As part of our CamGlen Radio Adventure Show, Paula McGuire and I met with Christine Peek of Zumba With Glasgow Sisters to find out more about Zumba and about where you can try Zumba in Glasgow. Read how I got on last year, when I tried my first Zumba class.
I can only blame myself. Label myself a “Try Athlete” and someone is eventually going to call me out. I didn’t think it would be the woman I loved, but it was!
For months, Teresa has been urging me to come along, to give it a try and to put aside my perceptions and assumptions. For months I have been telling her that I didn’t think it was for girls (I did), that I didn’t think it was a lesser form of exercise (I kinda did) and that I was totally unsuited to it (that one was honest).
But, when Christine Peek adopted my #onepercentmore challenge by offering a bring a friend for free deal, I knew I could resist no longer (not just because I’m cheap!).
I was going to try ZUMBA and I was just a little bit scared.
And not without reason. A constant theme of my blogs is that I’m uncoordinated. I’ve seen Zumba videos and there is far too much going on, for my liking. Another reason for my trepidation was that I wasn’t unfamiliar with Christine’s Zumba with Glasgow Sisters method of making you sweat. I “enjoy” her Kettlecise and Insanity classes. I had a suspicion that her blend of Zumba would be testing.
And I was right, on both counts.
As the only man in a room full of women all staring at me accusingly for invading their inner sanctum, I retreated to the back row, where my shuffling and stumbling would go relatively unnoticed until the instructor ultimately pointed at me and coordinated a group laugh.
This is what I was thinking. In reality, I was made to feel welcome and was even given a few words of encouragement. I did still head to the back row. And then it began.
I am ungainly. I am stiff and I have no rhythm. The first few tracks, I felt lost. I’d just get the hang of a move and Christine would move to the next. It was relentless. I was moving in the opposite direction to everyone else and I was having to occasionally stop and stare at what she, and everyone bar me, were doing.
Just as I was getting into the swing of it, Christine announced that now that we were warmed up, it would get faster.
“F-A-S-T-E-R!?” I mouthed incredulously at my girlfriend.
But a funny thing happened. As it got faster and I started sweating even more, I started to relax. I started to get in time with the music. I started to enjoy it. Sure, I was still all over the place, but I was shaking my arms like I just didn’t care.
As the music and moves moved from Salsa to Bhangra to African I started to feel my hips gyrating and my smile widening. Any more so and I’d be close to getting arrested. At one point I jumped out to berate Christine’s partner Spencer for not giving me some manly moral support and couldn’t help myself from dancing back into the room.
By the end, I didn’t want to stop. I was having a great time, doing something that the woman I loved, loved doing. Zumba is far removed from what too many people perceive it to be. It’s hard work, it’s a great workout and more importantly it is a whole lot of fun. All the way home we laughed and joked and I now appreciate just how hard Teresa trains.
What will my OnePercentMore Challenge have me doing next? It’s up to you. What would you like to see me try? Remember, I am a Try Athlete!
And, if you want to try Zumba in Glasgow, you could do a lot worse than trying Christine’s Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes. Alternatively, you can search for Zumba in Glasgow on the official Zumba page.