I shuffled over to my husband's office (across the alley from my building) to tell him my new plan: go home, drink tea, light my new apple cider scented candle, and wallow. Being the disciplined, highly motivated, wise man that he is, he encouraged me to not give up and instead attend the class I paid for.
His exact words were, "You should go, wife."
I pouted. "I don't wanna. I'm sad because my life isn't bright and colorful and happy every day."
With only a hint of sarcasm, he responded, "OK, Sponge Bob. But working out will help you feel better."
Knowing he was right did not help cheer me. But persuaded by the guilt trip, I walked down the hill to the gym.
Part of my reluctance to attend Zumba this week was because my instructor invited us to wear costumes. Apparently, the Tuesday five days prior to Halloween is close enough to warrant dressing up. When she said it in class last week, I rolled my eyes. Pointing to my spandex shorts and hot pink gym shirt, I told a classmate under my breath, "this crazy get-up is a costume!"
I believe there is a time and a place for dressing up (adult parties, primarily. Which I secretly wish I would get invited to. I would honestly LOVE to go to a costume party and do it up big). But Zumba class and office work are not such times nor places. Last year, Halloween was on a weekday. My co-workers dressed up, 80's-themed. I refused to participate on the premise that if I can't take myself seriously, how can I expect my clients to take me seriously, especially when addressing personal financial matters? Bottom line: I was a total stick in the mud. I stood out even MORE by wearing a stupid work-logo-sweater over a polo shirt and dress pants. Ironically, I did look like I was from the 80's.
Our instructor dressed as a mummy. For Zumba. Imagine this, please. She had white rags tied around her head, under her jaw (Mummy with Toothache, perhaps?) and more tied around each wrist, with long strips flowing off each hand. She turned most the lights in the room off, handed out glow-in-the-dark bracelets, and turned on a few black lights. My monologue of scoffing continued. Really, people? This is how we, as adults, choose to exercise? A few other students dressed up (hats, face paint, safety-pinned tail, etc). I was embarrassed for them.
But then something happened. In the dimly lit room, dancing to songs with ever-increasing volume, I started having fun.
Having the lights low helped somehow. I was less self-conscious. I noticed my classmates moving more freely than usual, too. Who knew Zumba in the dark was a good idea?! There are still several songs I can NOT get the hang of, but I just danced and had fun. When in doubt, shake your hips. We worked our way through the regular play list: Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen, Chocolate (Choco Choco) by Soul Control, Zorba (Greek) by The Gypsy Kings, Slide (Calypso, Salsa, African). It was a riot. I stopped exercising to impress anybody and just enjoyed the movement.
Then, a new song started. It was a Zumba-fied version, but it was unmistakable. Thriller. I am ashamed to admit I had never listened to the whole song before (never knew Vincent Price said all that scary stuff at the end). But now I've danced it. People in the brightly lit hallway outside our classroom peered into the room through the glass door. I don't know who found it more amusing: the onlookers, finding costumed women dancing in the dark, or us, living our dreams of music video performance.
That that, 80's theme!