Christina Ruotolo

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What Was I Thinking? Zumba Anyone?

My neighbor recently invited me to join her in a Zumba aerobics class. Zumba uses Latin and salsa dancing and is not as painful on the joints as a high impact aerobics class would be. I being the past dancer and avid night clubber, thought that this may be a good opportunity to get back into exercising and may be a good way to get the small amount of exercise that my doctor recommended. With my twenty minute gym tour over and fresh, crisp seven day pass in hand, I was ready.

All I can say is what the hell was I thinking? I haven't exercised in over ten years and other than the occasional night of dancing at the club, I have put exercise on the back burner, really for fear of pain or that I am already in so much pain that the thought of moving my body that much makes me feel pain.

The class started off with great music with pulsating Latin beats and deep stretching in a small room surrounded by twenty women and 85 degree heat. Right after the first song ended, the lean, instructor put her hands in the air and everyone yelled "Zumaba." Oh, Lord help me!

I did pretty good and loved being one with music again. I swayed to the Latin beat, sweating buckets, but a part of me that had been dead for so long started to come alive, one samba beat and waist shake at a time. It was exhilarating, fun and I felt free again. I felt alive if only for that one hour. I loved the movements, butt shaking, hands moving and the motion my body made.

I felt twenty again, on a stage under hot lights, crowds of people looking at me. I'm swaying across the stage moving the layers of my colorful samba skirt, black paten heels, digging into the floor and I am smiling. I had to come back to reality, but was impressed at how much dancing came back to me. It made its way back into my soul. I didn't want it to end, other than the fact that after one hour, I started to feel my sweating body start to harden.

After class, I walked out with my head held high and I felt like me for the first time in years. But that glorious endorphin high was just that, a quick moment of splendor followed by a night of grueling and searing pain. Every muscle, bone and ligament in my body ached and screamed for mercy. I apologized to my body telling it I was sorry for doing that, and tried to explain to my muscles that it will never happen like that again.

I loved the Zumba class, but I couldn't walk for three days and still just thinking about that pain, makes my neck twinge. So my seven day gym pass turned into a one day trip back to never never land. At least I still have my dreams that can take me back to Dance, Samba, Zumba amd any other dance where the beat fills me with rythme and life lives in me once again.