Well, you know what they say, New Year, new you, so in the spirit of things I decided that now was the right time to start a new exercise routine. I'm not really one for the gym. I don't get the point of pounding the rubber on a running machine - all that sweat and you don't even get anywhere - and spinning just mystifies me. Why on earth does anyone want to sit on a static bike, pedal like buggery and pay someone for the privilege. Why not just get on a real, moving bike and pedal through the countryside for free? Likewise rowing machines. Just get down to a rowing club and do the real thing.
As a former student of the Legat School of Russian Ballet until just shy of my 23rd birthday, I do like to have a bit of a dance so zumba classes seemed like a good bet. I looked into classes for months but they were always on days or evening when I have other commitments so I was delighted (sort of) to discover almost by accident that the mother of one the The Girl's friends does zumba classes in the next village - and on a night when I am free. (Damn!) I mentioned it to my friend, neighbour and fellow blogger, A Modern Military Mother, whose brain is so addled by her New Year detox regime that she agreed straight away to be my fellow-in-public-humiliation.
So the allotted evening came and clad in suitable sporty attire (her) and a pair of 'Chav Mum' sweatpants, as my dear children so charmingly call them, a totally unsuitable top, The Boy's size 11 sports socks and trainers that are a size too small (me) we set off for the Social Club in the next village.
Once we had eventually found the class, I discovered to my horror that it was full of people I knew. That really wasn't in the plan at all. I don't mind making a tit of myself in front of strangers but shaking my booty in front of people I knew was not what I had planned. Still, it was too late to back out now.
The warm up started, so far so good. AMMM and I kept pace quite well, managed not to stand on anyone's toes or knock them off their feet with our exuberant moves and were only slightly out of breath. But then we moved onto the real thing.
The Teacher showed us the moves, which were fine in semi-slow motion but as soon as the music went on and we realised the pace of the dances, all was pretty much lost. If we finished a sequence of moves facing the right way it was a bonus. At the end of the first dance AMMM sidled over to me and asked if it was nearly over. We'd managed 15 minutes. 'I need water', she croaked. We looked at each other. Neither of us had even thought to bring any. Fortunately a friend came to the rescue and offered me some of hers. The urge to drain the bottle was nearly overpowering but I sipped it delicately to take the edge off my thirst.
The Teacher showed us the next routine, exhorting us to be 'sexy'. OK to say if you have a pert bum and a body where nothing wobbles, but when shaking your booty looks like a tsunami in slow motion, sexy it isn't!
As the class progressed, so did the complication level of the routines. By now my main concern was not causing anyone else a serious injury and I thanked god that we were in a social club and not an exercise studio with, horror, mirrors. I could imagine I looked like Beyonce even if the reality was more James Corden. At one point I caught sight of myself in one of the windows. It wasn't pretty!
To say I checked my watch every few minutes was no exaggeration but we made it to the end. The Teacher had worked up a slight sheen. I was leaking from every pore and my face was a mottled scarlet colour but, oh my goodness, was it fun! So much fun that we'll be back next week, a bit more prepared but ready to Zumba - and with a good supply of water
|This is how I imagine I look....|
|This is probably nearer the reality!|