr Wolfie, like me has impeccable taste in women, we love curves and a real woman, rather than a media stick insect. *Hums ‘its all about the base*
    Personally struggled to find an exercise that suits me. Walking is fine, but even as a bloke I’m concerned about attacks on my own. Flying kites is energetic, but more fun with friends if you lack confidence. It also requires a very nearby open field or area of parkland unless you walk/bus/or drive.

    Swimming is 5 star, but you need a pool round the corner if your on a low budget.
    I needed SOMETHING, hate gyms (although with a gym buddy I’d probably pop round to the local outdoor gym in the park, but not in the winter, or during Storm Ciara).

    With CKD and its treatment, I risk muscle wastage, and brittle bone disease!
    When I lived in the city I saw a subsidised class (at the time for ‘Chi Kung (Quigong) for for Health & Wellbeing, and needed SOMETHING. Quigong IS a non contact martial arts exercise at the local library. At first I was a bit anxious, first time in a class, PE for me at school was non existent (I was virtually a PE dropout due to anaemia and CKD) And the gym, a bit like heavily organised religion is a bit of a taboo to me! Often you’ll find classes combine a mix of Quigong and TaiChi, and differ from Beginners to advanced practice classes in complete silence (not for me!)
    I enjoyed the first class, a mix of standing and seated exercises, movement, working on heart, balance, breathing, circulation, coordination (sounds like a gym workout to me). And kept it up for 4 or 5 years, starting each term. My tutor also ran classes for people who’d suffered stroke, and the mix was mostly women, with a few men.

    I’ve kept at it ever since and can now more or less do a full warmup without too much effort.
    Cost is still the main thing, with 8 quid there and back for a 5 quid class, at the moment, I’m down to stretching and practicing at home!

    I should add that red took up bellydancing, and still goes on occasion and really enjoys it (with a few breaks) and whats not to like for a fella to see a girl who can really wiggle!:) There are, surprisingly quite a few plus sized bellydancers, NOT ALL of the skinny Carry films or guest starring in early Star Trek types!

    There’s some good news, a long slow sex session is thought to burn off in much in calories as a 30 min walk, and you can’t deny it can give an intense cardio workout:)
    Wishing all good health 🙂

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