Category: zumba

Giving the heart its due

Giving the heart its due

Have you ever been in love with two people at the same time? If you have – tell me how do you pick? While the head clearly chooses one, the heart longs for the other. It only becomes worse when in your head you’re a practical Capricorn and think the choice is clear – obviously you follow your head, right? But despite your best intentions you cannot stick it out because your heart is not in it.
Here I am stuck between my two loves – the head says gym, the heart sings out Z.U.M.B.A.

The backstory:

This last year has been a bit of a downer on the health front. Tests revealed desperately depleted Vitamin D levels. The doctor prescribed strengthening exercises that were gentler on the bones. The head quirked an eyebrow at the heart even while nodding in wholehearted agreement. The heart sighed but knew it didn’t stand a chance.
Dutifully I gave up Zumba and took up gym membership. I could do this, I thought, after all these were the first friends of my fitness journey – my first loves. I said hello once again to treadmill and dumbbells.

… and I settled down

…. to the leg presses and bicep curls. ‘Look’, the head told the heart, ‘It’s not so bad, is it?’ The heart bobbed its head, like an employee who doesn’t quite agree yet nods to a rather overbearing boss.
The workout didn’t have the happy zing of Zumba but it offered the comfort of routine and as I began to gather speed on the treadmill and lifted heavier weights for longer counts the sense of achievement kept me going. Just as a a girl gives up the rush of a first crush for the sedate love and care of a married life, I began to settle down to my gym routine.

But it’s never easy

Right across from where i exercise there runs a Zumba class. Each time the door opens a waft of my favourite music floats out. As I watch the girls through the glass walls, twirling and jumping, I mentally go over the familiar well-loved moves along with them and my poor beleaguered heart feels a little squeeze.
In that moment the treadmill seems the drabbest thing on earth no matter that I’m running on it like I’ve never run before.
And I am beginning to feeling like that long-suffering employee who is finally deciding to hand in notice to his boss, like the woman who decides to give up her marriage to rush back into the arms of her first love.
The problem is – there is no overbearing boss, no boring husband – there is just me and my not-so-good knees.
My one hope now is that the vitamin tablets would have worked and the strengthening exercises would have done their bit. And then perhaps I can have a bit of both worlds. On a more serious note, if you have pledged your life to to exercise it pays to listen to your heart.
Friends and Fitness

Friends and Fitness

These past two weeks have been crazy with even crazier busier weekends. Just as I was thinking I’d sleep in over the weekend I got a call from one of my gym buddies. She has recently got herself a Zumba license. Now where does a newly minted instructor look for students to practice on? Of course right at her exercise buddies. That was how I found myself all excited and awake at the ungodly hour of 6 am on a weekend morning.

What??? 6 am IS ungodly for a weekend.

A little later, there I was with a bunch of friends and the brand new instructor. She was quite a pro and no I’m not saying that because she’s a friend. The best part – her mom came along to cheer her and shook a leg with the rest of us. And, just as moms are wont to do, she brought along a breakfast treat for all of us – tea, cookies and the freshest, softest, most delicious chutney sandwiches ever. 

Now this is a session I like!

Friends and fitness do make for great companions. Not for nothing are group fitness sessions so much fun. There are days when my freelancing work piles up or when the housework can no longer be ignored or I have a meeting at the kids’ school or simply when the laziness monster comes visiting – those are the times when exercise seems like a chore but the lure of a few good laughs with friends pulls me to the gym.

If you find exercising a bore too, look out for a group or enlist a buddy. They are seriously useful when you need that well-aimed kick in your backside to get going.

Linking to Mel’s # Microblog Mondays.

Also, linking to ABC Wednesday where I’m squeezing in the F for ‘Friends and Fitness’ even as G breathes down my neck.

#Microblog Mondays – Just Do it!

#Microblog Mondays – Just Do it!

Friends who have been dropping by would know for the past year or so I’ve been hooked to Zumba. I’ve blogged about it often. I can never get over the miracle that I can survive a dance class. Nor can my friends, it seems, since they use every opportunity to pull my leg about it, in a way only comfortable old friends can.

One day after a specially good session I happened to remark, ‘This track I can dance to, in my sleep’. And that was how I put my big fat foot right into my mouth. A little later, when the instructor asked ‘Who knows Bailando and can lead the class today?” I heard a bunch of voices chorusing out a name – yeah mine!

Damn!! Damn!! Damn!! was all my blank mind went while I tried to hide away wishing I would completely disappear. It’s one thing to stand in my inconspicuous corner and do my own thing and quite another to stand right there before the class. It’s like saying just because you can chat up friends you can deliver a speech – not quite the same thing huh?

This here was my nightmare.

However before I could protest, the music had struck up and there I was blundering my way through, forgetting steps I’d done scores of time, steps I knew well, steps that I did pretty well in my small corner! I wish I could say I was suddenly magically perfect like in the movies. I wasn’t. Let me just say I survived and wasn’t booed away. The girls are too sweet.

The best thing though is, that the dreadful dread is gone….. for ever. I might never do it again. But I know I can do it, I did it once, right? That’s so hugely liberating.

