Saturday, August 24, 2013

Zumba-Death by Gyration

It is a secret to no one that I identify myself as a Latina. Admittedly a Latina with zero legitimate hispanic blood coursing through these veins. I'm what they call a nebulous Latina. My hispanic-ness arises from both the penumbra of rights afforded me by the U.S. Constitution and the summers of 0 years to 12 when my parents shipped my brother and me to El Salvador to partake in "camp El Salvador". This particular camp consisted of three months at my grandmother's house where her idea of entertainment included hiring clowns for the better part of an afternoon. I'm convinced my early childhood exposure to clowns is why I don't trust men. And also, coincidentally, why I attended clown school and used my skills to entertain old folks in assisted living facilities. No, I'm serious. I did.

Now inherit in all Latinas is the ability to move one's hips in a circular rotation. This circular rotation mimics the flush of a latrine. Amazing imagery here. You can thank me later.  Round and round they go where they stop nobody knows. "Nobody", of course, being the name you give the one night stand you eventually pick up based on said rotation. "Give" because you don't remember his name or really even asked for it. Sometimes it's best not to know. I mean, his name could be Brett. Or Tristan. Or frankly any name where the parent believes the best way to fine tune and add flair to an otherwise established and sturdy nombre is to shit all over its spelling. Like when one exchanges an "i"  for a "y" for uniqueness. If you come across a gentleman where this is the case then you RUN lest the percentage chance of your child becoming a Trystan Jr. rises considerably.  And while I'm at it let me just say that if I personally encounter a name where the "h" is silent for help me God.  Rhyan. "Oh hey Rhyan, GO FUCK YOURSELF!" I once came across a Gipson. Yes, G-I-P-S-O-N. I couldn't help but wonder why Gipson's parents wanted to ensure his son's complete failure in any romantic relationship. Can you imagine a wedding invitation with Gipson? People would assume you had the biggest typo party foul. And we all know that if phoentics is brought into the equation then it is safe to assume a 1st rate education was denied Gipson's parents and therefore Gipson himself. Maybe not denied eduction, but rather D'd their way through it. This tangent has taken quite a negative turn especially considering I don't do one night stands. Moving on.

Because of my penumbra of Hispanic-ness I figured Zumba, the art of shaking one's hips in a false attempt of mimicking Shakira or any of the bevy of beauties in Brazil would be a piece of cake. Boy was I wrong. Just as wrong as the time I thought it a good idea to tell people in high school that one of my favorite CDs was the best of Andrew Lloyd Webber. That won me all kinds of TGIF on myself.

(sidenote: My brother once travelled to Brazil for work. He was literally selected from his entire summer associate class at the firm because he spoke Spanish. "Hey you,you speak Spanish right?""Um..yes sir, I d...""Great! Sending you to Brazil! Plane leaves in fifteen hours." "Um, but, Portuguese is actually.." "Were you saying something?" "Um, no sir.". So he went with zero appropriate language skills and came back declaring Brazilian women as the most beautiful women on the planet. Women he couldn't communicate with.)

On one Saturday afternoon I decided to take a class after convincing myself failure in the art of dancing didn't apply to me. I don't know why I thought that; I have proven dance failure before. One time I legitimately came in 2nd in a dance competition where I was the only competitor. I'm building myself quite an impressive resume am I not? I'm not proud of that moment but the tournament was in Orlando and I got to go to Disney afterwards and lick my wounds at Captain EO. Now that, my friends, is dancing. Dancing so perfect it shattered the metal constraints of darkness holding Anjelica Huston prisoner and turned her kingdom into a rainbow with shoulder pads and sparkle. Anyways... so I signed up with my friend and my sister and waited for the hip hop class to finish before taking position. By the way, I've always pictured an adult hip hop class to be like that scene in Center Stage where the main character Jody, frustrated with her inability to keep up with her more flexible and nimble counterparts, goes to sweat and shake off the pain the only way she knows how,  dancing street style with poorer urban folk (because you know, urban folk don't have much but they have dance and unique haircuts). While there she runs into Cooper, the principle male ballet dancer in the company, who much to her shock likes to get away and feel the dance as well. They all clap hands in solidarity at the free style moment and then I'm pretty sure Jody goes back to Cooper's apartment and they bone. Cooper later uses that night as a scene in his choreography for the end of year dance exposing himself as a the most unnatural motorcycle owner ever and at the same time also enlightening Jody's parents to the fact that their daughter likes to sleep around. Unfortunately the hip hop class I was present for was not the same thing. There are like grown 65 year olds with high tops and sports bras trying to toosie roll. I'd be appalled but I saw my future in them so hating them would in essence be hating myself.

