Shock & Awe…and Jazzercise

True to my word, I took my first Jazzercise class yesterday.  High five!

Even with all the determination and courage I felt in my last post, I still had to fight off the Evil Fat Girl in my head – and the bitch got louder and louder as payday grew closer.  I had to fight off the primal urge to run to the corner and hide on more than one occasion this past week, but thankfully I remembered my new battle plan:  run full speed at whatever it is that I’m afraid of.  🙂

I beat down a dozen excuses that the Evil Fat Girl came up with and, before I knew it, Friday was here.  I rolled out of bed and signed up online before the Evil Fat Girl could talk me out of it.

Saturday morning came and nervous/anxious Dianne came with it.  I hate being the new kid.  I hide it well, but when I’m the designated noob with any group of people I’m mentally torturing myself with thoughts like “Oh my God, I’m the biggest person in the room”.  Sad, but true.

I sucked it up as best I could and introduced myself to the Jazzercise-y looking woman who was putting up “Jazzercise HERE!” signs outside the building.  She was very happy to see me and showed me around the facility.  I filled out the typical waiver forms while she set things up.  As my class mates filed in and put their gear down, something amazing happened:  they all started coming over and welcoming me.  What?  I…I…holy crap.  Nice people?  What a relief!!

This is where Jazzercise differs from your average aerobics class in an over-priced gym.  I’ve been to many aerobics classes in my day.  I’ve walked in, put my gear down, and busied myself with my cell phone or pretending to look for gum in my purse until the music started.  Never once was I greeted by anyone…including the instructor.  I have received countless sideways glances from perfectly coiffed, bouncy boobed aerobics bimbos who were clearly wondering what the hell I was doing in their aerobics class.  I wish I had a dollar for every one of those I’ve ever gotten.

Not so at Jazzercise.  I was sincerely and enthusiastically welcomed by several of my class mates.  In fact, I never even had time to be fake-busy with my cell phone or that fictitious pack of gum in my purse.

The music started and I turned on my heart rate monitor, silently praying “God, please don’t let me pass out on my first day…or fart loudly during the floor exercises.”  Hey, I’m just saying…when I’m nervous, I’ll trip over a hair on the carpet. Embarrassing things just happen to me.

During the floor exercises, I realized I’d forgotten my hand weights.  I didn’t say anything, I just followed along from my position in the back of the room.  One of my class mates offered to let me borrow her other hand weight.  Again, not something I’ve ever seen at any gym I’ve belonged to.  In fact, some of you will remember my last unpleasant gym experience.  I think my Jazzercise experience has proven to me once and for all that I don’t need to go to a gym to get back in shape.

When class was over, several class mates came to ask me how I liked the class and whether I would be back.  Yes, I assured them…I would be back for every class. Never once did I think I was the biggest person in the room.  It never occurred to me at all.

It was fun and the music was great.  It was just the right blend of dance and aerobics for me – and the icy cold washcloths they passed out halfway through class were sheer Heaven.  Heaven!!

My heart rate monitor showed an average of 164 beats per minute with a high of 184 beats per minute.  That’s quite awesome.  Actually, that’s bordering on ninja awesome.

I don’t know why I’m so shocked when I encounter nice people, but I am.  I’ve lived in Texas for 5 years, you’d think I’d be a little more used to it.  Growing up in California took its toll in some interesting ways, I guess.

I’m so glad I went.  I’m so glad I looked fear in the face and told it to piss off.  This was another important step in teaching myself that dancing again doesn’t mean I’ll ever have to go back to the life I had as a dancer.  Those days are gone for good…and I have the power to build much stronger, more positive memories now.

So…in closing, I’d like to ask what you’re doing for exercise.  Are you doing it…or are you just thinking about it?  Is there something keeping you from it?  My something is fear…fear of going back to the negative, manipulative environment I grew up in as a dancer.  What is it for you?  And what is your plan of attack?

I’m all ears…






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10 thoughts on “Shock & Awe…and Jazzercise

  1. Great job!!! I am so glad everyone was nice. That can be the key to staying involved. I run and the running group I stumbled upon is fantastic and so nice. No one cares that I am as slow as a snail.

    Keep it up!! You can do it.

  2. I’m so proud of you, Dianne! You really are an inspiration, and I’m delighted to call you my friend! Keep at it, kiddo! You’re doing awesome!

  3. Hey! Good for you getting off your butt and going to jazzercise!

    For me I like to run, for a really long time… Outside… on hills and trails. Shocker I know, but I love it 🙂

  4. Let’s ALL keep moving and keep kicking our own butts. We can do this!! 🙂

  5. I can TOTALLY relate to the California vs The South comparison. I was born in CA, but raised in GA. After the Army, I ended up working in CA, and as my children were growing up, I knew that that wasn’t the environment I wanted to raise my kids in. Quit my job and moved to NC. Love it here…ah, nice people again!

    Been a while since we chatted. Pathetically, I fell off the wagon. I had gotten down to around 183 or so, and I let myself pack 17lbs back on to 200 even. And it ain’t muscle. But I’m going to fix it.

    Went running tonight. First of all, even at 12:30am it is still OMG-levels of hot out here. Heat index of 90F…really?!?!? So I set out for a 5-mile run, which would have been (mildly) pushing myself less than a year ago. Tonight? Dying at 2.5 miles. Decided not to give myself a heart attack and walked at a moderately-swift pace back.

    How do I feel? Disgusted with myself for letting my fitness level drop so much. A little proud of myself for getting off my butt and running again (especially for not using the heat as a crutch to put it off for another day). And determined to get back to where I was a year ago.

    Now to sit down with my calendar and make myself a daily workout plan that I’m NOT allowed to deviate from. I’m gonna do this!

    1. Steve, that’s okay…I gained back some poundage myself…but we keep going!!! You can do it!!!

  6. Hello Dianne,

    We have not met in Jazzercise class (yet) but I could totally relate to your hilarious, honest and fun post here!! I have been going to Jazzercise for many years now and although my body may not consistently reflect that commitment as well as it should (darn it)…. the friends, the dance I love, the stress reduction and truly the health benefits for this almost sixty year old grandma is amazing. I remember my first time in the very back row, covered up more than anyone should ever be and then gradually moving my way to the middle of the pack where I truly like to be.

    I am sooh glad you came to our location and please say hello sometime. I will be the one who is there rocking out as if I were believing that I am invincible and much thinner and younger than I am. Oh wait….there might be several more just like me there so that might be tricky.

    Until we officially meet……

    1. Hi Doreen! Nice to “meet” you. 🙂 I’ll be the giant woman lurching in the back row when we finally run into each other in class. LOL

      Even now, a whole week later, I still feel myself trying to chicken out of going. I’m leaving in 10 minutes to get there…and I’m not letting myself talk me out of it!!!

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