Thursday 7 April 2011


I think I may be developing a bit of an exercise addiction. Since my boot camp experience, I’ve found I become a little ‘twitchy’ if I sit still too long. I’ve discovered that getting a serious sweat on is a pretty effective way of banishing my natural tendency to gothic gloom and over-thinking.

Meditation is good, it really is – but it tends to encourage my inner dippiness. Whereas seriously tough aerobic exercise puts me into clear ‘no thought’ territory which, in my head, is a seriously good place to be.

I walk the dog, I’m a regular at the gym; I do yoga. I go to Zumba class on Friday night and shimmy and shake. Last Friday I was talking to Nicky, who really does have a hardcore exercise habit.
'If you think this is wild, you oughta come to the Wednesday class in Tiverton,’ said Nicky. She raised her eyebrows meaningfully.
I’d heard about that class: it was legendary. 80 wild women crammed into one small hall; sweat dripping down the walls; more tattoos than a ship-full of sailors; 90 minutes of wild abandon.

‘Anyhow,’ she continued. ‘There’s space in the car if you wanna come.’ Hellfire. It was a challenge.
‘Okay,’ I said with a shrug.
‘Don’t wear too much,’ she added. Oh shit.

Way-hay! The hall was heaving and, as the music started up, off we went – one huge rhythmic surge of abandoned female energy. I’m not a huge team-player; I don’t usually like being one of the crowd, but there’s something weirdly mesmeric about moving in perfect sync with the shoal. A wild whoop rose up from behind me; followed by a chorus of cat-calls and wild whistles. Bloody hell, it was turning into a Bacchanalia. Were they really only swigging water?  As the sweat started to pour between my shoulder-blades, as my feet salsaed and merengued and calypsoed all by themselves, I found myself fighting the urge to click my teeth and shout ‘Ayyyyeeeeee’ and even ‘Ole Ole!’

‘C’mon, into a large circle,’ yelled the instructor, Debbie, who has to have the most mobile hips I’ve ever seen on a skinny woman. She was going for it something mental, tugging women in to dance with her.

‘Hey girls, we have a man in the house,’ she yelled. Holy shit! One guy amidst 80 women? He had some balls. A roar of approval went up from the rank and file. Jeez, they were going to tear him limb from limb. But Debbie pulled him into the middle and, fair play, he got down and dirty with his hip thrusts to shrieks of approval.

‘Well, that was fun,’ I said, as we got back into the car and tried to clear the steam from the windows.
‘That was insane,’ said Ellie.
‘I tell ya, that’s gotta improve your sex life,’ said Nicky.
We burst out laughing and then, grinning broadly, retreated into our own private reveries for a bit.

As we spun off the valley road, Nicky broke the silence.  'Hey,' she said. 'There's a four hour charity Zumbathon coming up.  With alcohol.  Anybody game?'

Holy cow.

Why is Zumba SO good?  Cos you get to dance to stuff like this....



Anonymous said...

I love this post Jane! F.A.B.

Philly x

fairyhedgehog said...

That does sound like fun!

(And I second what Philly said.)

susie @newdaynewlesson said...

I think i need to get into shape to zumba. I have no beat and even less when I am out of shape. *sigh*