Tag Archives: dancing

Fitness Party Lessons

29 Apr

I know I have rhythm, I’m a regular Solid Gold dancer with slick Latin dance moves. It’s in my Guat blood and in truth it’s one of my favorite traits. But I’ll admit I was a little nervous. I had never participated in a Zumbathon. In truth I’d never even done Zumba, but as I mentioned before it was for a good cause. So I suited up in my best Costco sweatpants and t-shirt and was on my way.


Zumbathon Logo.

I didn’t know what to expect, but I can honestly say I didn’t expect to see this type of chick there. However when I walked into the basketball gym, I saw them … Dude. There they were all decked out in their full on Zumba gear, bracelets and hats included. I thought who the hell wears a hat when they workout. I mean if it’s not a baseball cap to hide your messed up Iris Chacon-Amanda Miguel morning hair, who wears that? Who wears hats like that to sweat?  Who does that? Zumba groupies I guess. I had been informally introduced to the Zumba groupie. I’m sure you’ve seen her, she’s the kind of chick that wears makeup to workout. After this encounter I wasn’t sure I was going to be enjoying this fitness party adventure.

The Zumba Groupies

The Zumba Groupies

But after a while, the majority of the Zumbathon people trickled in and most of them were wearing the “normal” sweats, shorts, yoga pants and t-shirt attire. Most of them were people from my old high school, most of whom I hadn’t seen since I graduated, and I was all right with that. There’s really no need to see certain people after high school, and some of them you don’t even want to run into on Facebook. Unfortunately, they find you. But I was willing to cowboy up and have the numerous Oh-my-God!-how-have-you-been conversations for the sake of raising money for my old acquaintance battling cancer.

So after all the hello hugs, I found a spot with my buddies and began the “fitness party” adventure. I had been warned that it might be a serious workout and that I might need to take several breaks within the two-hour frame. But in truth I was all right. I felt like I was on a dance floor at a wedding, only this time I was wearing my New Balance and not some killer high heels that would emotionally and physically damage my feet. Now don’t get me wrong there was a lot of sweat, but it didn’t feel like I was working out, which I guess was a good thing.

I enjoyed my first Zumba encounter, although there were a couple of things I learned through this experience.

The Zumba Instructors and for some reason the groupies got into the shot.

The Zumba instructors and for some reason the groupies got into the shot.

I learned that the fake excited dance teacher that you see in DVD/videos really does exists. It’s not a myth. She’s real. She has all these cartoon character facial expressions and cheesy sayings that she really shouldn’t use, but she does because she thinks it’s going to motivate you. It doesn’t. It makes you lose faith in the Zumba philosophy, and it just makes you wish you hadn’t wasted money on that particular exercise DVD. Sadly I couldn’t turn her off. She was live and in progress. I was so grateful to learn that there were five other instructors that day and that fake happy dance teacher would not be returning to the stage. I also learned that the sixty-year old, gray-haired Zumba dance instructor was the most badass of them all. Sweat was pouring out when this lady took the stage.

Lesson Number Two: You Gotta Commit. In both life and Zumba, you gotta commit. I’d never taken a dance class but apparently it’s kind of like monkey see-monkey do. You pick up the dance moves as the routine progresses. Some of the moves were a little bit too involved for me. They were a little bit too much for everyone except for the Zumba groupies down in front. But as I saw the people in front of me half-ass the moves I thought  … dude that looks terrible. So non-athletic and non-dancer like.  I can’t be looking like that. Either you’re in or you’re out. So I fully committed to all the steps and if I messed up the Flashdance moves …  well … then … I went down in flames and I got a couple of laughs in the process.

Working it on the Zumba dance floor.

Working it on the Zumba dance floor.

Lesson Number Three: Be Prepared to Pump It.  I had no idea that Zumba had a lot of these chest-pump dance moves. A lot. I felt like I was in a rap video — you know the kind where the chick is wearing Daisy Duke shorts with six-inch heels, and all of sudden takes a wide stance, puts her hands up in the air, and does her best Beyoncé-like chest pop. Apparently it has something to do with the abs, but I wasn’t feeling it and I looked nothing like Beyoncé. More like a chick with back problems, but nevertheless I remembered Lesson Number Two and forged on.

