For a number of reasons (one of which was definitely laziness), I decided to take a half-year hiatus with my Zumba classes a year and a half ago. Yes, there’s a distinct difference. For those who may not know me incredibly well, I like to tell people that I “don’t sport,” which is a gross understatement. The good news for you, readers, is that I get extra-sassy/snarky when I’m trying to do anything that could be considered “athletic.”
Here’s an uncensored (fair warning) version of every thought I can remember between 4:21pm when I arrived at the elementary school gym to 5:38pm when I left. Times are rough and approximate, because like, I only remember precisely the beginning, dead center, and close to the end. You’ll see.
4:21 Ok, good, only like 6 people here, I’ll get a good spot. Lemme sign in.
4:22 Yeah, they definitely need this waiver from me because I’m the clumsiest damn person who ever thought about taking Zumba. It’s only a matter of time until I break a bone. Maybe today – who knows?
4:24 Okay, I can see the instructor and my purse from this angle. Second row, middle-ish. Everyone’s going to see me fuck up, but at least I’ll be able to see her well enough to know what I’m not doing right.
4:25 There’s technically-perfect girl who’s been coming for longer than I’ve been teaching, I hope she stands in front of me, because we’re equally white and I can just see what she’s doing when I don’t understand what to do with my butt.
4:26 Hey! There’s my friend that used to work with me! I hope she says hi.
4:27 God, she gives the best hugs. I miss her. Wait – is that pregnant girl? Aw, I bet her kid’s like walking and stuff now. Yikes. At least now I won’t be intimidated by the fact that an 8-and-a-half-month pregnant lady is better at Zumba than I am.
4:28 WAIT. Is pregnant girl pregnant again? Yes! Yes she is! That woman totally just touched the bump and she didn’t yell at her! Well, there goes that silver lining.
4:30 It’s nice that she remembers me, less nice that she pointed out it’s been a while for “some of us.” That’s me, folks, the girl with the tattoos all over her thighs. You were already judging me for that so….bring it, bitches
4:32 Warm up time! Yes! Hey muscles I don’t use on a regular basis! Nice to feel you again! I hope new girl has a good time and comes back. Like, I almost didn’t for the each time for the first month or so, but it got a lot better. I can’t believe I stopped, I’m so stupid.
4:34 Okay, okay, I remember these steppy things, I’m okay, I’m okay. I still hate Despacito, but it’s okay.
4:36 That was fun. I like the ones with grapevine steps. It took me so long to get good at them, but apparently they’re like riding a bike, except not for me because I can’t ride a bike anymore because of the tailbone issue, so like, maybe I’ll start referring to things that are easy as “it’s like doing a grapevine step.” People think I’m weird anyway, so it’ll be fine.
4:37 Yaaaas, lots of simple steps in this one. And the hip bump! I’m so good at the hip bump!
still 4:37 OMG, I can’t believe I can still do that whole clap-under-the-knee thing that quick, I totally thought I was going to fall on my ass when I tried that, but I am still on two feet. Yes. Success. I am amazing.
4:38 Why are these people not picking their feet up? You’re supposed to like, bounce then hop then kick, not drag then step and flail, come on, fam, get into it!
4:39 Okay, okay, this song is a little longer than I anticipated. My legs aren’t going as high anymore.
still 4:39 Maybe if I just like, stop being so bouncy, I’ll still be able to do the leg-clappy-thing.
still still 4:39 Oh GOD I’m going downhill so fast – why was I so energetic at the beginning of this song? Zumba is not a goddamned sprint, Erin, what were you thinking?
4:40 I made it. I made it. I made it.
4:41 Yep, actually drinking water now. While walking. Why is everyone else just standing while they drink their water and talk about how out of shape they are? Did no one listen to her? Like, I’m dying, but I’m still going to keep my feet moving to keep my heart rate up! Rookie move, folks.
4:42 Okay, let’s go. I hope this one is mostly upper body.
4:43 THIGHS? You can’t make us do the jumpy-clap thing and then just be like, “Oh, hey, now we’re going to go squat-jumpy-things.” That’s not okay! That’s NOT okay.
4:44 I swear to God, thighs, if you survive this, you don’t have to do anything for the rest of the week. I won’t wear boots with heels, I’ll take the elevator, just…do this for me.
4:45 My thigh muscles are to me what my students’ language skills are to them.
4:46 Like, I could feel bad for thinking that, but I’m not going to. Hurtful? Truthful. Christ. It’s like my thigh muscles literally don’t even know how to move, which is what I hear they were designed for, because science.
4:48 Yes, yes, yes. Skinny-twisty-hippy thing. Has to be. It’s in Spanish.
4:50 I know they said the air was off, but it wasn’t really a big deal to me until now…
4:51 Ooooo, that does not feel great. This whole shimmy thing might be a bad idea for me at this particular juncture.
4:53 Okay, okay, okay, self. Let’s just…move from side to side for a minute. You’ll be okay. Just keep your feet moving and for the love of all things holy, do not pass out in this gym.
4:54 Oh God, definitely DO NOT THROW UP IN FRONT OF THESE ADULTS. Get it the fuck together, Erin.
4:55 Okay, feel better. New song, new start. And besides, maybe part of the unsettling thing is embarrassment that you had to stop and like, everyone can see you. NBD, look at the bright side – you probably made new girl feel better she was getting so upset when everyone was doing the spinny stuff and she was out of sync and then everyone saw, so she totally needed that schadenfraude.
4:56 I bet the cast of Avenue Q didn’t have to work out. I could be a puppeteer.
