A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Meeting a Zumba Jedi Master

One of my Zumba instructors from Retro Fitness invited me to attend a “master class” this past Friday night with a “Zumba Jammer” named Raffaele Verrillo. In addition to teaching these master classes, Jammers often teach routines to other instructors, making them the teacher’s teacher. Aside from knowing that the master class would be 90 minutes long (instead of the normal 55) and more challenging with routines I was completely unfamiliar with, I had very little concept of what this experience would be like, so of course I signed up. Secretly, I was hoping that a Master Class would endow me with Jedi Master abilities.

Going in, I was pretty nervous. I’ve been doing Zumba since last August and I know my stamina, coordination and balance have all improved, but I’m a big girl and I’m forty-something instead of twenty-something, so I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to keep up.

Friday morning I was coming down with a fresh head cold and had barely slept the night before. I was really tempted to back out and stay home. But with a little encouragement courtesy of Ted, I threw on one of my nerdy t-shirts (REPRESENT***), strapped my nerdy glasses firmly onto my head, grabbed my water bottle and headed over to a local YMCA.

Oh. My. Gosh. Very high energy, very friendly, very positive, very Italian! I hid in the back so as to avoid any direct confrontation with our intimidatingly enthusiastic instructor (plus… I always hide in the back, that’s my spot).

He has a fierce look on in this pic but he was SO happy, crazy-bouncy, and nice!
But I kept up! The moves were totally doable for me, just with a ton of exuberance and a lot of instructor-audience participation involved. I dripped sweat onto the floor within the first ten minutes (I always consider a class successful if I notice I’ve sweat droplets on the floor around me). Raffaelle was up front, on both sides of the room, then he was in the middle of class, then splitting us into two halves for a dance-off battle, then doing the tango with one of the class members, it was nuts and wild and so much fun!

I was so proud of my instructor from Retro! (There were five of us total from her class in attendance). At one point Raffaelle called her to come dance with him up front and she jumped in with both feet like the badass Jedi she is. I’m clapping and grinning in the back of the room like, “YEAH – that’s my teacher!” Still no shouting or whooping on my part though, I have yet to overcome my verbalization aversion.

I would absolutely do this again, and I’m not calling myself a Zum-Newbie anymore either. I’m not a Zum-Jedi Master (and I sadly have yet to evidence any superpowers as a result of my adventures), but I feel comfortable at least calling myself a Zum-Padawan.

Me, my instructor, and four of my classmates with Raffaelle (and his Italian flag, of course!)

***I almost always wear nerdy t-shirts to workout in. If you're curious, this one featuring one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Who is what I wore to the Master Class.

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