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Wait...what? Zumba?

My life takes some funny turns. I surprise myself with surprising frequency, especially considering how many years I've had to get used to myself.

This bike thing, for instance: I did not anticipate commuting to work by bike 98% of the time, and I certainly didn't foresee owning two bikes and letting a perfectly decent car die in the driveway from disuse. I had no idea how much bike riding would change my life.

Then there was this losing weight thing. I had decided it was impossible, and had stopped thinking about it (sort of). As recently as October 16th last year, if you'd said I'd be almost 50 lbs lighter by April, I would've guffawed, but on October 17th, I set out on this journey.

Well, one thing about losing quite a bit of weight after a certain age is that the lack of firm substrate under the newly-loosened skin becomes really apparent. I've been thinking about expanding my exercise from biking and walking to, you know, exercise exercise. The kind that "tones and firms". Weights and stretches and things.

So yesterday I was inquiring about the workout room in my office building, which I haven't set foot in for more than five years, and my good pal Todd said, "Whatever you do, don't get involved with Zumba."

I'm all, "Huh?" Because I apparently do not actually live in this world. The fateful moment ticked over when I googled it. "Ditch the workout. Join the party." I was mesmerized.

I haven't actually started Zumba-ing yet, but I'm going to. I've found a set of convenient classes. I've ordered shoes (because none of the footwear in my collection--neither flip-flops, nor bare feet, nor Doc Martens, nor walking shoes, nor high heels--is appropriate for Zumba). I've identified some clothes I can wear. They're black, and they cover me up.

This is not the same as a few weight-lifting routines and stretches and crunches (my go-to-the-gym standard). This is dancing. Okay, it's not ballet. But it involves a degree of coordination--not to mention a degree of physical freedom--that I just don't have. Of all the many things dance requires, I have only these: I know left from right, and my rhythm's not bad.

But I'm large, I'm clumsy, I'm easily confused by instructions about my feet and arms, and I learn physical movements only very slowly. Despite the cycling, I'm not in terrific aerobic shape. What's more, I'm what you might call incredibly uptight reserved, and though I love the idea of shakin' my groove thang, translating that to an actual shaking of said groove thang is gonna be a huge leap.

...to be continued, I suppose. Anyone who's experienced Zumba: tell me about it.

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