I’m not an exercise enthusiast. I would rather eliminate everything unhealthy from my diet than go to the gym. I hate the gym. The last time I tried it I always had people coming up to me telling me the ‘proper’ way to use the ab machine and I always used to say ‘Hey! You’re lucky I’m even here, on this ab machine thingy, making movements. Don’t come over here and talk to me and tell me how you think I should be using this thing…I’m making it my own. Leave me be.’ Trainers practically stalking me trying to get me to sign up for personal training. Seriously, get away from me, I’m just trying to survive this hour of torture, far less perfect it.

I tried yoga too. I’ve heard so many doctors and therapists tell me I need to do yoga, I suppose because of my personality or my inherent insanity or something. Yoga was supposed to calm me down, help me focus, help me to clear my mind and quiet my thoughts and all that. It did. Well the first class did anyway. Then life got crazy and as such, all the pranayama and meditation in the world couldn’t keep me from worrying and being all crazy on the mat. Heaven bless Katherine Long though, of the Akasha Studio on Long Circular Road, because she is a great teacher and a great person.

All those torrid love affairs with physical activity behind me, I’ve moved on to my new fitness trial and so far I’m pretty impressed. ZUMBA!!!! Yay Zumba! Middle-aged-stay-at-home-moms have had a love affair with this aerobics-cum-latin dance exercise craze for a while now (I first heard about it from my Aunt in New Jersey when she used to tell me about Butts and Guts and Booty Camp and all those suburban housewife pre-occupations). A few of my co-workers had gone to the classes when it first started in Trinidad and they had really positive things to say, and I figured since Latin Dance and Football were the only two active things I’ve ever enjoyed in my life, it wouldn’t be incredibly out of character for me to give Zumba a shot.

I decided on Studio Zumba because most of people I knew who had done it had gone to classes there and spoke really highly of the instructor Sharon. My first class was in Long Circular Gym last week Tuesday and boy oh boy, did I feel uncoordinated. Faye Ann Lyons was in the class, kicking everyone’s ass, naturally, but there was also this super granny who was putting me to serious shame. I can’t believe I’ve forgotten so much of what I learned in Latin Dance, I was fighting up with the most basic of salsa steps. What the what? I thought the body’s not supposed to forget. Maybe the body doesn’t forget but the mind does. Oh well.

In any case, despite the initial embarrassment (which quickly wore off once I saw the people at the back of the class doing a lot worse than I was and still having a good time) I decided that Zumba could be a shit load of fun. I figure I need to let loose a little more and stop concentrating so much on getting the steps perfect and just work on keeping up with the rhythm of the music. Hopefully then the steps will come back to me right?

I’ve been to two classes so far and I went ahead and bought the ten class ticket because I feel like I need that additional motivation to keep up with it. It’s not incredibly taxing on the body and you can decide how intense the work out will be for you. If you squat a little lower, tighten your core a little more, this can actually turn out to be a great work out and a lot of fun, particularly for us Trinis who like to wine down to the ground (a concerning amount of more ‘mature’ ladies in these classes by the way, with pretty loose waists).

I hope anyone who is looking for a great way to work out and de-stress (cause I think about nothing but Zumba/Dancing/Music in these classes so far and it’s a great break from all my usual pre-occupations) check out the Studio Zumba page on Facebook and drop in on a class. Maybe you won’t regret it.

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