I LOVE taking group fitness classes. (Well, compared to any other form of working out, I “love” classes.) Working out is SO much more enjoyable when I am with a bunch of other people, jammin’ to good music, and have some big strong person motivating me to “Keep Going!”, “Don’t slow down!”, and “Get it Girl!” It’s so much better than working out by myself. I am not very good at yelling at myself to work harder, I end up convincing myself that my walk to and from work counts as a workout, and then rewarding my “workout” with chocolate.
These workout classes are great for my health, fitness, and all that jazz… but not so great for my attitude. Taking lots of aerobics classes over the last several years has turned me into a complete workout class brat.
First of all, I have two scenarios I imagine in these classes (especially Zumba). They are as follows:
1) I am auditioning for a music video.
2) I am performing in front of thousands on a Broadway stage.
Due to my two imaginary settings I must stand front and center in the class. It is terrible to stand in the back of a class! How can you stand it Zoey??? You See, Zoey prefers standing in the back. I joined her on purpose once and almost died. It is so crowded back there! I could not fully perform, and there’s no way the judges could see me back there! My motivational scene was completely shattered.
Another reason I love getting to stand in the front row is the extra attention from the instructor. My Monday night Zumba teacher loves making eye contact with me while saying “Get it girl!”, “You go girl!”, “That’s hot!” Last week he even gave me a high five when I quickly mastered some of his new choreography. He may as well have stuck a gold star on my forehead.
About 5 years ago, one instructor actually took me to her boss and suggested that I get trained to teach aerobics myself! (I’m sure she just wanted to me get out of her class and stop hogging the front row.) I don’t care though; it was like I’d finally been chosen after all that auditioning.
I was a little nervous about getting up on a stage with a microphone attached to my face in front of 40 women to teach my first step class, but the second I stood on the stage I became the “teacher”. Anytime I am stood in front of a large group of people (any age) I cannot help but get into teacher mode.
One Christmas Eve I actually said “1,2,3 all eyes on me!” when trying to get everyone’s attention for a family game. It’s what I do.
So, tonight is Monday, which is Zumba night. After begging, threatening, and harassing, I finally convinced Zoey to come with me. We go through this EVERYTIME we go to the gym.
An amazing professional dancer teaches this class, and his class is fast, tough, and the most fun I could possibly have on a Monday night. Except not working out, and staying on the couch eating chips and chocolate all night, but that tends to have an opposite effect.
Anyways, this class is so popular that people start lining up to get in over a half hour before it starts. When 7 o’clock finally hits, and the doors open, it’s a mad dash for the prime spots. It’s like Target on Black Friday. There are so many women squished into this class that after 30 minutes of dancing it becomes so hot that the mirrors and windows fog completely up with steam, and we begin slipping and sliding in our puddles of sweat.
Tonight, I had to work a little late, so Zoey and I got there only 5 minutes early. By the time we got into the class we were stuck in the very back. Ugh.
Then, this woman (let’s call her Betty) walked through the crowd and stood literally right in front of me, I mean like SPOONING herself against me right in front of me. You couldn’t have fit an Olsen twin between us.
My first thought was that Betty has obviously never done this class and is unfamiliar with the amount of bumping and grinding we do. Either that, or she was looking for a good time and thought I was her type.
When the music started I backed up and away, but Betty kept backin’ up into me, over and over again. To make matters worse, she was a terrible dancer. Another downside to standing in the back of a Zumba class is that I cannot focus on the teacher at all….I cannot help but watch all the people with two left feet in class. I know it’s terrible, and I know I’m completely judgmental, but it’s a train wreck back there!
After being punched a couple times from my new dance partner with flailing limbs, I told Zoey I was ready to go. We spent the last half hour stealing ab machines from the macho boys in the weights department.
I might behave like a “back-row Baptist” when it comes to my spot in Zumba class, but after tonight I know it’s a habit I’m not willing to give up. Zoey, you and Betty can have the back, I’ve got an audition to make, and a show to put on!
Cheers! (As I take a bow.)