“I’m never doing that” is what I would exclaim for years. Dancing is just not my thing and neither is an all-cardio workout. Combining the two sounded like absolute hell.
A few years ago, while my youngest son was still in high school, a teacher mentioned that Cullen was loving the free Zumba classes a staff member taught. I thought it was great as I knew he enjoyed dancing. “You should take him to her class,” she’d say to me. “Um, but that would mean I have to do it, too.” I’d reply.
Then, one day last August, I noticed that Cullen’s sedentary lifestyle was getting the best of him. Although healthy, he had gotten a lot bigger after graduating from high school. I decided it was time for him to start exercising, but he refused to go to the gym and we couldn’t go walking anywhere because he would worry about dogs. So my mom suggested the free Zumba class at nearby Panaewa Park. Uhhhh, what??
I bit the bullet and took Cullen on the following Monday at 5:00 p.m. which, at the time, was the only class day. The instructor, Rhonda, and the members of the small class greeted us right away which made us feel very comfortable. It didn’t take long before I figured out that a dancing exercise wasn’t hell but it was, as expected, super difficult. I didn’t move enough to feel winded but I still broke a sweat probably because I used so much of my minimal brain power to figure out the routines. Meanwhile, Cullen was really enjoying the movements and the loud music.
We’ve been going ever since and it’s been getting better, easier, and – dare I say – fun! The class is still small and, thankfully, workouts have expanded to Mondays and Wednesdays. Still at 5:00 p.m. and still free, although donations are accepted. We recently added a Tuesday class at the Butler Building along with Friday and Sunday classes at YMCA to our exercise schedule. These classes are much larger than Panaewa’s but just as fun.
I’m happy to say that we’ve been able to lose some weight, Cullen especially. Although very slowly, we are just fine because through this ongoing experience we’ve met some great people and, more importantly, we are staying active.