Coming back from my hiatus to talk about something I love. Everyone who knows me knows it, so I may as well just come out and announce it: ZUMBA! I wanted to take some time to talk about my Zumba journey, how far I’ve come and where I’m going next! Unfortunately I don’t have a fascinating story chronicling dozens and dozens of pounds shed… but I must say, I never would have seen this coming.

I did Zumba for the first time with my college roommate probably a few winters ago. “You’ll love it,” she said. “It’s a mix of Spanish and African rhythms, and dancing, and working out, and it’s so much fun.” We’d been attending group fitness classes at Winona State together on an almost-weekly basis, which I prefer any day over just going to the gym to lift weights and work on machines. I HATE going to the gym for that reason; that approach has just never worked for me. I’m too self-conscious and not nearly self-motivated enough! I should also add that I have this incredible talent to fail at every sport ever invented; dancing and gymnastics were never in the picture, and I’ve never enjoyed running, either. Thus, I always felt like my workout options were limited, and it never interested me anyhow so I never worried about it much – I stuck with band and I was perfectly happy. :) But luckily after discovering yoga, I realized that if I were to work out, group fitness settings seemed most appealing to me, so that’s what I stuck with.

So that winter break she took me to a class at a gym back home where we’re both from, and man, I was ~DYING~ not even two songs in! But I pushed through and couldn’t get over how much fun I had. It was similar to the fitness classes we took at college, but BETTER. Everything coordinated with the music, which this music nerd loves, and I really pushed my limits and just had fun. I was able to attend one more random class before moving to Madison, and even though the classes had been so spread out, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that being in Zumba brought, and knew that would be what I needed to motivate me to stay in shape.

Mad props to Groupon for helping me find a gym to try out that offered weekly classes! After just a couple weeks I knew this was exactly what I needed more of in my life. It was just as fun as I remembered and I began to learn the value of going to class each week to learn routines better!  I began downloading music we danced to so I could listen in my free time because the songs were always stuck in my head. I would practice routines in the shower and going to class just made me feel so good about myself and so happy. I looked forward to those classes more than almost anything else! When the Groupon deal expired a few months later, I was ready to add more Zumba to my schedule. I searched tirelessly for gyms offering Zumba more than once a week, and finally decided that the YMCA was not only my cheapest option overall, but offered the most Zumba classes weekly. And, my current Zumba instructor (who I’d come to love and whose routines I had almost entirely memorized) taught classes there too, so it was a done deal!

I now am able to do Zumba up to three weekdays if I want, and I have weekend options as well… but tend to just stick to Monday and Wednesday nights. :) I still drive my boyfriend crazy with listening to the music we do in class and dancing around all the time, but I think he knows I’d be listening to Spanish music like crazy, even if not for Zumba! All the instructors at the Y are so energizing and inspiring that you’d have to actively try not to have fun in class. The two hours a week I Zumba are still probably two of the most fun hours I have any given week.

A month or two ago, my boyfriend dropped me off at the Y because he wanted to use my car in the meantime. While I was waiting for him to pick me up, my instructor walked out, and we said goodbye to each other. But then, to my surprise, she backed up and said to me, “Hey, you should think about becoming a Zumba instructor… you just seem to have this knack for how to move.” I can only imagine my flabbergasted expression as I thanked her for the enormous compliment and told her I had actually just been thinking about it earlier that day, but wasn’t sure whether I should go through with it or not. The Basic 1 training session costs $250, so I had been seriously thinking about whether I truly wanted to become an instructor or whether it was just a passing whim! Needless to say, I signed up for a training session that night and have not regretted the decision even for a second. Quite the opposite – I’m counting down the minutes until I get to say that I’m a licensed Zumba instructor – 9 days, if anyone was interest to know!

With that being said, I want to write another post or two in the coming weeks about the physical results I’ve seen so far, and how I’ve been working toward being healthier overall. I also want to talk about wearing my Vibram Five Fingers shoes in class! So much of my Zumba journey has involved me doing research online and scouring forums and blogs for information and opinions, so I want to make sure I do my part and give back and add to the discussion! I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on how the training session goes next week and maybe, just maybe, get back into writing on here more often. I miss it!

Stay tuned!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mom
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 08:28:43

    so very proud of you Amanda. You know what you want and you go get it. Great for you. Keep up the good work and good luck with the training class. Have fun too. :)


  2. Trackback: Zumba Love, Pt. 2 « Ramblings at Random
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