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Archive for category Zumba dancing

Morning Wake Up

A friend sent me this Zumba video, and I had two reactions: I watched it first thing in the morning, and it woke me right up. Enjoy about 30 seconds–mainly of the music–before you leave it and move on to more important things…like daily chores.

My second reaction was to smile and laugh at the limited moves and amateurishness of the dancing. But it was still worth a brief encounter and made me want to attend another zumba or other dance class…someday…

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Sports/Exercise Report

March ended up being an exhausting month of activity: 21 days total of sports and gym time and four crunch sessions. This compares with records of 25 physically active days in November and nine crunch sessions in December. I did increase to 750 ball crunches twice, up from 550 in February, but below my record 1050 in January. I think the two weeks of vacation travel with restaurant meals was unsettling and used up exercise opportunities. I can’t yet play tennis on a plane.

The three draining days of downhill skiing (one of those on moguls) wore me out for the last two weeks. The week I returned home, I played squash and tennis 9 out of 10 days. I was tired. For the month I played tennis 13 days and 27.5 hours (record is 16 days and 41 3/4 hours), squash two days and 2 hours (record is 8 days and 7.5 hours), made it to the gym four times (just 2 hours), rowed 4 times and went to one Zumba class.

The last day I played tennis on the 29th, I was terrible…lots of unforced errors. Somehow I just couldn’t make it easily through 3 1/2 hours of tennis, when in previous months I was able to last for 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Maybe I will be recharged after my 69th birthday on April 5th.

Please Don’t Worry About Me, I Am Fine

Some readers are wondering why I haven’t been posting lately—the longest interruption in a year. I am simply out of town on spring break vacation, was preparing for the trip, was working on some intense business obligations and have been playing sports almost every day! Even went to the gym three times so far this week.

Yesterday one friend wanted to play tennis twice during the day in 76-degree sunshine, and then my daughter challenged me to join her and her friend in a Miami Zumba class. We were the only non-Latinos in the class, and it was really a sensuous, sexy, sweaty group. Lots of rolling hips and hair-whirling heads. Even the elderly women shook shoulders and twirled like girls. I love it. Spicy, like Hot Salsa. Blasting music…my ears were ringing. And a very different flavor from the Zumba class I took in Connecticut. As a result, I slept more than nine hours last evening. I was really tired.

So please be patient. I am reading Agassi’s auto bio and Brad Gilbert’s tennis guide called, Winning Ugly, so my tennis game should improve. I have lots more to tell, once I am back home on my own computer with a number of articles and stories ready to post. Thanks for your patience…

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Exercise/Sport Report

David Beckham shows off abs for Armani ad—2009

David Beckham shows off abs for Armani ad—2009

I am now addicted. Maybe it’s endorphins that are kicking in. I read that they can be as powerful as morphine. I have become a sportaholic or exercisaholic. I am astonishingly fit, hardly tire, barely sweat (it is 40-50 degrees outside the indoor tennis courts I play on these days).

In just 25 November days, I have done the following:

Tennis—played 15 times, some sessions for three hours of singles and doubles

Squash—played, mostly practiced 6 times, three in a clinic, each session one hour.

Hunting—3 times, average of three hours each time

Zumba—once

Crunches—9 times, some slow, some sloppy but 500-700 most times

Lat pulldowns—6 times

I am now an exercise junky. Read the rest of this entry »

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Zowee!!! Zee Zumba Clazz Zizzles And Izz Zesty

Back in Connecticut and thinking about Zumba, so I found that my gym has one afternoon class every Wednesday at 6pm. As for the 8:30 and 10:00 morning classes…fugeddabowddit. Tennis takes much less energy that I can manage early in the day.

November 11th: Same drill, pretty much as before (http://www.irasabs.com/?p=2672)—just me with 30 women. Crowded, tight black pants, swinging hips, all ages and shapes, various races—though no Spanish heard—and the instructor, slim svelte Lisa, on a dais, in front of mirrors with a headset and portable microphone, hands clapping above her head. I feel like I am on stage with a black-haired Madonna. But not yet one of her boy pets.

This was a bigger space, more room to move than in Florida at the Biltmore Hotel. Totally open. How DO those women remember the steps so quickly? Maybe they are repeated in the same order each week. This time I lasted the whole 45-minute lesson.

