I fought it for years – I made excuses about why it wasn’t for me…..friends I was wrong. I am IN LOVE with Zumba! It took finding the right teacher and the right location but I am now one of those crazy people who counts down the hours to cardio class!! (I so wish I was joking).
First, what is Zumba? It’s a Latin-inspired dance cardio class that draws from salsa, hip-hop, bellydance and uses music from everywhere. If you try only one new fitness adventure, make it Zumba. There are people of all ages, ethnicities, sizes and shapes SHAKING it. You can be a fabulous dancer or you can have two left feet and still get an amazing workout. Plus the music is so much fun the time literally flies. When’s the last time you thought an hour of sweating went by quickly?! Exactly!
Sidenote on the music: if you’ve seen “Rio” every, single song in it reminds me of Zumba. Especially the part where Blu says every song sounds like “Taco, taco, yah, yah, yah” (sooooo funny and so true!).
How did I become so obsessed? I recently gave up my gym membership in exchange for a YMCA membership…at first I thought the idea was crazy (gym = $25, YMCA = $50 a month)….but then I really did the math. YMCA includes unlimited classes (yoga, Pilates, TRX and ZUMBA!) plus a gym plus a pool. If I was to pay for 4 Zumba classes a week it’d be $30-40/week. So I get all that plus a gym with brand new equipment and no meatheads?! Yup, no brainer! The YMCA offers classes 4 times a week: Sunday and Monday classes are with the fabulous Stef Sweeney whom I just adore (more about her in a second)! Tuesdays are with Danielle and she is awesome and uses a disco ball in class! Disco Tuesday Zumba? You know you’re jealous! Wednesdays are with Kerri, the salsa queen and she is equally as fantastic. I’m so fortunate to have THREE fabulous teachers at my disposal!
So what makes Stef so fabulous? She is one of my favorite barre teachers (her signature lean & tone is beyond kickass) and hosts one of my favorite blogs (Simply Fit) with advice worth hearing, excellent tips for staying active and motivation. So when my friend Layne conned me into coming to Zumba a while back she used Stef as the bait -smart girl! Not only is Stef one of the most fun and encouraging teachers I’ve ever met but she’s just a great person too. She cares about your progress, she goes out of her way to make sure you feel welcome and she extends that to you whole family. Yup, this past Sunday I convinced Derek to join me for Zumba!! Apparently the planets aligned, it was a full moon or maybe he was just sick of my relentless nagging (what good are sisters if not to nag?!) – either way he joined me. He died a little bit he sweat his butt off and he discovered why I’m so obsessed (it’s exhausting, you can be awful and still burn a ton of calories and no one is judging you!). He also remarked how fantastic Stefanie is. She makes you feel like part of the Zumba family, she’s 100% in it with you (I’ve never seen someone get so excited about Zumba before!) and she *never stops* – she’s like the energizer bunny! I’m psyched he joined me and looking forward to some sibling progress pictures soon! The Simply Fit lifestyle is extending to the family – love it!
I really believe people are put into your path at the exact right time to change things up – Zumba and Stef came just as my work travel quieted down, my gym membership expired and my desire to amp up my cardio finally kicked in. I’m thankful for that perfect timing and thankful to have such wonderful, motivating people in my court. Thanks Stef!
So I’ve got a new schedule and it’s working quite nicely: Zumba Sun – Weds, circuits Thurs-Sat with one rest day sprinkled in for good measure. Hooray! After a monthish I’m already seeing changes in my body and my stamina – I can actually keep up without stopping in class! I’m sleeping better and noticing slimming in my stomach and my thighs. I can’t wait for October measurements/weigh in! If you’re in my area and up for a challenge come to a Zumba class with me, I promise you won’t regret it!