I joined the YMCA at the end of March and have been using their equipment (the elliptical, mostly) 2-3 nights per week after work. I've noticed a big increase in energy and I've lost about 10 lbs. Booyah!
To keep myself motivated and avoid boredom, I enrolled in Zumba. I knew nothing about it except that it was an aerobics class offered one night a week which appealed to me for a couple reasons: 1) You can only glide in place on the elliptical so long without going crazy, 2) camaraderie is a good thing, especially for weight loss and 3) paying a class fee is motivation to attend each of the sessions (six weeks total, I think).
I Google-image-searched "Zumba" and wondered what the heck I'd gotten myself into (notice the chronology there? Enroll first, research later. That's how I roll).
I've attended two classes so far. For the record, it's nothing like the pictures I found online. The official website calls it a "program that fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind fitness program that will blow you away." I call it a low-budget music video featuring bad drunk dancing. The instructor stands at the front of the room and the students (20 or so women) follow her lead. We dance to a specific play list and each song is choreographed for maximum calorie burnage.
I am proud of myself for going, especially because I didn't know what to expect and didn't know a soul. It's actually fun. Music definitely energizes me, so choreography as aerobics is genius. I just hate how awkward it feels while I'm learning. Instead of teaching individual steps and then putting them together sequentially, the instructor dances and we follow along. I want a lesson plan. Preferably with hand-outs. I'd like to study and practice and master this thing. Then I'll feel comfortable standing in front of a wall of mirrors with a crowd. But no, that's not how it works. You follow along the best you can, and learn by doing.
Week 1 goals: 1) don't fall flat on my asset and 2) do not, under any circumstances, make eye contact with myself in the floor-to-ceiling mirrors.
Week 2 goals: 1) do not pout during the fourth or fifth song when I start feeling sluggish and especially uncoordinated and 2) have fun and keep moving, even if my dance moves aren't perfect.
I like the instructor a LOT. She has normal body parts with curves but she is not afraid to SHAKE that booty! She told us in the first session that she exercises for energy, not for weight loss. She has fibromyalgia and the medication she takes prevents her from losing weight, but she stays active in order to function. She has the biggest smile I have ever seen and she obviously enjoys dancing. I'd like to be her friend. She's one of those people that presents herself to the world like she's giving hugs: taking it all in, making the most of life, enjoying the ride. Her personality alone is energizing.