Zumba: my Flavor of the Month or Long-Term Love?

Yesterday was my fourth Zumba class. It was also the last in my 4-class series, so I've signed up for a second series, which will keep me shimmying and shaking until the end of the month. It has been so much fun, and I look forward to going every week. Our city's recreation department actually offers Zumba classes (in series of 4) all the way through the spring, so why am I not signing up for all of them?\

To answer that, I have to compare my current obsession with Zumba to a human relationship. It was a bit like love at first sight, but having signed up for (and quit) many an exercise class, I'm being cautious. Taking it slow. Not committing to a long-term affair.

Just like I know I'm heterosexual, I'm not questioning my love for dance; I always have and always will love it. But it's difficult to settle down with just one form. I'd love to take an adult jazz class. Or a tap class. Given my time and budget, it wouldn't be practical for me to take all these classes, so I'd have to choose. For now, I'm dating taking Zumba, but I might want to try something different. You know, play the field.

When you get into a long-term relationship, it's inevitable that things will fall into a routine. To keep things exciting and avoid boredom, you need to spice things up now and then. And here's where the analogy between dating and Zumba fails. I can't control what moves my Zumba instructor does. I've already learned all her steps. My muscles are getting used to the movements. I can almost make it through the hour-long workout without feeling like I want to collapse on the spot.

So the ball is in Zumba's court. The class is still challenging, both physically and mentally, and I expect it will be for at least a couple of months more, even if it stays exactly the way it is. But I'm hoping she throws in some new moves at some point (and I'm back to the dating analogy -- spouses, take note!). If not, as much as I enjoy the dancing, I might have to switch things up a bit to keep my muscles working. I've already hedged my bet; I recently bought a Groupon for 2 months of yoga classes, which I can redeem any time within the next year, so at some point I'll be taking a Zumba break. The question is whether I go back to the same Zumba class, a different Zumba classor a different kind of exercise class. Or whether I ditch the class format altogether. It doesn't really matter, as long as it motivates me to keep exercising.

Awww, Zumba, don't feel bad if that does happen. I'll always love you (and you've got lots of other people who are still devoted to you) but I need my space. It's not you. It's me.

Fortunately for Alfie, I'm a lot more monogamous in my love life than I am in my exercise life!


Unknown said...

I've now been obsessed with Zumba for a little over a year. I take classes with different instructors, everyone's style is different too. Check out u-Jam classes too, that's kind of a Zumba offshoot, more hip-hop, less Latin. But I take Yoga too :-)

bonggamom said...

I'll have to check out u-Jam -- maybe in a couple of months :) Martha, thanks for the suggestion!