Monday, May 1, 2017

Zumba Cruisin'!

Just back from the Zumba cruise and - wow! I thought I had met lots of Zenthusiasts before but this trip really brings the faithful together. Five nights of dancing in classes, great meals, dancing in the clubs, excursions at the port cities, dancing in the pools (and the hallways, shops, etc.), and all around good times.

We were at sea for 3ish days and in each port - Nassau, Bahamas and Cozumel, Mexico - for one day. Some people did adventurous things at the ports; I chose to get day passes at local resorts to enjoy peaceful beach time. Every evening you'd get a brochure called the Cruise Compass and it would tell you about all the activities the following day: rock climbing, Broadway-style shows, wine tastings, shopping specials - there was really something for everyone.

There was a whole separate print out just for the classes to be offered. There were a bazillion (technical term) classes offered each day, including Aqua, Toning, and Strong by Zumba. They were taught by all our favorite ZESs and international presenters, and it was amazing being surrounded by so much talent.

If you're thinking about the cruise for next year, you should go for it! There's plenty to do for non-Zumba fans (just in case you have a few in your life, gasp), though they should come prepared for thumping music and Zumbawear as far as the eye can see. One other thing to know is that because the pool deck is used primarily for classes, the pools are often closed or are the site of DJ-led dance parties, so the only time I was able to bring my daughter to the pool deck was super early in the morning. If you have kids who are expecting to swim all day every day, it's something to consider.
Here are some photos to give you a better taste of the experience.

Drinks on the balcony to our room before setting sail from Miami

Beto was everywhere! Even though there were thousands of people on the ship, it felt pretty intimate.

This is the set sail party - that's Wyclef Jean in the Zumba shirt (he's one of my favorite artists!). We also had performances from Shaggy and J. Perry.

There was a whole lot of Zumba in the sun on the pool deck (and in every other corner of the boat).

The ship was transformed into a Zumba wonderland!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Top 10 Things to Say to Someone in your Zumba Spot

We've all been there. Here are 10 ways to handle someone standing in your spot. I recommend printing a copy for your gym bag. :)

1. You must not be from around here. Let me show you around. We have some lovely vacant land over here by the fan. 

2. Don't say a word. Just stand RIGHT next to her. Avoid eye contact until she moves away.)

3. Oh, I actually have to use this spot. You see, I have this vision disease where I have to stand exactly this distance from the instructor. I'm sure you understand. 

4. You don't want to stand there. Big Mike stands over here and sweats all over the place. In fact, I'll take this spot to make sure no one else gets stuck here. 

5. (Send someone else over. Have him say, "You see that lady over there? This is her spot. I just wanted to wish you good luck." During this exchange, run your thumb across your neck in a threatening manner while staring in their direction.)

6. Oh good, someone else is in the demo spot for a change. I'm sure you'll be great at helping the instructor teach the moves. You know how to do one of those handstand twerk things, right?

7. Wow, no one has been brave enough to stand THERE since the ceiling collapse incident of 2014. I mean, I'm sure you'll be fine. 

8. (Walk toward him snapping your fingers as to start a dance battle, West Side Story-style. If he stands his ground until you get there, try some leaping kicks into the wind.)

9. I'm sorry, but I actually purchased this spot last year. Got a great deal in a foreclosure. I can grab the deed if you'd like to see it. 

10. Hi. My name is so-and-so. I'm a creature of habit and come to class every week, and really like standing in this spot. Would you mind moving over a few steps? I appreciate it! (...that's right, the nice and normal approach just might work!)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

3.1 Miles, and Setting Goals for YOU

Yep, it was just a 5K... but it was also my first road race AND my first full, uninterrupted  3.1 miles in close to two years. Oh, it was also my first time running outside and not on the treadmill with a baby staring/crying/in-need-of-rescuing/etc. I was worried about being able to finish because I had only run a handful of times in the last month. We were dealing with baby ear infections and colds (yes, plural) and sleep was hard to come by. And yes, I know that I could subscribe to a no excuses mantra, but... I don't. I think excuses in extreme moderation are realistic. Sometimes, you just have to prioritize things like, ya know, working so you can pay your bills.

Anyway, I did it! And to think, this time two years ago, I had just set a half marathon personal record. Not only that, but I was complaining about how I wasn't faster. It really has me thinking about setting goals that are right for you and meeting yourself where you're at. In March 2015, running 13.1 miles in less than 2 1/2 hours was my goal, and I did it and kind of moved on to the next thing. In March 2017, running 3.1 uninterrupted miles was a big goal and I feel great that I hit it. I'm taking time to celebrate it, and to appreciate each milestone I pass on the winding path to being my best self.

Gosh, that sounds cheesy. But it's truly how I'm feeling this week. Someone remind me of this the next time I beat myself up over something, mmk? Thanks.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Catching up!

Oh, hey friends! I know it's been a long time. It wasn't an accident. After I went back to work post-maternity leave, I knew a few things would have to change to be able to keep up with a full-time job, 2 hours of commuting daily, being a mom, generally taking care of a house, and trying to lose a whopping 64 pounds of pregnancy weight (!). I didn't want to pretend like I could keep bringing you interesting content here, too. I do hope you've been keeping up with me over on ZLife - don't you love their stuff? I love contributing to such a great site.

The other thing that had to give was regularly teaching classes. In part, because I was so sleep deprived for the first 6 months after my daughter was born that it seemed impossible to be awake and ready at the same time every week. But, more than that, I was worried about developing new routines. I still remember the old ones (and secretly do them in my basement with my 14-month old, sshhhh), but I wasn't sure my brain was up to choreographing and remembering new stuff (remember this one about why we screw up? yeah, this times ten!). I have kept subbing, and it's always such a joy to teach. Hopefully I'll be able to jump back in when I'm ready.

So, back to that pregnancy weight... 64 pounds, ya'll! What the heck? You may recall I taught classes up until I was 7 months pregnant and ran and powerwalked up until my due date. I was hungry all the time and never got sick (thank you, universe!) but still - how did that happen?

I'm happy to report I lost about 55 pounds over 10 months or so through exercise and a combination of counting WW points and tracking calories on My Fitness Pal (I always go back and forth between which one I prefer more). I'm back in regular clothes and feel pretty good about it.

Today, I'm recommitting to toning up. That probably means losing another 5 pounds or so, but I'm really more interested in strength training and losing fat. And guess what's motivating me... pausing for you to think about it... I'M GOING ON THE ZUMBA CRUISE, BABY! I've never been on a cruise and I can't believe I'm doing it. I can't wait.

So, 5 weeks from today I want to feel even better about myself. Lots of water, exercise, protein and veggies, and self care. Who's with me??