Last week, I was making polite conversation with another mom as we sat outside our daughters’ dance class, when I casually mentioned I thought I might like to try a Zumba class.
I have no idea why I said that, actually. I have the coordination of a giraffe wearing platform heels on an ice rink. Only not as willowy. But I’m not that great at small talk.
But this mom was very excited. Her church did free Zumba classes two times a week! She’d always wanted to try it! We should go! Both of us could bring our daughters, who will be headed to the same high school in the fall! It will be fun!!!
So, the night of the class, I dragged out my tennis shoes and wandered around the giant campus of the Jesus Zumba-offering church until I found the gym, which was packed with God-fearing women of all shapes and ages, all shaking what the good Lord gave them like there was no tomorrow.
Of course the other dance-class mom? Nowhere. To. Be. Seen. I was alone in a sea of booty-shaking, shoulder-shimmying holy women. Well, not alone actually. I had also dragged along my teenage daughter. That made it so. much. better.
We Zumba’ed, and had a “booty battle,” and mostly, I flailed around like a beached manatee just trying not to hit someone. But nonetheless, it started to feel less horrifying and more exhilarating. Of course, that may have been a side effect of the lack of oxygen to my brain.
I started to feel like I could do this. In fact, when the second class came around, I decided I would go! I would become a Zumba goddess!
And I told my daughter we should go.
“Why do you want to go back?” she asked in horror.
“It burns calories,” I said.
“Mom, the only thing it burns is our dignity,” she deadpanned.
Well, sure. There’s that.
But we went back anyway. Laughed at ourselves plenty, because my “salsa moves” more closely resemble the thrashing of someone who has just eaten a quart of habanero salsa.
But we also got our holy sweat on with 50+ women of all shapes and sizes who were building friendships, making choices to be healthier, and stopping at the end to share worries and prayers, and that? Definitely worth the hour of looking ridiculous.