I promise you that's what went through my head as I skipped and hopped across the floor, stopped, rolled my hips, popped my butt and did the samba ... all on beat ... at my Saturday Zumba class. I mean. Everything started out fine.
Latin rhythms and Caribbean music pulsed from the speakers. I was feeling myself as Jamaican music implored me to 'Wind it, girl' and Flo-Rida told met to "Lift it, drop it, shake it, pop it" 5 minutes in, along with a slew of sexually suggestive lyrics.
OK. Heeeeeyyyy, now!
I can do this, I thought. I am 40, but ba-bay. I used to break it down .... back in the day. Well, actually a long, long time ago. But I digress. We did not call it twerking back then. But we used to ahem... drop it low.. freaking on the dance floor. This is how I know there's a God. Because there is no video evidence of my foolishness to haunt me or make my kids throw up.
And so now I'm Zumbaing (is this even a word?). Making it work. Getting this workout in. I'm in the back of the class (this is only my third Zumba class in life and ain't no way on earth am I going in the front). I'm feeling good. Like, I got this. Our teacher is Black, lithe, little and in her 30s, I think. So I try to keep up with her, not the older Asian women to my left. Sorry.
I did my best to keep up.
Some of the moves were very 90s hip hop inspired. I am too old to remember any of the dance's names. But trust me, I did them at some point. I swear, we did a 2015 version of the Kid 'N Play. And Bey would have been proud of how I popped it on that Zumba floor. All I was missing was a chair.
I felt good.
But by 15 minutes in, I wanted to choke Sean Paul's ass for telling me to "Feel Alright." Fuck him. And by 30 minutes in, I wanted to kick my own ass. Then I remembered that I am about to turn 41. No, my body began reminding me. Whomever sang "These hips don't lie" never met these 40-year-old hips.
Damn you, too, Shakira.
But then, the more complicated routines came.
Standing kicks across the room.
Salsa it out.
Work your butt.
Shit. Don't I get a break? I am quite sure Zumba is going to kill me, literally.
At one point, myself and two Black women to my right just stopped and sweated. We were out of breath. Damn the little skinny ass Zumba instructor telling us to "Work it!" as she flitted around the room effortlessly. The Asian women on my left had stopped a long time ago.
I am super competitive. And Lord knows my heart. I tried. But I was sweating like a pig. And my knees started to hurt. And my sports bra was failing the girls and I was getting boobie whip lash.
I was struggling and needed Zumba life support.
I thought someone might have to do CPR at some point. I quickly tried to scan the room to see if there was a defibrillator in the room on standby just in case I needed it. And I had left the baby Aspirins in my purse, in the trunk of my car. DAYUM! This is NOT how I wanted to go out.
In my mind, this is how I wanted to Zumba. I got Zumba dreams and aspirations, you see.
But in real life, it was more like this:
My heart rate craved the "breaks" where all we did was move our arms and slowly swerve our hips like we were werking an imaginary pole. By then, the hour-long class was over. Thank you, Jesus. There is a God. My heart rate was still up, and my knees still ached. I can't pop it like I used to. I left class and sat on the weight machines. The instructor walked by, smiled and said,
At that point, my face was even hurting. Not to mention my ass. But I managed to whisper, "Thank you" and mustered a weak smile.
I hobbled home. My husband took one look at me and said, "What's wrong with you?"
"Zumba," I said through clenched teeth.
"Do you need a massage?" he asked.
I did, but I said no. Too proud.
"Maybe I'll show you some of my Zumba moves," I said. Then I crawled into bed and fell asleep.
My body won't let me forget the torture, and I'm feeling it this morning.Where's the Aspercreme and epsom salt? And I just might take my husband up on that massage offer. But no Zumba moves for him just yet. Not sure if my knees and back can take it.
And there's another Zumba class at 4:30 today. Lord, help me.