Friday, 10 February 2017


'I would luv to see a video of you at yoga and zumba, now that would be a giggle sis.'

Perhaps I’m being my characteristically oversensitive self, but I confess to being a tad affronted by this decidedly unflattering and considerably less than supportive response to my revelation that after a rather overly lengthy period of relative inertia, I have commenced a rigorous fitness regime of Zumba on Tuesday mornings, and yoga on Thursday evenings. 

(Can you tell I’m reading George Eliot again at the moment? Check out the word count on that sentence. I could've gone for a PB if I’d chucked in a semi-colon.)

But back to the topic at hand. 

Never in my 58 years have I attempted either Zumba or yoga. 
I was rubbish at aerobics back in the day. And I have given a couple of those women-only 45-minute circuit gyms a bit of a thrashing at various times over the years but, generally, the thought of exercising in front of anyone other than the dog terrifies me. 
I hyperventilate at the mere prospect of being in near-proximity to spandex, lycra, short shorts, and racer-backed sports tops. And a wall of mirrors will see me slink as far to the back of the room as possible.
That's not 100 per cent accurate.
I plant myself in the far corner of the back wall of any exercise class, even if there isn’t so much as a square-millimetre of reflective surface in the near vicinity.

So, no schmancy high-class gyms for me. I’m taking both classes at the local community centre… in the same room that hosts the Chinese playgroup, the ukulele ensemble and the LGBT Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Secretly, I’m hoping that one glorious day a monumental scheduling error will result in all of us being in there together.

Lindale, the Zumba instructor, is a ridiculously cheerful once-professional dancer who frequently entreats us to 'open the chest' and  optimistically implores the use of 'beautiful arms'. The hour-long class features pretty much the same routines each week, and after 4 weeks, I’m actually starting to anticipate what comes next, because Lindale isn’t one for counting beats or shouting out instructions about what to do next. He’s having too much fun merengue-ing with his invisible partner, shimmying his maracas, and voguing wherever the opportunity arises.

Staying in step is particularly tricky during the ‘rest’ songs. 
Especially the saucy jazz classic Fever. 
While I favour Peggy Lee’s moves:  

Lindale seems to be channeling Madge:

Or maybe Madge's backing dancer... 

What’s that I hear you say?
Fever doesn’t have a salsa-inspired Zumba beat.Well, I did say it was a rest song.




The truth is it’s a Zumba Gold class. 

Yes… OK… I admit it... It’s only Zumba for geriatrics. But it can be tricky. Really it can. Not as tricky as yoga (and no, it's not yoga for the over 50) but it's still tricky. 

And I still think my brother is mean.

He should read more George Eliot.