I have a confession to make – I’ve been exercising all my life but for the first time I actually enjoy it.
As a child it was P.E. and those awful one piece uniforms. And neighborhood games – kick the can, dodge ball, hide & seek – but since I was the ‘fat kid’ I was one of the last chosen.
In high school I played volleyball, basketball and softball but did it mostly for the social aspect of it.
As an undergrad my exercise was walking to and from class - but I do recall taking the shuttle as much as possible to avoid any walking.
My late 20’s & early 30’s were spent chasing after two small kids so exercise meant walking during my lunch hour - which was frustrating because it was so dependent on the weather.
I then joined the downtown YMCA and started using the treadmill and indoor track. I also began going to classes there with co-workers – step class, kickboxing, and weight classes. It all was truly ‘work’ though, not really anything I enjoyed. I even tried a stint at jogging which I called ‘slogging’ (short for slow jogging) but never experience the ‘runner’s high’ I had read about. Every step was a chore.
Then I took a Zumba class.
I was truly moved by the music – all of it. It did not feel like work, so much so that time in that first class flew by. I couldn’t believe I enjoyed moving for an hour.
I looked for more classes to take but couldn’t find any so I thought ‘Well, I’ll just take the instructor training course and create my own.’ And I did. In the almost five years I have been teaching I discovered I love teaching Zumba even more than being a student. Hearing someone say “That was so much fun” makes my day.
I still exercise in other ways but there is something about dancing to music and different rhythms which is almost effortless. The music really does ‘move me.’
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Do something you love and you won’t work a day in your life.” That applies to exercise too. Be sure to give Zumba a try – it is a great exercise program no matter what your age or ability. And I hope it moves you like it has me.
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