Two hours went by pretty quickly and in the end everyone was pretty sweaty from all that chest pumping. It was such a success that they said they might be planning another one in the fall. And who knows I might go again and learn a couple more lessons. But hopefully by then people will not feel the need to take pictures and post on them on Facebook. Maybe they’ll just take pictures for the sake of taking pictures.


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My RSVP to the Fitness Party

17 Apr

I’ll have to admit. I had to look it up.

I wasn’t aware of this phenomenon. In truth I hadn’t been to the gym since my college days where step classes were the latest workout rage. I’m not fond of gyms, too many beefcakes checking themselves out in the mirrors and too many naked chicks in the locker rooms admiring themselves. I’m not into narcissism so I like to work out in the privacy of my own home where I can where sweatpants and nobody will judge me for not wearing a matching sports bra. Or I exercise outdoors where there is nothing to admire but nature.

So when someone sent me an invitation for something called a Zumbathon, I had no idea what they were talking about. But Google enlightened me. Apparently it is something well-known in the fitness world. It involves Latin dancing and exercise moves that make you sweat in a fun way. That is just Zumba, but a Zumbathon is a two or three-hour session of this moving and shaking. I guess it’s a nice way to shed the pounds. They call it the “fitness party.” I’m not sure I like this phrase. My idea of a party does not involve exercising. Dancing yes, lifting weights and sweating in front of people? No, not really.

But nevertheless this whole Zumbathon was for a good cause. They are raising money for an old high school acquaintance who has Leukemia. So I thought if it’s for her, why not. We weren’t best buddies and we didn’t hang out and eat Corn Nuts together at lunch, but we had a few laughs when we joined forces at track meets. She was the track and I was the field.  Believe it or not my scrawny 130 pound self was a shot putter and a damn good one. I always came in first place against opponents. They underestimated me. I had a lot rage. Boys. They suck in high school. I mean they suck all the time, but more so in high school.

My only hesitation was the whole running into old high school people. I don’t like running into people, which is probably why I’ve fallen off the Facebook world. People find you and I’m more of the if-I-want-to-hang-out-with-you-I’ll-call-you frame of mind. But it’s for a good cause so I sent in my RSVP and will be participating in this fitness party this weekend. I better brace myself for the whole Oh-My-God-I-haven’t-seen-you-in-years-what-are-you-doing-now conversation. Plus all these people will probably be taking pictures with their camera phones and immediately posting it on their Facebook status. What is that? What is that! I’m not into being tagged and broadcasted on pages so that other high school people can find me. But I’m sure I’ll be all right. I’ll bring sunglasses.

However in terms for the actual exercise part of this event. I don’t know. How do you train for this sort of thing,? I don’t think you do, really. I mean it’s not a sport. I’m still in pretty good shape because of my recent Fight For Air Climb and I’ve kept up with my regular workouts. So I don’t think I’ll be out of breath. And there’s definitely no need to practice dance moves, because those are just natural for my Guatemalaness. So I guess will just have to see what comes out of this fitness party.


Image via LeFunny.net

Image via LeFunny.net


Hopefully I won’t end up looking like the chick on the right during this whole event. I’ll keep you posted.


Lobster and Remembering to Dance to Your Own Rhythm

8 Sep

Good food becomes a great reason to take a long drive. Even when you have two kids, you stuff a bag full of emergency toys and snacks for the drive and hope they don’t want to hear the Head-and-Shoulders-Knees-and-Toes CD for the entire forty-five minute road trip. But you’d do it just for the food.

Luckily Blake Shelton, Eric Church, Josh Turner, the sounds of country music, and the occasional Taio Cruz song seemed to make the ride pleasant enough for everybody so we didn’t need the Romper Room/Wiggles musical. The fact that there was absolutely no traffic helped too.

What was our destination? Lobster Fest, and not the Red Lobster kind either.


Our first lobster festival


As any neurotic mom would, I made sure we arrived early, so we had time to check out the sights.


We rented a bike and built up an appetite. However in retrospect I really should have worn shorts. Pedaling in jeans is so not cool. But I did work up a sweat. Thank God for Degree deodorant.

Every time I’m at the pier, beach, or ocean I come across some mermaid or Poseidon-like statue.


My daughter seemed to enjoy the scenery and the ride.  And we enjoyed watching her.


