I probably don’t talk about my Zumba class enough. The fact that it used to be on weigh-in day meant it hardly ever got talked about, but I don’t have that reason now.
So I’m gonna talk about it now.
I love Zumba.
If anybody really knows me, one thing they should know about me is how much I (used to) enjoy dancing. I used to go out all the time to clubs – with my parents, or with my sister, because I had no friends in Ireland, and also because my parents are a lot cooler than I let on – but since my back got sore, I don’t dance too much now.
Until February 2nd, when I had a horrendous weigh-in, walked home past the Jock Stein Centre and saw that they had a Zumba class on a Tuesday afternoon, decided that it might help me strengthen my core and lose weight, and signed up.
It’s only once a week, sure, but it’s once a week more than I used to do. It’s amazing.
Gillian, my instructor, is this little blonde bundle of energy, and she’s just…
GAH. She’s incredible. I want to be all of my instructors when I grow up. Can I do that? All of these women are amazing; I don’t know how they do it, I really don’t.
And the women in my class (my Zumba class has never had a guy in it – some of the regulars in my Spinning class are guys, but not in my Zumba class, no.) are just as amazing. Infectious. Agnes and Senga are older ladies (I’m not gonna guess their ages, but they’re older than 50) and they’re just brilliant, absolute characters. You can count on us three turning up for class, even if it is only the three of us.
And Agnes – I think it’s Agnes, anyway! – spends a half hour in the gym before doing our Zumba class! I couldn’t even cope with that!
But Gillian – our instructor – will catch your eye during class and give you a wink or a smile and it just. Somehow, it just makes your day and you’re grinning as you dance like a lunatic, even if you’re 26-and-a-half-stones of lard (and some muscle) wibbling around the fitness suite.
That’s the amazing thing, I think, about all of my classes. Nobody’s ever turned around and said: you probably won’t be able to do this next part. They’ve always said: take it at your own pace. Do what you’re able to do.
Gillian’s never berated me for not jumping (boobs, belly, black eyes, etc.) and certainly none of the other women in the class have ever given me that look of, “why are you here?”
I think that’s strange, how when I started going to the gym, that I was worried I’d get those, “what’s Fatso doing here?” looks.
And I never did.
Everybody else is too worried about themselves to – at least outwardly – look at me and judge me.
But moving swiftly on:
Today, we had a lot of fun in class, because Gillian’s going on holiday for a week, so we even had a new track.
Set to Cotton-Eye Joe.
Oh my god.
I’ve never laughed harder in my life.
It was like… I can’t even describe it. Thumbs in our waistbands and heel-toe heel-toe then bouncing to the side and doing yee-haws and grabbing partners and just…
I’m smiling now, even just thinking about it. My heart was pounding by the end of it, though. So much fun.
And then Agnes and Senga insisted on Dancing on The Ceiling for our cool-down track, and I gotta admit, I love that song now.
I went to talk to Gillian after class, to tell her to enjoy her holiday, and got a nice little surprise when she started telling me about how much of a difference she could see in me.
She said she could see it in my arms and around my waist, and we were talking about how Weight Watchers wasn’t working for me, and how some of the girls in her Body Pump class in another centre was doing Lighter Life and only eating 600 calories a day and still going to Body Pump, which IS INSANE and extremely dangerous.
That was a nice little surprise. I said to her that I obviously don’t notice the difference because I’m seeing myself every day, but I posted a photo to Facebook last week that, I think, shows a huge difference in my arm and upper back:
What say y’all? Noticeable difference, despite only a 3lb change in body weight, or am I imagining things?