The first rule of comedy states that if you have to explain the joke, it’s not funny. I don’t really think Friday’s comic needs clarification, especially to anyone who’s taken Zumba (particularly at my gym, we’re all over the place), but the inspiration is worth mentioning.

Getting back to a more regular fitness schedule, I had to choose which classes I started with carefully. Given the chance, I’m a person who will overdo-it, without thinking that I am at the time. If I jumped back into cardio boxing for example, I’d get into the music, get pumped by the energy in the room and be jumping around whaling on the bag until I landed myself back in the hospital, or at least shuffling around wheezing and unable to lift my out-of-shape arms for days (I know, sexy right?). So, I figured Zumba was a good place to start for a bunch of reasons:

  1. It’s good cardio.
  2. It’s a full body workout and after months of being curled up on the couch (literally) I needed to shake it all out.
  3. If you can’t do all the bouncing, there are lower impact options that are still great exercise.
  4. The music is really fun and high-energy.
  5. I really suck at it and trying to figure out the moves slows me down. Normally, that’s very frustrating but at this stage it’s a really good thing.

I think I’ve mentioned Zumba here before, but just in case; Zumba is an aerobic exercise class that is inspired by Latin music and dancing. Lots of mambos, salsas and cha-cha-chas. So when I say “I suck at Zumba”, what I mean is I’m pretty sure that if I ever find myself in South America, I’ll be asked to leave.

But, sucking at something isn’t usually a good reason to quit which is why I have my rule of three (I have to go to a class three times before I decide if I like it or not). It takes a couple of tries but Zumba is a lot of fun. The first class is frustrating and hard to keep up, the second you start to get it a bit, and the third is kind of a party.

Zumba seems to suffer from an embarrassment factor, “I couldn’t do that, I can’t dance”. Here’s the secret: None of us can and nobody cares. We’re all spinning around in different directions, making it up as we go, completely off tempo and trying to remember which foot is right and which is left. It’s gotta be like herding cats but somehow the instructors never seem to miss a step.