Thank God for my Miami Beach youth, meeting girl tourists at the hotels in the dance lounges. I still know a few cha-cha-cha moves and other Latin-flavored steps. It is much much fun, the music is loud and fast.

I am so focused on following Lisa and the adept women in the front line that I never think to look around and see how others are doing. Both rear rows were filled up by the time I entered class. I was stuck in the second row, totally viewable by all behind me. Not only am I standing out because I am tall and male, I am probably the oldest person in the room as well. Talk about being a minority.

When we were told to pair up, no one grabbed me. Eventually one brave lady was forced to be my partner. I showed her a few of my moves. (Wonder why so many others said no when I looked their way?)

But no one asked me to leave. No one laughed so loud I could hear. And no one said, “Nice going,” after class, nor patted me on the butt. Maybe that comes later. Next time I will wear a wife beater tank-top like Zumba’s creator, Berto Perez.

“Olé.”

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Zumba Dancing With 26 Mostly Latina Women

Yup. I did it. Struggling along, trying to keep in step and move my arms at the same time. A bit like rubbing your stomach and patting your head with the other hand simultaneously. But I could do much of it. And I survived…for half of the hour.

Here is what happened. I was staying at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami and headed for the gym there to do something that didn’t hurt my injured arm and shoulders. I started stretching outside a room filled with women doing a quiet, low-light, yoga-like class. But the small area was so crowded with chattering ladies waiting for the next class that I just went inside, where there was a quiet empty space. I was doing crunches on a floor mat just fine, until suddenly all the lights went on jarringly, and women poured in talking real fast…in Spanish or Cuban.

It was hopeless to stay on the floor, so I took my mat outside and planned to leave for the machines. Then I heard a Zumba class was what was starting in a minute. I remembered a high school friend urging me to try this kind of aerobic, high-energy dancing, so I figured “What the Hell, I’m only young once.”

my first Zumba class—10/27/09

my first Zumba class—10/27/09

It’s a blast! Zumba is a Colombian word that means “to move fast and have fun.” Dead-on accurate. The music is all Latin, and many of the steps are taken from salsa, meringue, samba. The instructor keeps changing the steps and upper body movements. I could do the cha-cha-cha moves easily—I grew up in Miami Beach—but I found shimmying my shoulders back and forth like a stripper pretty challenging. I’m sure I looked idiotic.

Of course I had trouble keeping up with the ladies who’d done the routines before. And I was also standing right behind a post, which was the only space left by the time I’d decided to brave it. I looked around for another guy, but there was just one, in bright red shorts and shirt up near the front. He was fearless. The women were mostly younger, but some had grey hair. Many were totally out of sync, but who cared.

It was hilarious. Fantastic. I don’t think Zumba builds bulk muscle, but it definitely can lead to weight loss and body toning. One woman claims she lost 60 pounds in the 2007 Today Show video below. Zumba was created by a Miami man, Beto Perez, in 2001, and there may now be 40,000 studios worldwide offering classes to 5 million people in 75 countries. Really caught on. Millions of DVD’s have been sold. And I may do it again here in Connecticut.

I found some videos on YouTube for you to look at. Beto says on one of them that “people hate the exercise, and love the party. So we turned the exercise into a party.” I love just looking at the happy energetic people on the videos. There are two below.

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Helluva Week For Physical Stuff—From A (abs) to Z (zumba)

Back home to normal life: signing checks, initiating roof replacement, selling a horse. But still awed with the increased physical activity of the last week. I will post specifics later of my time:

hot tubbing with Palm Beach girls,
eating enough desserts in Florida to gain five pounds,
swimming in the country’s biggest hotel pool,
tennis playing/practice (four times in six days),
squash practice twice, including a one-hour group lesson,
ab crunch workouts twice,
practicing archery for upcoming hunting of wild turkeys,
two gym visits for mi latissimi,
Zumba dancing with 26 mostly Latina ladies,
skipping Connecticut meals and exercising enough to lose five pounds,
driving a newly-leased, “brilliant red” car like I was on the race track, and
making 25 green-headed, red-faced, white-ring-necked pheasants feel drunk, so they wouldn’t fly away as I set them in bushes.

I am determined to rebuild my abs and play better squash and tennis, and this burst of body energy better jump-start the effort.