This weekend, just because I was tired of the ordinary trauma that makes up my Saturday mornings, I decided to test the waters of the exercise craze called Zumba. Somehow in comparison, changing the litter boxes is no longer the extended torture that I thought. It was a good experience. After all, those lungs won’t explode themselves.
Zumba, which means “cardiac arrest,” in a language spoken in wheezing noises, is no more difficult than tap dancing through a crowd of snarling Weight Watchers dropouts wearing a bologna thong, scaling a mountain made of glass shards at high speed, or convincing a bride’s mother that hip-hop beer pong is the go-to game for shower parties in the church parlor.
It’s kind of a cross between auditioning as a rodeo clown and dancing a two-step over hot coals. But according to available demonstration videos, you do it wearing a midriff top, hiphugger pants, and a smile, and you do it to the charismatic beat of Latin music, which adds the same special flavor as a kick me sign taped to your crotch.
Since baring my belly would be akin to inviting navel whiplash and subjecting bystanders to sudden thrashing movements of my stomachs, I chose to wear a large T-Shirt. This also served as a container for sixteen gallons of sweat that collected in my cleavage and rained down on my bellies like a cloudburst in a rainforest.
The Zumba people urged me to “feel the beat and let loose.” I think I felt the beat, although that could have been the beginnings of spleen implosion, and upon thoughtful consideration, I felt that letting loose could result in a hefty cleaning bill for the upholstery, the living room Oriental, and possibly also for the dog.
Just as I got the hang of the thing, the draft caused by the up-tempo undulations of my love handles flailing against each other like a truck full of chickens on a downhill grade sent furballs and dustbunnies swirling together in a sort of mystic indoor whirlwind, and with with the sweat-laced currents from my thighs flapping together like an Ace of Spades in Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France bicycle spokes, I couldn’t help wonder if the weather alert people were going to slap a severe weather warning for my neighborhood on the Emergency Channel.
To be honest (I’m a coward), I started with a half hour of my usual workout, which involves rigorously snapping my fingers to the beat of my favorite Barry Manilow tunes. Then I finished up with fifteen minutes of Zumba from a video I found on You Tube.
I know now that fifteen minutes in Zumba time is equivalent to whichever era in world history killed all the dinosaurs. I’m reasonably sure that the dinosaurs died following an actual Zumba workout.
This one almost did.