4:57 Oh fuck me, we’re not even halfway through yet. Dear sweet baby Jesus.
4:58 Why did I come to this? I’m so stupid. I love my fat and not being in shape. I don’t need muscles. What I need to do is lower my standards and settle for someone moderately annoying but who can reach things and lift things and do things for me and I can keep being soft and slow and he’ll love me anyway even if he’s a massive loser that I have to support and apologize for. Like, the emotional and mental strain I know how to deal with, so at this point, it might be worth it. We could just have separate bedrooms and maybe I could get a job where I travel a lot.
4:59 Oh goddamn it, if I travel a lot, then I still need to be in shape because my loser, settled-for husband won’t be there to pick things up for me. Shit shit shit.
5:01 Over the halfway mark, so I only have to….do this all over again. I might cry.
5:03 Okay, I am so lost on this one. It’s all footwork. Remember when I was good at footwork when I was like 5 and my dad was my soccer coach? That was a nice time.
5:04 At least I don’t feel like fainting again.
5:05 How unfair is it that I get 0% of either of my parents’ coordination? My dad was a gymnast and my mom likes to dance and here I am, like, “Hi, I’m Erin and I can sometimes stand still without injuring myself.” Sometimes. I’ll just…move my feet in the correct directions and not hop so people don’t realize just how off I am.
5:06 I know everyone knows how off I am. I don’t even care.
5:08 Oh, oh we’re going to use EVERY muscle in our bodies on this next one? Oh good. That will feel awesome. What do you MEAN our fingertip muscles? Those aren’t a thing. They’re like, tendons and squishy flesh. And even if there are muscles, they’re little, and they need to stay little. No one’s impressed by muscular fingers.
5:09 Open a window? There aren’t any windows to open in here. Nice imagery, but like, no one even has functional shutters like that in the United States. Maybe Greece. Are you taking us to Greece? Because then this exercise might be worth it. But to live in the US? Nah. We have to pull the windows up, so why do these muscles need to be in shape?
5:10 I better be able to manually open an elevator after this because my arms are going to punish me all day tomorrow. Are the kids using the Chromebooks? God, I hope so.
5:11 No, no, we’re not doing technology tomorrow, we’re reading the book and writing in our notebooks with me modeling under the Elmo, fuuuuuuuuuuuck. At least A Long Walk to Water is really small, but it’ll probably feel like it’s 25 pounds. Maybe I can put it on a table with like, paperweights. Do I have two paperweights? I have at least one, and like, a shit-ton of stationery implements.
5:12 I CANNOT OPEN A WINDOW SLOWER. No one opens windows slowly. In Disney movies, the princesses like, fling windows open so their fucking bird friends can fly in and help them with their chores. Where are my friends to help me? Nowhere. I have three dogs and a stray possum that refuses to be trapped, and all they do is make more problems for me. Like, I might let rats hang out if they did some chores.
5:14 All the windows are open now. Good. Let’s take it down a notch.
5:15 You did not just say more squats.
5:16 Okay, look, if you really think you want me to lunge-squat-lunge-squat and repeat, then it really has been a while since you had me in class, but okay. I signed that waiver.
5:17 I’m doing it! Hey! Just a little slippery. I’ve got this.
5:18 My thighs do NOT have this. Like, I could do straight squats but that’s the easy way out. I can do this. I can do this.
5:19 Yes, I’m fine. I’m fine. Yes, I’ll just do regular squats. Oh, NOW you remember that I’m the clumsy one? I mean, if you didn’t after watching me fall on my ass (sorry sad tailbone), then you have a shit memory, but whatever.
5:21 Thanks for that reassuring pat on the back, stranger. Like, I actually appreciate that you didn’t pretend you missed seeing the sprawl because you’re right behind me. Real. Honest. I can respect that. But we’re both really gross and sweaty, so could you actually not? Thanks.
5:22 Start out slow and speed up? Mainly upper body? Things I can do. Yes. Will survive. Can continue.
5:23 I hate this song. It’s so over played. And I can’t help singing along, at least in my head…
5:24 …now they always say congratulations…work so hard and now I die at Zumba….
5:26 My dragon is mad. My Wumps are mad. They didn’t sign up for this when they got tattooed on my thigh in January. It was winter and I’d been out of Zumba for like a year, so they thought they’d have this cush, lazy-ass life. Sucks to suck, friends.
5:28 Okay, okay, you survived, it’s time for cool down. Yes, fam, just one more. I am on board.
5:28 & 15 seconds THIS IS NOT A COOL DOWN. WHAT ARE YOU ASKING ME TO DO RIGHT NOW? THERE’S ONLY 2 MINUTES LEFT, I WAS DONE!
5:29 Look, lily-white girls like me don’t know how to move like that. And like, I see that you’re just sticking your ass out, but teacher, what do we do if we don’t have an ass to stick out? #firstworldwhitegirlproblems
5:30 I’m just going to revert to “woman who’s still moving in the correct direction but that’s about all we can say for her” and hold on.
5:32 This next song had better be the cool down or I am going to start crying in the middle of this gym and my friend left at 5:15.
5:33 Oh, praise Beelzebub it’s a cool down.
5:34 Okay, I’m all for female empowerment, but it’s not super-believable that we’re beautiful flowers that are also strong when I feel like I just got ripped from the ground, thrown in the street and run over several times. Perhaps also drawn and quartered if I had enough leaves and off-shoot stems.
5:35 I feel so tired but also accomplished. And she really is a good instructor, like, she’s so encouraging, even when you’re screwing everything up.
5:38 I need to make sure to take my workout clothes to work Thursday so I can just leave from there and there’s less concern.