We looked at the boats and then wondered why we couldn’t be weekend boat people. Then I noticed a few boat people flip-flopping it down the road, not showered and smelling like teen spirit. Then I realized I couldn’t be a boat person.

We decided we had enough of the boat people and headed to the lobster festival for some good food and thirst quenching beverages.


However seeing how I was the designated driver, I had the other kind of beverage.


But there were all kinds of people and all kinds of beverages being shared today. These are just of few of the people who came to enjoy the festivities.


And this is where the kids hung out, including my son. It was a win-win.


After all that playing we went to visit our guests of honor. They were flown in from Maine. I felt pretty bad that these were on death row.


But we still got in line and witnessed the process.


These were the hard-working boys bearing the heat and working the lobsters.


Lunch was ready.


This was Big Louie.


This is the amount of butter it took. Remember, you can never have too much butter.


This was the beverage of choice.


This was our view during lunch.


This was our entertainment during lunch. Apparently it was the Age of Aquarius all afternoon long. I decided to check out the dance floor.


This was the lead dancer, strutting his stuff.


However this couple … this couple takes the Dancing With The Stars Trophy. As I was jamming to my own beat on the sidelines, a regular Solid Gold Dancer, I noticed this couple … This awesome couple grooving to their own rhythm. While almost everyone stared in judgement and disbelief, I smiled, clapped, and celebrated. It reminded me …  always remember to dance to your own beat, even at a lobster festival.


I Have The Music in Me … Sometimes a Little Bit Too Much

17 Feb

 A friend recently asked me why I didn’t use music when I worked out. She told me that studies say music was supposed to pump you up when you worked out. She’s the friend that constantly gives me information on what studies say, but never tells me where it was studied and who studied it. It sounds official I guess…studies say. I think I’m going to start using that just randomly … like studies say chocolate is good for weight loss. Stuff like that.

English: iPod line, September 2010

Image via Wikipedia


Anyhow I explained to her that there were two types of work-outs: the gym and the Great Outdoors. Since I am economically challenged at the moment, I exercise surrounded by mother nature. If I was at the gym I would probably use some sort of musical device MP3 player, iPod, Walkman maybe. If you can believe it, I still have one. But since I workout outdoors, it is a non issue.

She asks whether or not I get tired faster with no music, whether my energy level trickles down to low.

There are three reasons why I can’t work out with music. One: crazy slasher Jack-the-Ripper attackers. As I mentioned before I grew up in a tough inner-city neighborhood and whether you’re on the sidewalk or on the track you don’t want music blasting in your ears. I need to be aware of my surroundings and can’t have some pervert sneaking up on me. I’ve got to have all my senses on alert day or night. Especially if I decide to go hiking. Someone can come from behind and just throw me off the cliff and be off with my merengue playlist. Or if I do get attacked I might end up killing the dude with my Hapkido skills and then I get arrested. Not cool.

Second: I’m doing the Warrior Dash. There’s mud and murky waters involved. That music device will drown. And on top of that I’ll need to stay focused as all my energy will be directed to keeping my balance throughout many obstacles. I can’t concentrate while JJ Fad‘s Supersonic or Slick Rick‘s Children’s Story is blasting in my ear. I’m the kind of person who has to lower the volume on the radio when I’m parking into a tight spot. Concentration is essential, especially for this race.

Third: I’ve got the music in me…sometimes a little bit too much. It’s dangerous. One minute I’m sprinting down the field, the next I’m dancing like Bruno Mars at the Grammys. I got the old school in me. I got funk. I got merengue. I got cumbias … La Sonora Dinamita … watch out. I hear the trumpets, the tambores, the timbales, guacharaca, and then … that cow bell. It’s on. My New Balance shoes stop running and my hips start to swivel. I’m like a washing machine swishing myself down the track. There’s no running. The power of Capullo y Sorullo and Mi Cucu put an end to that. There’s arm pumping, hip swaying, fine footwork, the shoulder shimmy and sweet spin moves. I tried running two miles with music and instead I danced my way around 800 meters. It’s like I was  performing on Sabado Gigante.

So needless to say at the moment I need to stay focused. If it was a triathlon … maybe I’d consider music, but this Warrior Dash is serious. Sometimes I’ve just got too much rhythm.

Giddy up!