My first born had just turned two and I decided it was time to get back in shape. I was determined to get back what I called my "Beyonce" body from my early twenties. The only question that remained was how. I considered beginning a life as a runner. I tried training for a 5K once…literally, once. Then, I considered cycling. One pair of workout pants with friction induced holes in the inseams and two blistered thighs later, I realized that cycling may also be a poor fit. Finally, a friend suggested I attend a Zumba class with her. After a couple of classes, I was hooked and following the local Zumba instructor from venue to venue, all over the city.
Some of the reasons I was so addicted to Zumba is because I love to dance. Another reason was because I was seeing results. I had already dropped a couple of pant sizes, but I hadn't had the time to go buy new workout pants. So, on this day, I grabbed a pair of sweatpants with a tie around the waist. Problem solved. I mean, while I was performing...I mean, working out, I was just going to envision that I was wearing a custom-made, crystal-encrusted costume, anyway. It didn't matter what I was actually wearing. Right?
One of the aforementioned venues was a lovely gymnasium that featured glass windows from floor to ceiling, on the far wall, facing an intersection shared by the community college across the street.
There are a few things you learn once you become an avid Zumba enthusiast. One such jewel is that you must arrive early, otherwise, all the prime real estate is taken. On this particular day, my end of the day meeting, in my office across town, ran late, and despite my total disregard for the speed limit, I landed the worst spot in the gym....the back right corner, surrounded by all the young, thin twenty-somethings who actually didn't mind the college boys at the intersection checking out their shaking tushes through the glorious wall of plate glass. I considered packing up my coin skirt and making a beeline for my vehicle right then, but my efforts were thwarted by the instructor, who came running over to give me a hug, tell me she was glad I made it, and that she had some new choreography just for me. Stupid, awesome, sweet, Zumba instructor! I was trapped.
Resigned to my fate, I had a decision to make. I could stand in the back corner, feeling self-conscious and waste an hour of my life and some hard earned cash or I could choose not to be deterred and give that class the same energy I would if I knew no one else could see. I chose the latter…'cause, girl power! Or feminism. Or something.
Three songs. That's how long it took for me to completely forget the glass behind me. In my head, I was saying... Plus sized, thirty-somethings can be sexy too, college boys! Look at me shake these hips over here, thrust my pelvis over there...Unh! Take that, gorgeous, perfectly tan, blonde girl beside me! That's right, sista! I'm someone's mom! Bam! Oh yeah, this waist still gyrates! In my head, I was the Queen Bey' herself. On the outside, I was probably more like Elaine Benes. But, who cares? 'Cause again, girl power! (It's possible that "Bam!" and “Unh!” may have actually come out of my mouth a time or three. It’s hard to tell when one is in the zone)
The third song ended and I trotted over to my water for a drink. Mid gulp, the fourth song began to play. I nearly choked with excitement. She was playing my song! My song! I had practiced the choreo in front of the mirror in my locked bathroom the night before! That one part, with the step and then the cross, and then the other step followed by that funky hip thing ... I wasn't going to get it wrong today. No, ma'am! So, I threw down my water and ran to my spot. I didn't want to miss a beat.
The song started and I was giving it my all. I even threw a hair flick in a place or two…See, I watch a lot of “Making the Team” and it’s all about the hair flick. Also, I’ve been told that I give good hair. Well okay, some drunk girl at a club told me that once about six years ago, but she sounded really sincere.
Anyway, that choreo I practiced? Nailed it! All that was left was the finale. In which, we bent over and touched the ground, then bounced our booty up and down to the beat for 64 counts. Sure, I had sweat dripping down the crack of my ... elbows. My hair tie had come loose, you know, during the hair flicks, and half my hair was plastered to my sweaty, bright red face while the other half was tangled in the elastic band hanging at the ends, but I was not going to let it affect my performance.
There I was, booty bouncing, running on pure adrenaline, determined to make it to the jazz hands pose at the end of the song without stopping. Then, it happened. The tie on my pants came loose!
My first thought was, Dear Lord, please let me be wearing underwear without holes in them. That was quickly replaced by the realization that divas don’t wear underwear to Zumba! I mean, you can’t fit granny panties under your custom-made, crystal encrusted dance costume … or, giant granny panties tend to chafe with all that hip thrusting. Either way, I’ve tried it and it’s all picking wedgies and chub rub in weird places.
With every bounce, my pants were revealing more and more of my pale, dimpley, butt! Before I knew it, the traitorous garment was around my knees! I was mooning a busy intersection full of college students! Oh, gawd! I couldn’t remember the last time the gardener had trimmed the hedges! And, the cellulite! Oh, the cellulite! It was rippling…I just knew it was rippling.
So. Much. Rippling.
The worst part? While my brain was trying to process what was going on, my booty just continued to bounce up and down! Somewhere inside, I knew that I should no longer be bent over, dropping it to the floor and raising it to the roof, but I couldn’t coordinate all my thoughts at once. Instead, one hand remained on the floor while the other hand was clumsily grasping at, and missing, the pants that were around my knees. I can’t tell you exactly how long my rear end continued to bob fully exposed, but I can tell you it felt like the nightmare would never end! By the time I gained control of my mind and body, stopped popping my derriere, and yanked my breeches back to my waist, I had an audience. The girls beside me were purple with laughter, tears streaming down their faces. When they noticed me, noticing them, they looked apologetic for a moment, but couldn’t stifle the chortles for long. I ran to the wall, hand firmly grasping the waist of my pants, snatched up my belongings, and ran to my car.
About a week later, I met a girlfriend of mine for lunch. “I have to tell you the funniest story,” she said. “Are you still going to Zumba? The daughter of a friend of mine went to class last week and there was this girl there and her pants fell down! She mooned an intersection full of college students!…Oh, dear. I about died laughing when she told me. Can you imagine? I would have a heart attack!” she proclaimed.
And, that’s when I hired a personal trainer.
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