Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Fat Woman does Zumba

Ditch the workout, join the party!  (Zumba advert)

Fat Woman didn't actually want to ditch her workout because she has invested a lot of time (and money) in working with Personal Trainer. Fat Woman enjoys her workouts and has no intention of giving them up. Fat Woman has also been to some pretty dubious parties.

Fat Woman has a Not Thin Friend who has been attending the Beginners Zumba class at the gym. Fat Woman agreed to accompany Not Thin Friend on the grounds that if the ultra-uncoordinated Not Thin Friend could manage Zumba so could she. So although Fat Woman didn't totally buy in to the promises of fun and frolic made by the pedlars of Zumba DVDs she was hopeful that a Zumba class would be cheerful and uplifting with lots of energy and smiles.

Fat Woman has no idea that is was possible to make dancing such a tedious experience.

The only class Fat Woman has been taking at the gym has been Aquarobics. The Aquarobics class is full of friendly ladies who chat and have coffee afterwards. The aquarobics instructor is dynamic and funny and instructs, correcting them if they have things very obviously wrong, and interacting with the class. Fat Woman likes Aquarobics so much that she will get out of bed for it on the day after seeing Personal Trainer. The fact that Fat Woman gets out of bed at all on the day after seeing Personal Trainer is still a wonder to Fat Woman, but as stated many times before Personal Trainer looks after Fat Woman and only gives her so much punishment. Personal Trainer is also cheerful, energetic and engaging.

The instructor for Beginners Zumba does not engage with anyone, except perhaps her reflection in the mirror. Zumba Girl (as Fat Woman has disrespectfully tagged the instructor) doesn't know the name of anyone. Nor does she speak to anyone individually. Following the instructor's lead there is minimal chat over water breaks, and even minimal smiling between attendees. Zumba Girl looks in the mirror for nearly all of class. Each week Zumba Girl walks the class through the major parts of the routines and then dances the routine. There is no rehearsal, the class is expected to copy Zumba Girl and try again next week. Fat Woman is happy with the walk throughs, but there are quite a few movements which are not explained. Fat Woman is under the impression that the way attendees are expected to learn is by attending week after week after week. Fat Woman thinks the instructor could be replaced by a 45 minute instructional DVD.

Fat Woman has a good sense of rhythm and loves music. Fat Woman is still over 300lb and as a consequence is very slow in moving. Fat Woman is feeling a little better now her wobbliest and most outlying regions have disappeared but is still an elephant in a room full of chihuahuas. Fat Woman counts herself as lucky that she has cast iron self-confidence and is happy to make accommodations for herself without feeling crushed. Fat Woman suspects that a couple of the new people attending this week were not so lucky.

The Zumba routines taught by Zumba Girl are not the simply step-step routine shown on the Official Zumba Website. Zumba Girl teaches routines requiring you to be constantly bouncing on the balls of your feet. Official Zumba videos show people moving one foot forward and back. Zumba Girl starts on the other foot, switches weight once the second foot is moved and then bounces back. Double bounces are frequently required. This makes the workout much more energetic but also more difficult for Fat Woman. Fat Woman modifies the workout, leaving out the arm movements until she gets the steps right.

Fat Woman is also disappointed by the lack of South American gentlemen but suspects that was just marketing puff.

Fat Woman has attended two Zumba sessions and definitely made progress at the second lesson. Fat Woman has found a nice place to stand where she can see the instructor but is also behind two quite competent people, one of whom always gets the moves right. Fat Woman thinks keeping in time with the music is good for her speed requirements so will go to class again next week, but only because the class is a useful warm up for a proper gym workout with weights and is nominally more interesting than a treadmill session.

Fat Woman knows that Personal Trainer is way too professional to laugh at a client doing exercise but thinks he would be forgiven a private snigger if he observed Fat Woman in Zumba action. Zumba class is held in a mirrored studio so Fat Woman has a visual reminder of how inelegant and hefty she is in comparison to the slight women in front of her.

After Zumba class Fat Woman went and played with the kettlebells and felt like she'd had a proper workout.


No comments:

Post a Comment