Zumba – End of First Trimester

I’m pleased to announce that as of July 24th, I have successfully completed my first trimester of Zumba and while I’m no expert on Obstetrics, my understanding is that my statistical likelihood of carrying this Zumba to full term is now substantially enhanced, despite my continued misgivings. Yes, the nausea is better, thank you and while I’m still having trouble breathing, I’m getting more adjusted to it. I’m a little nervous about what this Zumba is going to look like at 40 weeks, full term, but some mystery is one of the exciting parts of life, isn’t it.

On Wednesday, I was actually feeling good about all this. I had just come off a recent six months Dr’s checkup, where I had some pretty nice improvements on my blood work, (not that any of that was bad but always nice to see improvement) and I know all this increased exercise is helping. I’ve been finding I can actually make it for thirty minutes of the 55 minute class before I run out of air, gas, motivation and energy, instead of the 6.7 seconds when I started. I’m actually getting the hang of the steps and the arm movements. In fact, I feel fully qualified to taxi any aircraft of any size at any major airport now, and with panache, mind you. Yes, I was feeling pretty good on Wednesday…. and then I went to class.

I was originally thinking that this was my 90 day anniversary, along the lines of “it takes 90 days to form a new habit”, blah blah blah but then on Wednesday, two of the ladies spoke to me. One said I was a “brave soul”, commenting on a man who attended class on Monday and probably wouldn’t be back. “Many are called, few are chosen,” I said. The other said she thought I was slimming down and while not true, was incredibly sweet and supportive. That’s when I realized that I had completed my first trimester and now that they thought I might not miscarry my Zumba, I was in for a little more support.

But, hey, I’m no quitter. When I was in Boy Scouts, our summer camp was “aquatic based” meaning they offered every aquatic merit badge offered in Scouting. My first year I signed up for rowing- sounded like good exercise, fun, how hard could it be, right? Well, one of the requirements was to row the boat out to the middle of the lake (I use this word euphemistically – this was a very very large round ditch, of reddish brown, clay filled water, about 3 feet deep at its center), get out of the row boat, swamp the boat and turn it upside down. You were then supposed to climb up on the bottom of the boat, reach across, grab the gunnel on the OTHER side, pull the boat right side up and row it back half filled with water back to shore. We quickly discovered that I was so short, and as one of my yoga instructors likes to say and with “tyrannosaurus Rex arms” that I would scramble up on the bottom of the boat, and in order to actually REACH the gunnel on the other side, I would have to reach so far, I would FALL OFF the other side. This was VERY FUNNY to the other class participants and the instructor. This went on every day for a week, until I was covered in bruises from my neck to my knees. If it was today, instead of 1968, I would have been removed by Child Protective Services.

Camp Year II. Back to Rowing. I had what they called a “Partial” – meaning I still had credit for all the requirements, except the “turn the boat over”. Row out to middle of lake, swamp boat, scramble on bottom, reach for other side, fall over other side, repeat. I got to where I could do that 10 or 15 times in an hour, Monday through Friday. It had the same humorous effect but towards the end of the week, I started to get some of that special ed sympathy. Friday, camp over, another partial.

Camp Year III Back to Rowing. Still had a Partial. Row out to middle of lake, swamp boat, scramble on bottom, reach for other side, fall over other side, repeat. I’m beginning to take pride in this assortment of body bruises although the camp staff is starting to take this a little personally. Friday comes, time to come home – Another partial.

Camp Year IV I’m welcomed back to the lake by my first name by all the staff, some of which are first year staffers, but who have all heard my story. By now, its a mixture of respect and humiliation. Somebody suggests I should take canoeing. I punch them. I’m on year II of lifesaving. Someone laughingly suggests I get up at 5 am and do the mile swim. I go, and get the patch. Screw you, smart ass – I can do 80 laps – before breakfast. Now you go tomorrow. Wednesday – row out to middle of lake, scramble of bottom on boat, reach across, grab gunnel…. holy shit, I’m still on the bottom of the boat – slide backward, till shoulder pulls from socket, jerk shoulder out of socket the rest of way, boat comes out, turns over, cheers from bank of lake – OMG – I’m in the Rocky Movie. (Ok, Rocky didn’t come out for 5 more years, but I couldn’t think of a better movie reference for 1971)

I love that Zumba brings up every bad childhood memory like this I have, although I have to admit, that ever since, when I’ve ever felt like my back was against the wall and I’ve felt like quitting, I think of rowing. And that smart ass who thought I couldn’t swim a mile. So, I’m taking this Zumba to term. And I may even raise it.

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