Nothing says Zumba quite like a gym studio in south east London, overlooking a historic dock, and filled with people from every tribe, tongue and nation. I was so glad to brave the rain to go to my Zumba class last night – exercise, music and the united nations renewed me!
Our instructor is eastern European and gorgeous. She welcomed everyone, asked if anyone had any injuries or medical conditions she needed to know about, and then she filled the room – corner to corner – with pumping latin beat. Our class began. From hip-swaying salsa through to rocking bacciata, we moved our bodies in unison (mostly), and conversed in the international language of dance. I do cringe when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, but if I keep my eyes on the instructor, I’m well in fantasy land! Ooh, I just love it!
I guess it’s because I don’t have much else to focus on right now, but my (almost) daily fix of gym lifts my spirits and helps to keep me positive. And the exercise is just what I need. It’s getting cooler now, but a few months ago, in mid-summer, we did the odd Pilates class outside on the deck, next to the water and under a fading blue London sky. Wonderful.
Our Pilates instructor has, as she says, a knee that is poorly. A few weeks ago she came into class and announced that she was, officially, “broken” and couldn’t do the class fully with us, as she usually does, until her knee was better. Turns out her brokenness is housemaid’s knee. Ouch! She does as much of the class with us as she can, and has told us – ad nauseum – that when we are to be kneeling, and she sits on one knee with the other leg outstretched, we should ignore her and do as she instructs. I have giggled to myself to notice – EVERY time – that there are a number of people who continue to copy her and stick one leg out to the side. I guess she finds it funny too. And I guess language is a factor.
Which reminds me of a conversation I seriously had some years ago when we lived in Harare, Zimbabwe. It was so bizarre I sent it in to the Readers’ Digest, and they published it! I used to go to gym every lunch time (the gym was close to where I worked) and do a class there. One day, soon after we’d returned from our three-month holiday in the UK and Europe, which had ended with three weeks on Santorini in the Greek Isles, a woman approached me in the change-room after the class and this is how the conversation went, I kid you not:
She: “Excuse me. Could you tell me the secret of your deep tan?”
Me, beaming, “Greece!”
She looked a bit confused and added this: “Really? I’ve tried oil, but it never works.”
Music, dance and laughter. Don’t you just love it?
Sunshine signing off for today!