Zumba is sweeping the nation! Unless you are a guy or living under a rock, you probably already know this. I was aware that it was hot, but I realized just how hot when I went to this fitness conference last Friday. I was there to get certified as a spin teacher. And if I can be totally honest here, which most of the time I am, if you don’t count not talking about certain topics because I am concerned about what might happen to me professionally if someone in charge of hiring happens to google me, well to be honest, I am really impressed that the instructor of my spin class certification course was able to find stuff to talk about regarding spinning for EIGHT HOURS. To be fair, we had two 45 minute sessions of actually doing a spin workout, but the rest of it was just talking about indoor cycling. I wasn’t sure but I got the vibe that I was the only one who felt there just isn’t that much to say. Have you been to a spin class? It is a great workout but there’s not a whole lot happening… no choreography, no special tricks, just pedal your bike and don’t get your shoelace caught in the flywheel. I’ve taught spin before. You need fun music, to prepare to some intervals to keep the workout interesting, be entertaining but not obnoxious, and bam, you have a class people will come back to. It’s not rocket science.
I have to give the instructor credit for doing a fantastic job of being enthusiastic and informative, and giving us some sample workouts that flew by. I also really enjoyed her emphasis on bringing in the “back row” participants. Unfortunately my town only has serious athletes. I think you need to have a resting heart rate below 60 to be allowed to live here, but if I find a beginner in my class, you better believe I am going to make them feel welcome as rain in a summer drought!
Anyway, it’s been a while since I had to sit and learn for eight hours. I found myself taking gratutitous bathroom breaks and taking extended pauses on my detour back to my the spinning room to watch the Zumba sensation that was playing out before my very eyes. There were literally a hundred to a hundred fifty people learning to become Zumba instructors! It is mesmerizing to watch this many neon- clad people shake their booties in unison. If you ever get a chance to see something like this I highly recommend it.
I had been to Zumba class a few times before, only because my sister asked me to go. She LOVES Zumba. I think Zumba is ok. But now I am pregnant which is a major game changer. Ha! And you totally thought this post was about Zumba! And now you see the title of this post was actually a witty play on words! Anyway, pregnancy has been a major game changer (I know, I know, you are shaking your head at me like “Just you wait”). At our last prenatal appointment, the midwife was telling me how all her runner and ballerina clients have tough labors because they have such a hard time relaxing. I nodded like “Whatever I am so relaxed, I am not like those other anal retentive people you speak of. I will give birth like one of those women in Asia or Africa or wherever, who squats in a field, pushes out a baby, and goes back to work” except really who am I kidding. (The truth is I have never worked in a field. I’ve never even mowed the lawn, and I plan to take six months fully off from work when the baby is born). And I almost blew a gasket when this jerkwater lady showed up at Zumba 30 minutes into the 60 minute class and decided she needed be 14 inches from my spot. The room was huge, there were only eight participants and she was late. Totally uncool. But anyways, I guess I could stand to relax. After the midwife warned me of how important it was to loosen up my body, she said, “You should really use this time to explore forms of exercise like yoga and belly dancing.” I looked at Dan and rolled my eyes. I could pretend to be more relaxed than I was but I was not about to fully lie to my healthcare provider. So I was honest and told her, “Just so you know, that’s not going to happen. It’s just not.”
Later I thought a little more about it. I still won’t go to regular yoga; Yoga at my gym is hit or miss as far as getting a good instructor versus one with an annoying voice, and yoga at Yoga Pod and Core Power are too dang hot for pregnant ladies (It’s not like I haven’t given yoga a chance). My understanding is a pregnant woman’s core temperature should not exceed 102F, because then the fetus gets too hot and its not able to sweat like we are, so you don’t want to overcook it. The only way to actually know what your core temp is to take it rectally (EWWW!!!) so my preference is to just try and not get too hot. Prenatal yoga, I would be into, but truthfully, only to meet other pregnant women, preferably some that have older children because I have some questions about childcare; namely, how do you get a really good nanny? (ps “nanny” sounds so pretentious! But what I really mean is a babysitter with very regular hours, not like a hot au pair that lives with you and does your errands too. Although that would be nice, minus the hot part). Or do you just use daycare because they will go out of business if they harm your child and because they can’t just be sick or have their car break down and you are suddenly S.O.L. I have had some SUPER bad luck with hiring people off of Craigslist lately (that is a whole other blog post! See, I haven’t blogged because I have been too busy hiring and training people I found on Craigslist and then having them quit or fall off the face of the earth. Seriously I either have a highly irresponsible person or an unsolved mystery on my hands right now). So I don’ trust Craiglist. Which is why I need to go to pre-natal yoga to find out what is the deal with nannies/babysitters. Ok and maybe to relax.