A couple of minutes later that class finished and we were ready to start. Oh-My-God. What-The-Fuck. The Zumba instructor doesn't even pow wow and just gets to it and we have to kind of monkey see monkey do our way into the work out. At first you're just looking around trying to mimic the person in front and next to you. Arms flailing, feet swaying side to side.You look like a toddler who's parents are making them dance for their guests to Beyonce or in the alternative one of the lucky women selected to be part of a Richard Simmons Sweat into the Oldies video. Eventually you fall into the rhythm of stomping  and thrusting to the beat of your own drum which is in no way in sync with the drum beat of the song that's playing. You catch yourself in the mirror and then just as quickly look away because what you just saw could cause cancer it's so detrimental. You continue to mimic this movement for 4 minutes and then breathe out as the song ends. Phew, made it through. Break time. Break time? Ha. Another song would immediately start and you would silently cry, Not yet! Yes yet. And so it began again. The bitch did not stop. For a full 60 minutes. Each Spanish song would bleed into the next and you kept wondering when your vulva would get a break. Answer: NEVER. When the cruel ass instructor  sensed the troops slowing down she would lure us with a current Selena Gomez hit and you'd get your energies back for a split second all excited because ahh yeah you recognize this song. This is the song you sometimes play to get ready for a Saturday night the movies to see a period piece. That's your jam you declare! As the song kicks in you're all let's do this guys. Let's DANCE like gypsies. And then she'll start making you do a jumping jack hip thrust pelvis shaker ass cheek split combo and your high is gone and you just want to shoot Selena Gomez for trippin' on those beats in the studio. I mean never in my life. The pain you guys, the pain. When the cool down began I looked at myself and noticed that a) my hair was as wet as if I had dipped it into the kitchen sink to wash it. (Ay-o Honey Boo Boo reference) b.) my sports bra was crying sweat tears of rage and c) my bottom half looked like my water just broke. It was nasty. Now I'm a big fan of SPX Pilates. I sweat like a mother fucker in that class sometimes. And sometimes the instructor tries to pat me on the back and then discreetly try to find a towel to wipe away my chub juice but even that does not compare.The sweat I compiled in that one hour of Zumba was enough to sustain a small African village on my sacrifice. But, of course, like any workout, the endorphins kick in and you feel light as air. I think I remembered going to the mall afterwards looking at people in the eye as they passed secretly telling them through said eyes that yeah, I just worked out hard and soon enough I'll be shopping at Baby Gap. Deal with it. Don't hate the player hate the game. (I dunno, the phrase just came to me now and I went with it). All was great and satisfactory until the next day...

By 8am the next day I was legitimately looking at wheel chair rentals. The hurt was that bad. Even two days later I went for a run and couldn't do it. My calves were telling me that if I moved an inch they would break up with me leaving me to slide my body like a snail to go anywhere. Truth be told I haven't gone to Zumba since. Yeah, I know, you read this whole fucking thing only to be informed it was a one and done. Look, there were many good things that came out of the experience. I tried it, I Spotified some tunes, I looked at a couple of Shakira videos. It's all positive. But that pain, it's a hard one to go back to. And I'm not talking about the pain from the work-out. I'm talking about the pain of seeing myself gyrate next to a bunch of old ladies in a mirror and realizing they're better than me. That their hips have experienced things I have never dared to nor will be invited to. That pain is scarring. And I won't live it again. I won't, I tell you, I won't! But hey, far be it for me to hold you back, dear reader. Go for it. Reach for the stars. I'll support you. But recognize I have also warned you. Vaya con Dios.

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