A funny thing happened on the way to my goal weight…
Three years ago this week, when I walked into my first Zumba class, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. And by the end of that class, I had gotten my ass kicked so hard, that I was actually considering pressing charges.
As I was gasping for breath, and dry heaving in the corner, an older lady approached me and said, “You OK honey?”
To which I replied, “I feel like I am going to die. That was, by far, one of the worst things I have ever endured.”
She smiled, and said “Yes, I know it feels that way now, but you did it! You made it through.”
I stood up and tried to take a deep breath in between heaves,
“Yes, yes I did…and I don’t ever want to do it again.”
“So,” she said cheerfully, “see you Tuesday?”
I paused momentarily, and then nodded.
“Yep,” I stated matter-of-factly, “see you Tuesday.”
Clearly I had lost my mind.
Because I did go back.
I mean, I figured either one of two things was going to happen-
A. I would actually die-
B. it would get easier.
And apparently, since dry heaving while crying doesn’t ACTUALLY mean you’re dying, I guess I just figured I should keep going.
So this is where I tell you that what follows is not for the faint of heart. No unicorns and rainbows here, just alot of puking and ugly crying in the pursuit of athletic endurance. And I was in need of serious reinforcements.
Now, with that said, it brings me to mention the importance of knowing your body type.
Everyone has a body type. There’s an apple, a pear, a banana…
And by that logic, shouldn’t an hourglass figure be a butternut squash?
Hmmmm. Food for thought.
Wait…why are all the body types named after food?
Come to think of it, a lot of this stuff is named after food.
Cottage cheese thighs?
Never mind, I’m just making myself hungry.
Well, my body type is none of the above.
I had to make one up.
I, was a self proclaimed marshmallow (with two toothpicks for legs).
I felt like 2 tons of bricks balanced on top of two tiny matchsticks, and I was terrified of rolling an ankle while executing a series of complicated choreographed moves to some random Pit Bull song that required a ridiculous amount of rhythmic shenanigans.
And every day, I wrestled myself into that body shaper, like it was Fight Club, in a desperate effort to contain the jiggle, and to keep my muffin top from zigging when I zagged.
I wore compression stockings to keep my legs from feeling like they were going to fall off, and two industrial strength bras to secure my lady business, in an effort keep myself from getting accidently knocked out by my triple D’s.
I huffed and I puffed, and I sweated the house down, while constantly resisting the urge to flee…
Until one day, I realized, the whole hour had gone by, and I hadn’t looked at the clock- not even once. I had actually enjoyed myself, and was looking forward to the next class!
Who knew, that his jumbo marshmallow would shrink into a mini marshmallow, and be coming back for more?
I was that girl that would only run if I was being chased by a rabid wild animal. This new feeling of pushing the envelope was a big turning point for me.
And after that, I felt the boundaries of my comfort zone expanding, to slowly beckon me to test the waters of many new activities.
And a year later (and 150 pounds lighter), while at my goal weight, right in the middle of my Zumba class, I saw a girl out of the corner of my eye, doubled over, and trying to catch her breath.
In between songs, I walked over and handed her a bottle of water.
“First time?” I asked.
She nodded and looked up at me, and in between heaves she gasped,
“How the hell do you do this for a whole hour?”
I smiled at her, “It gets easier”, I said.
“That’s hard to believe”, she remarked in a doubting tone.
“I know”, I said, as the music began to resume, “but it’s true”.
And as I turned to go back to my spot,
I paused for a moment, and looked back as she stood upright.
“Thanks,” she grinned and gave me a nod.
“So,” I said cheerfully, “see you Tuesday?”