Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why I Enjoy Shaking My Booty

I'm breaking my blogging silence to inform you that I have recently discovered the fountain of youth. As a 34 year old mother of three girls, there's not a whole lot that makes me feel "young" these days. And, let's admit it, ladies. We all like to feel young every now and again.

Well, my now-and-again is coming a bit more frequently thanks to my Zumba class. And feeling young is a weekly occurence.

First of all, let me explain that Zumba is a new form of exercise that involves hip-hop or samba-type music, as well as associated dance moves. The best way I can describe it is: high-school-cheerleader meets inner-pole-dancer.

I'll admit that my "inner pole dancer" has surfaced a few times in my adult existence. It usually happens when my kids are in Mother's Day Out and I'm cleaning the kitchen with the music turned up loudly. I have a set of double ovens that provide a pretty good reflection....and sometimes I'll choose to "break it down" right then and know, unleash those pole dancing moves I saw on Oprah. Only, then I catch myself in the reflection of my ovens, and I'm reminded why pole dancers are pole dancers....and why I should stick to being a mother cleaning the kitchen.

So back to Zumba. I love Zumba for a variety of reasons, but the main reason is that many of my friends are in class with me. It reminds me of the very reasons why I loved cheerleading camp so much. We laugh and giggle our way through the awkward hip thrusts, as well as encourage one another by saying things like, "Make sure you show your husband that move tonight!"

The second reason why I love Zumba is because I can actually do it. Listen, I am not an athletic person -- at all. It all started in Jr. High. Suffice it to say that my athletic career started and ended with my first volleyball game. I served the ball; said "owie," and that was the end of that. I have tried various exercise regimens over the years only to lack the discipline to stick to any of them. I can't do any form of exercise for a whole hour, honestly. I broke out in hives after 10 minutes of Nicki Wilson's kick boxing class. I puked after 30 minutes of body shaping. I really was beginning to think I was allergic to exercise. Enter Zumba. I can shake my booty for a whole hour. I sweat like a pig, and I love it.

The third reason I love Zumba is because I love the music. Songs like, "Right Round" by Flo Rida, "Krazy" by Pit Bull, and the Pussy Cat Dolls. I spent one afternoon downloading my favorite Zumba songs and excitedly showed my dance moves to my oldest gal, Kellie-Laine. "Mom!" she shrieked, "do you know what those songs say?!" To which I thought: No, I don't and I don't care. All I know is that when when this guy sings that lyric, I am to shake my booty to the beat. And doesn't mommy look so cute doing this move? (Incidentally, Kellie-Laine ran out of the room mortified at my less-than-mommy-like behavior.)

I also love Zumba because I am doing things for Zumba that I wouldn't normally putting my children in the gym childcare so I can attend the class. I really dislike the childcare, but Zumba has helped me overcome my fear and guilt....oh, okay, and my pitiful excuse not to exercise. I have also beefed up my exercise wardrobe. While this is usually something I do to try and motivate myself to actually work out, I have invested in a few "Zumba appropriate" clothing items. If you're not careful, you might actually confuse me for a Zumba instructor. Also, I'm not normally a front-row-joe kind of person, but in Zumba I am. Front and center, baby. It also helps that I'm able to see our instructor, Ted Nugent's beautiful wife, more clearly. (She, incidentally, brings new meaning to the word "Hot Mama" .....oh, if I could only look that good when I'm her age!)

The final reason I love Zumba is because it makes me feel young again. It's silly, really, but for some reason shakin' my booty makes me smile and giggle. And smiling and giggling makes me feel young. It's a much needed break from my reality of changing diapers, waiting in carpool, or loading the dishwasher. A few times today, I even played my Zumba CD to help me get through some of the mundane household chores I needed to do. I smiled and danced the whole time.

So tonight our family went to the Y. The kids and dear husband swam while I Zumba-ed. My middle girl, Landrie, watched us through the viewing window for a few moments. When I picked her up she asked, "Are you going to perform for a show?"

"No, baby" I laughed. But for those few minutes when people peer in the window to see what we're doing, it kind of feels like a show. And I am the star performer.... shakin' my booty for all the world to see.