So recently I tried Zumba. I’ve been thinking about trying it for a while, and for the past few weeks I’ve been lurking outside the class, sizing up the dance moves and the participants. I was a bit worried that I would be the least coordinated, most jiggly person there. See, I live in a city that is known for its Beautiful Women—here in Southern California it seems that somehow everyone is 22, tanned, and gorgeous. Except me. And, as it turns out, most of the participants in my YMCA’s Zumba class! Hooray for sassy old ladies and one middle-aged bald man!
Anyway, I snuck in just as class was starting and found a spot in the back. To my right was the lone male member of the class, who may have just been there to check out the instructor (she was hot, so I can’t totally blame him). I was a little uncomfortable at first dancing all sexy-like next to a guy, but then I remembered that I’m almost 40 and at the very tippy-top of the “healthy” section of the BMI chart…so the poor guy was probably not going to get whiplash from being around me. To my left was a Workout Queen in brand-new spotless white shoes, makeup, and a super-cute outfit. I was a little nervous about her. In situations like these, I like to be surrounded by mediocrity so I can blend in. She looked like she might just kick Zumba’s ass, leaving me and Mr. Shufflefoot in her dust.
Turns out I didn’t need to worry about her—she seemed not to like the whole sweat factor involved and left the class within 10 minutes. What I needed to be worried about was Zumba itself. Don’t get me wrong, it was a ton of fun. I jumped around with a huge smile on my face for a while. Because I wasn’t standing where I could see a mirror, I figured I looked like Britney Spears back in the day.
Or maybe even Shakira.
I love my fantasy life.
But then something happened, we all shifted over a few feet, I’m not even sure how, and…there I was, in the mirror, Zumba-ing in living color. I realized a few things with that first glance in the mirror.
#1. At 5’7”—which is really not all that tall—I was one of the tallest members of the class. Somehow I had found a Zumba class for munchkins. I seemed to tower over all but Mr. Shufflefoot and one or two others. This made me stand out, and I DON’T like to stand out when exercising. Never, ever, ever.
#2. Turns out I don’t look like Britney or Shakira or when I Zumba. Not at all. Turns out I look like a chicken on ecstasy. A sweaty, sweaty, chicken on ecstasy. (To be fair, I haven’t ever done ecstasy so I can’t be entirely sure of how a chicken would look while on it. But I’m pretty sure that if some demented farmer gave a chicken ecstasy, it would dance around and think “Holy Hell! I look like Molly in Zumba!”)
The good news is, I’m slightly nearsighted and if I just squinted up my eyes a bit I couldn’t really see myself in the mirror. Of course, then I looked like a constipated chicken on ecstasy, but I didn’t care because I couldn’t see myself! I also couldn’t see the instructor, so I had to rely on a sassy old lady in front of me for the dance moves. I’m guessing that didn’t improve my performance, but again, with no visible image in the mirror I could assume that Me Doing Zumba = Hot, Sexy Love Child of Britney and Shakira.
Like I said, I love my fantasy life.
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