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How it all started

When I was growing up in the 80’s you were either sporty, arty or academic, and if you weren’t sporty then health and fitness as a lifestyle kind of passed you by. Sure there was Jane Fonda and Mr Motorvator, the Green Goddess and a few other celebs on morning TV, but that really was it. There were no high street gyms, no personal trainers and definitely no protein shakes, energy drinks or muscle massing products.

As I hit my 30’s I started feeling frumpy. Unhappy with my weight and my body. Don’t get me wrong, I was not obese or dreadfully overweight. But I knew I was unfit and I went up another dress size. I decided something had to change……….me and my attitude.

Legs, bums and tums was the first group class I did, followed by yoga and swimming, but I didn’t stick at any of them, I just didn’t find the practices engaging. A few more years passed by and a few more outfits went to the charity shop. Then one day I heard about Zumba. I can’t even remember how it came to my attention.

It was the promise of ‘ditch the workout and join the party’ that intrigued me. As a bit of a raver in the 90’s club scene, anything involving some funky tunes was sure to be an improvement on the regular aerobic classes. 9 years ago I found it……….Zumba took over.

My fiend Sherly and I hot footed it down to a local synagogue where I’d heard of a Colombian guy running Zumba classes. We went to the back of the hall, not quite knowing what to expect. Then the music started, and this olive skinned guy with long black hair jumped on stage and began the class. ‘ I am Federico from Colombia’ he shouted in staggered English, ‘I trained in the same town as Beto’ (the Zumba founder) – we were very impressed and rather bemused at the same time.

I started doing Zumba when I was 43 years old, by far the youngest, or the oldest in the classes that I went to in my home town of Brighton & Hove. Here I am 9 years later embarking on a mission to spread the happiness and satisfaction that I have found through Zumba.

I hope that my story will inspire some of you to give it a go. Unleash your inner Diva and shake it like Shakira!

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