And still, ix-nay on the belly dancing, but I always said, when I get pregnant, I am going to do all these fun forms of exercise I never do because I am swimming, biking, running, or doing something else to further my training. But then I looked at my pregnancy fitness regimen and it was like, running (lately more walking, ugh it feels so geriatric but I can’t breathe when I run anymore, which makes it no fun!), biking, swimming, and the occasional jaunt on the elliptical. So boring! Enter Zumba. I went this morning for the first time without my sister.
And I realized why people are nuts for this new Latin dance fitness craze. Let me put it this way: It was the first time I have done something athletic in Boulder and did not feel like it was a competition that I was losing. And believe me, if you could compete in Zumba I would be at the waaay back of the pack. My hips just don’t do certain things. And I can’t shimmy. I tried really hard when my pledge class did a dance to “Material Girl” for Greek Jam in 1997. They tried to teach me but eventually the girls gave up on me. But in Zumba, I looked around and realized no one else was so great of a shimmy-er either and the best part was NO ONE CARED. They were all like my mom’s age and wearing loose comfortable clothes and they were just dancing their asses off for the heck of it. And if they were having as hard of a time following the moves as I was, I know they weren’t watching me, because they were too busy watching the instructor, who was adorable and she had those cute two-toned Zumba pants with the tabs on the butt pockets that wiggle when you shake around. Maybe when I get good I will buy a pair too. I just wore a running outfit because that is the only fitness-wear I have. And I will get good, or at least better, because I will do Zumba once a week from now on, at least till the baby comes. Then it’s back to the grind. Or not, we’ll see. Like I said, game changer…
Other game changers: The midwife said to avoid any low-fat foods and to liberally eat fats, because that’s good for the baby and my tissues. It’s not like I have been swallowing sticks of butter or slugging back shots of olive oil, but WOW is it nice to not think about how much butter I put on my gluten free toast or to have to be anxious when I eat the eggs Dan fries for me because I just know he went crazy buttering the pan in a way that I would never do. Grilled cheese!?! Do you know how good grilled cheese is?? I used to maybe put a tomato and some mozzarella on a rice cake and toast it. Which is quite good. But I’m talking about muenster on Udi’s gluten free bread on a cast iron skillet with a generous pat of butter, fried slowly on medium-low heat for the ultimate, lightly browned, perfect, ooey gooey grilled cheese sammy. MMMMMMM! For dinner tonight I made tuna noodle casserole with a fancy butter flour cheese sauce and it was so creamy and delish!! Oddly I am not craving sweets, although I normally do. I miss enjoying sweets the way I used to although I used to wish I didn’t have a sweet tooth.
Also I cry every time I watch Boston Med. I am not sure if that is a new thing though, because I never watched it before the pregnancy. I also laugh every time a baby is born on the show. I don’t know why, there is nothing funny about it… Kind of like how people laugh when a rabbit comes out of a magician’s sleeve- not funy, but still makes you laugh. Do you watch Boston Med? Does it get you choked up?? I love that show because it is the only show I have ever seen that takes place in a hospital that is realistic. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Scrubs as much as the next person, but it’s not very realistic. Neither is Gray’s Anatomy. E.R, I am not sure, I only ever watched it in high school, before I had worked in like a dozen different hospitals. And I am happy to say one of my fears about pregnancy was that all the gross stuff (especially some of the smells) at the hospital would make me vomit, but thankfully that has not been an issue.
So there you have it; Anyone can Zumba, it really is a good workout, and hopefully something my mid-wife will approve of. I wonder if they make the Zumba pants in a maternity style. Which is moot right now, as I look basically the same as I did three months ago, in case you were curious.
Oh and another thing, everyone who has asked me what I training for this summer, and I have been really weird and vague about it, well here is your answer. I am not a lazy triathlete! I am growing an infant which is now the size of a lime according to Babycenter.com! Oh it feels so good to be able to say it!! It’s like unbuttoning your pants after a huge Thanksgiving meal.