Look, I don't often get excited about physical activity, but have you ever done Zumba? I LOVE IT. I love it! And yes, I think that's probably about as cool as admitting I love fannypacks—"bumbags" for my British readers, who've probably just spat out their tea in shock (Americans, I'll let you google the VERY DIFFERENT MEANING that doesn't seem to have crossed the pond)—but I don't care. I am obsessed with Zumba. It is my New Thing. Well, if by New Thing we're allowing that I've only done it twice. But I did it twice with passion.
That's the best part about Zumba, you see: you actually have to do it with passion or it doesn't work. You have to rejoice in the dorkiness of the dance moves, one of which—at least at my Zumba, which takes place in an enormous YMCA gymnasium filled with mostly middle-aged women, plus one very flamboyant 14-year-old boy who is better than all of us—is a sort of ballroom-slash-hip-hop routine to "I've Had The Time Of My Life." There's another one called "The Roof Is On Fire," which mainly just involves jumping up and down and waving your arms around as though the roof is, in fact, on fire. My favorite Zumba dance is hard to describe, but if you put your left palm to your forehead while pumping your right arm like you've just scored big—you just tried it, didn't you?—you're halfway there.
Honestly, I don't know how the teacher doesn't crack up the entire time she's teaching it. She must have to sneak into a toilet stall at the end just to have a little laugh.
I tell you one thing, though: as dorky as Zumba might be and as lacking in rhythm as it makes me feel, it sure does get you working up a sweat. You're moving constantly for an hour. It's kind of like aerobics, if you were doing aerobics in a nightclub in Bogota with a bunch of your mother's friends, by which I mean that it's the most fun ever. In fact, the only time I've ever had as much fun at the gym was in 1996 when my German exchange student tricked me into taking a step class with her in Stuttgart. (My German, unfortunately, wasn't as good as I thought it was. I'd been under the impression we were going shopping.)
In other fitness news—I'm pretty sure that's why you come here, right? For my fitness news?—I'm still going to the gym in the mornings, and as well as teaching me tolerance, patience, and virtue, it's also teaching me a whole bunch of new ways to blowdry my hair. There are so many ways to blowdry your hair! Who knew? That's what happens when you have to shower, change, and primp among a carousel of other women, I guess: you start noticing that everyone does it differently. Head upside down! The side-to-side swish! I've even seen a woman bring her own roundbrush! (Okay, alright, that woman was me. A little high-maintenance, sure, but my swoopy bangs that day were nonpareil.)