I Lost My Leg Muscles, and My Dignity, at Zumba…

OH.  MY.  GAWD.  I went to my first ever Zumba class tonight at Hip Circle Studio in Evanston.  Carolyne went with me, and we met up with our friend Abby, who has been doing Zumba at the dance studio for a while now.  I honestly did not know what to expect, but I can certainly tell you, I did not expect to lose feeling in my legs so quickly.

For those not in-the-know, Zumba is the Latin dance workout that is sweeping health clubs across America….essentially, it’s a high-intensity workout set to Latin dance music that uses the essentials of Latin dance to get your workout in….some cha cha, salsa, meringue etc. The beats are great, and what with my recent forays into yoga, where I’ve been building muscle and tone, I thought I’d be fine at it.  Lord was I wrong…..The class is taught by this wonderful woman, Malik Turley, who is a certified Zumba instructor. I was not at all intimidated going into the studio or with the other women in the class, and I was feeling pretty confident that I was going to rock out at this….until we got started.  Between me and Carolyne having issues figuring out which way we were moving, left to right, front to back, add in the arm movements and hip movements, and we honestly looked like two people who should be wearing helmets for our own safety.  Frankly, it is a miracle we (and those in our immediate vicinity) made it out alive.

After the first two songs, I was sweating like a pig, but felt good.  My heart rate was up (and in the preferred range for exercise), my muscles were getting a great workout and at this point I was still keeping up with the majority of footwork.  Three songs after that, I was convinced I was having a heart attack, breathing like I needed a lung transplant and my legs were shaking from extensive muscle trauma. I kept looking around at the women in the class, who were doing these dance moves and keeping up so well with Malik that  I thought “I am WAAAAAY out of my league here, what was I thinking?”

I cannot honestly say if it was the sheer will of God, me being determined to prove that I could finish the class without dying, my desire to earn activity points so I could have a hamburger for dinner, or simply attempting to retain what remained of my dignity that got me through the hour-long class without (a) falling, (b) having a heart attack, or (c) crying. Whatever it was, I can tell you this — I will NOT allow a Latin dance workout to best me. Ohhhh, no. That’s right, I’m putting Zumba on notice. I’m coming back for you, Zumba…..I will conquer you….next week (my legs need to stop shaking before I go for round 2), but I’ll be there.


8 thoughts on “I Lost My Leg Muscles, and My Dignity, at Zumba…

  1. Kelly, you totally rocked for your first class!! it took me weeks of feeling totally spastic to get to a place of liking it and now 8 or nine months in to it I love it! and am moving my hips for the first time in years (like just in the past few weeks did I start the hip stuff) Malik makes the class fun and talking is such a great distraction! I can’t wait to see you next week!!!

    Tell Carolyne she did great as well! the moves come with time!! as long as you are still moving it really doesn’t matter what you are doing!!

    1. Thanks, Abi, that means a LOT! I had a great time, but I have to admit that I was seriously unprepared for just how “intensive” this was going to be….absolutely well worth it, though. I’m going to ease in, go again on next Tuesday, and this time bring my pink cammo helmet to protect my self from any damage that I do waving my arms around in the air:)

  2. Kelly, I’m looking forward to seeing you next week! From where I was standing it looked like you were doing great! Let me know if I can answer any questions for you before next time.

  3. Kelly,
    I had the same experience when I started doing Jazzercise about a year and a half ago. I was doing a lot of kick boxing classes so I thought I was ok cardio-wise. 3-4 songs into my first Jazzercise class and I thought I was going to die. I have only done Zumba once but I imagine it is similar thing where once you learn the basic steps (and how to pace yourself), you will get through it fine. It should always be hard but you can at least feel confident you will survive. (: FYI- I prefer Jazzercise in that there is a variety of music styles- Hip-Hop, 80’s, Latin, country, current “radio-station” stuff, you name it.

    1. Michele – Good for you on jazzercise. I’m NEVER going to make fun of any of those aerobic workouts again. I almost died, but it was such a good workout. I’m excited to do it again next week and hopefully be even a little bit better.

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