I joined a gym (or how I learned Zumba)

Amanda’s phone rang Saturday morning. We didn’t recognize the phone number, so I picked it up. “Is Amanda there? This is Amontae at LA Fitness.”

I put the phone on mute.

“Amanda! Your boyfriend is on the phone!”

Amanda grabbed the phone and heard out Amontae’s sales pitch. Apparently Dad had joined the gym earlier in the day and listed us as his VIPs (aka sales referrals) who could use the gym for free for two weeks. Amontae had called to notify us and invite us to tour the gym.

We had already been talking about joining a gym for the last month anyway and for a few reasons:

1. It’s December, and EVERYONE talks about joining a gym in December. You can’t help but feel pale and bloated after a lack of sun and an overdose of food.

2. We have a wedding in FOUR AND A HALF MONTHS, and of course we want to look good. Really good. 3. I bought a used Bowflex on Craigslist and it’s really limited. It’s going back up for sale on Craigslist.

Lucky for Amontae, we took him up on his offer and went to meet him just a few hours later.

LA Fitness on 6th and Pearl in Tacoma is massive, at least compared to the Ballard gym I was at before. That felt like a toddler gym compared to this fitness mecca. It has a pool, jacuzzi, racquetball and basketball courts and more weight machines than I would ever have time to learn. Amontae got us in at a fair price (Read: Not January pricing), so we went all in and signed up for two gym memberships.

Amanda was particularly excited about the range of classes. I don’t know what it is about fitness classes, but women just love them. I would like to take a class about the psychology of why women love fitness classes.

Zumba is apparently all the rage right now, like strip aerobics before it. There always has to be an “IT” fitness class, right? Well, Zumba is it at the moment. The problem is that I had no idea what Zumba really was. This ignorance sacrificed my Sunday morning, when I agreed to take the hour-long class with Amanda.

I knew I was in trouble when I was the ONLY dude in the class. I usually enjoy being outnumbered 12:1, but this was a rare exception.

Zumba, I learned, was simple salsa dancing. The dance teacher was a Peruvian woman in her 40s who looked JUST like Moos’ mom, Alice. I really felt like the whole class was an invasion of privacy because all I did for an hour was watch Alice dance in front of a mirror and try to copy her. Creepy.

Lucky for me, I have great rhythm. Every girl I’ve danced with since St. Vincent’s junior high dances knows this. Of course, I was positioned in the dead center of the room. I was unwillingly the nucleus of this class, and no matter which way we turned everyone had a view of my cha-cha. I felt bad for the women behind me who had to endure my rump shaking for so long without enjoying a pinch. I’m sure I gave them a reason to sweat.

The workout itself was low-impact and low-strain. Personally, I’d be more interested in a boxing circuit or spin class, but I’m glad I can say I took a Zumba class for the next time I have to make conversation at a baby shower or find myself trapped in an elevator with an Oprah book club.

The things we do to stay in shape. Oy.