We shy off from doing things – fun challenging things – making a huge deal out of them. Sometimes we fear we will be less that perfect, sometimes we’re victims of our own self-image.

Breaking through all of that is freedom.

So from my new-found perspective I can tell you to dance that dance, sing that song, deliver that speech, run that race, get that LBD. Draw, paint, try a trek, take a dip in the sea – as long as you’re having fun and can laugh at yourself, chances are you’ll get by pretty well.

Don’t wait to be earth shattering. Don’t wait to be perfect. Don’t postpone joy.

Linking to for the letter D for ABC Wednesday

And to Mel’s # Microblog Mondays where we’re discussing superpowers. Do drop by.
7 reasons why non-dancers should Zumba

7 reasons why non-dancers should Zumba

Really does happen

The music is the awesomest 

It fills
your head completely. 
Your ears ring with it hours after the session is
over. No matter where you hear it even though you’re rooted to the chair or the ground
(yeah we‘re talking self-conscious non dancers here) you’re dancing in your
head every bit as well as your instructor does.

You make the coolest friends

that’s one of the most delightful outcomes. I mean how can you not bond with
people with whom you’re making a fool of yourself, each day for an hour? It’s
a partners-in-crime kind of bonding – the strongest kind.

It’s liberating … not have to worry
about who’s thinking what and about who’s watching. (Everyone’s too busy
getting their steps right, anyway). Only my two-left footed friends will fully appreciate how wonderful this feels. Nowhere else in the world would I try the stuff I do in that Zumba room. Okay.. maybe ‘try to do’ would be more
accurate but what the heck! it doesn’t really matter.

I totally adore this one.
‘Accidental solos’ 🙂
I do a lot of those.

It’s a no-pressure fun thing

This is no treadmill-
crosstrainer routine so it’s not a predictable, same-same everyday kind of thing. It’s a new day everyday. And it’s not a dance either so there’s no ONE PERFECT way to do it.

You collect endorphins for the whole

– that happy hormone that causes euphoria and tides you through stress.
Wiki tells me that exercising releases endorphins. It adds that smiling, eating
and gossipping also ‘do the trick’. Well Zumba takes care of the smiling bit (we
do a lot of that, I might add) and gossipping in the dance breaks is the norm.
Now if only I could grab a bite of chocolate along, life would so be complete.

Your stamina goes up like crazy

you can stay moving on your feet for one full hour – not just moving moving but
jumping, bending, lunging – well that’s stamina, right?

You might actually lose weight

that’s such a side effect – a desirable one – but a side effect nonetheless.

Linking to Write Tribe’s super initiative ‘7 days of rediscovering your blogging grove’ where we blog seven days in a row according to a format. Today we had to do a list and you just read mine. The idea is inspired by Darren Rowse. Go read other fun checklists at the Write Tribe blog.

100 Happy Days

100 Happy Days

Thanks to a blogger friend I stumbled across this site

This is what you’re supposed to do – post a picture of one thing that made you happy each day for 100 days. Isn’t that a wonderful idea? I desperately wanted to be a part of it .. but the daily commitment scared me. There’s something about a daily challenge that I find very daunting.. and a picture at that! Even though I’m notorious for picture-clicking it’s tough to whip out your camera at every happy moment. Some of them are to just be enjoyed and stored away in your memory, aren’t they?

So I’m taking a middle path. What I can and hopefully will do, is post a happy post at least once a week.

Since something super happy did happen yesterday here I go…

A happy surprise!

Isn’t a happy surprise the best ever? Two days back I forgot my iPod in the gym and was pretty heartbroken – one because it’s such a lifeline to my exercise routine and two because it was a birthday gift from my sister. I’d given up on it what with the scores of people coming in and out of the gym. But wonder of wonders.. the cleaning boy had kept it safe and handed it right over to me the next day. By God I could have hugged him. He seemed pretty overwhelmed as I gushed out my 100 odd thank yous. (Wonder what he would have done had I gotten out my camera to click his picture :-D)
That was happiness no 1.

Onto happiness No 2..

…which is also at the gym. I’ve been exercising more or less regularly for over 15 years now. And finally I’ve found my groove, as it were. Zumba –  a super cardio routine. It’s an aerobic dance that combines Latin and other international dance forms. Go here to read more. I’ve said it often enough that I’m not a dancer and so I was very apprehensive about the whole thing. But what absolute fun it’s turned out to be. That’s perhaps the only place I let go and have a blast, bad knees and all!

We’re a mixed bunch of girls/women.
– There are the really good ones who move like a dream.
– Then there are ones like me.. who just about manage to move to the beat without much grace – a 1, 2, 3, 4.. kind of thing
– Then there are others who don’t even get the beat.
– And finally there are some who should come with a ‘keep distance’ banner.. so uncoordinated are they. Hands and legs kick out in all directions.. off beat, off time.

I’m sure we make for quite a sight

But the thing is
It just doesn’t matter.

Everyone has a great time. There’s something wonderfully warm about being happy together. The icing on the cake is our super sunny-smiled trainer. Thank you P for a wonderful time each week!

Those were my happy moments. What made you happy today? Do share it here.
Cheers to a great weekend.

Linking to ABC Wednesday for the letter Z.