Today I cracked open disc three of my Zumba DVD set I received for Christmas. It was a present from my mother who knew I'd taken an interest in Zumba. I first heard about it when I met someone who'd lost 100 pounds with Zumba. I love latin dancing and my main criticism of exercise videos is the excruciatingly bad music. My sister-in-law's warning "you'll really feel it" did nothing but make me more interested.
As I tore open the wrapping on Christmas morning and saw the Zumba logo, I was elated. Then I noticed the word "gold" underneath "Zumba." Gold, I thought, that could mean advanced. Like, you'd win a gold medal with this Zumba. Okay, I can dig it.
Then I saw the plus-aged dancers on the cover.
They don't specifically say "for old people" anywhere on the package. I guess it wouldn't help their sales. It say things like "get grooving' at your own pace" and inside there are tips for alleviating arthritis and boosting memory.
Still, I thought, I'm not the most fit person, maybe it will work for me. I tried out the music disc before I left home and the music was great. When we got settled in our apartment I tried out disc one. This is the disc where they teach you the steps. Amidst the passive aggressive battle for dominance between Beta, the younger creator of Zumba, and Joy, the gold representative I forced my way through the instructions. If fighting boredom is exercise, I would have been fit as a fiddle afterwards.
The instructions are always boring, I thought. They'll speed it up in disc two, the cardio disc.
But disc three! Gold-toning! I mean, there's weights and everything. Unfortunately, the weights are incredibly light, possibly to save on shipping costs. They do make a lovely maraca sound when you use them. And the pace didn't improve much either. It's like doing tai chi to fast-paced salsa music.
Don't get me wrong, if you're 70 or 80 years old I'm sure it's fantastic. I'm not quite there yet though.
I decided to finish the disc anyway. I was gamely doing the slow-motion movements when I saw my downstairs neighbour out the window. The one who teaches cross-country skiing, and jogs while pulling her daughter behind her on a sled when she's not winning skijoring races. The one who would challenge a fiddle for fitness and probably win.
I am NOT ashamed of my gold Zumba, I told myself, mentally urging Joy to pick up the pace a bit. I determinedly stared at the screen and carried on.
Unfortunately I can picture what she saw. No, the tenants upstairs had not snuck in an adopted an elephant. It's just the slightly portly Mrs. Galloway, in her pjs and running shoes, hair awry, thumping away with her arm flung in the air holding the world's lightest weight.
Maybe I should take up a more northern pursuit. Like moose wrestling or mountain climbing.