Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Finally I can stop moaning about exercising - Zumba works!

Over the years I've been at this blog I've moaned about exercising 11 times (looking at my handy label list on the left) - exercising or more exactly lack thereof. Let's face it, exercising is excruciatingly boring on a regular basis. It means doing basically the same thing whether it's a nice walk, a jog, a bounce on a mini trampoline or pounding the tarmac on a bike. Obligation and repetition kills it for me.

My DB was quite happy with my Renaissance woman look, but I felt a bit clogged up and creaky. It was a tad annoying too to listen to the disapproving tut-tutting from Pierrette my personal shopper when she came with bags of titchy designer size 38s and I couldn't get the trousers over my thighs...

Eventually, after noting that my sister-in-law was looking pretty svelte after a year of zumba, I decided to take the plunge and sign up. When I mentioned this to a buddy, she said she would do it too especially as she has a dance/exercise school 50m from their front door. As my village has one lesson on a Friday night at 7.30pm, a hopeless time if ever there was one, I went along to the village next door and had my pick of evenings and times. We signed up and paid for two lots of one-hour lessons and have been at it for nearly two months now.

The results are impressive although not everyone is happy, my DB in particular who is lamenting the loss of wobble. I go along and prance about, sweat and puff, and enjoy the combination of Latin dance and exercise, and then go back to my pal's house and have an apero and a natter. Who knew it could be so effective and entertaining? Here's the sort of thing we get up to:

My dancing days go back to doing ballet when I were a wee nipper. I knew my destiny was not the Royal Ballet when I never got chosen to be the butterfly at the end of the class. Only the good dancers got to be the butterfly. The sodding teachers couldn't even rotate the honour! A lesson learned young, I can tell you.

Not to be discouraged, however, I took some tap classes much later when I was a bored teenager, and did some jazz ballet too. I was never any good of course, but it kept me entertained, got me as far as managing to do the splits, and of course, was good exercise. I even went on a week's course with a friend up to Norwich I think it was to take prancing about in a synthetic silk circle skirt to a new level...

When I went to university I joined the jazz dance group for the exercise and the pleasure it gave even though I was still pretty useless. When I left and came to France, I bought Jane Fonda's Workout (remember that?) and regularly did the longer routine, leggings included. My ex-h learned how to dance le rock in 6 and taught me which meant on the rare occasions we went out and there was music, we could let swing and enjoy ourselves. I remember my pleasure was somewhat dampened at some point when he started dancing with a colleague who it just so happened had done a lot of dancing in her time and was waay better than me. It took much gritting of teeth not to hold it against her and detest her forever more. Fortunately there was no additional flirting to really piss me off.

My most recent foray into dance was when I bought the XBox Dance Central for the boys (and me) so they could have (girl)friends over for a laugh, and I joined in too sometimes. Then they went back to shoot 'em up games and I could no longer get access to the tele on a regular basis.

So, I suppose I have done enough dancing in my time to get the hang of zumba quite quickly and enjoy it, and having paid, will continue to go to the classes to the end of the year. At the end of the first class I was a wreck and had to take the easy movement options until I got fit enough to finish without collapsing.

I spent some time looking through zumba videos to find one that wasn't too annoying, and was amazed to see in some of them that blokes were doing it too. We have no men in our classes, only women and adolescents, and I seem to be among the oldest if I'm not the head old bat... Everyone dresses in unpretentious sports clothes, many, like mine, from Decathlon, and not official Zumba wear which costs an arm and a leg on the internet. So it's all quite parochial and friendly which suits me fine. My friend and I have a laugh, say hello to some of the others, and then go back to her house for a natter and an apero. Really, it's a most civilised way of exercising.

My stomach is flatter than when I used the lazy sod's answer to exercise - Slendertone - and my arse has shrunk, and that's just after six weeks or so! If my DB doesn't like it, he can always take me out for slap up meals to fatten me up. Now there's a good idea!