I have suffered from painful bunions for a few years and finally bit the bullet in early 2013 and had my right and most painful foot fixed. As predicted, once that foot had recovered, my left foot began giving me grief, so in December, just before Christmas, I went in for the left foot. This one is taking a little longer to heal. A broken toe slowed down progress and it’s just been a rougher go. But I was finally given the go ahead to add more activity. Maybe now I can give a concerted effort to losing all those extra pounds I’ve packed on.
My exercise routine can be classified as pre-foot surgery and post foot surgery. Prior to surgery, I attended a fairly intense Zumba class. It might be more accurately defined as a night club work-out with girls half my age, or as described on the Kazaxe website, “a high intensity dance-party workout that will have you twerkin’ and workin’ to international urban beats.” (I’m not making that up. Honestly, had that description existed before I started, I would never have given it a try.)
Kazaxe was first held in the basement of a nearby shopping center. The space also served as a Bingo spot on weekends, so the perimeter of the large room was filled with folding tables and tin ashtrays and the place always smelled strongly of cigarette smoke. But the price was right and it attracted some serious crowds. Most evenings found about 200 or more people vying for floor space. Many people would arrive well before class to reserve their spot with a water bottle or sweatshirt.
The class was led by some incredibly fit instructors in various stages of undress. Heck, if I had a toned belly like that, I would never wear a full length shirt either. Also on the stage was a posse of 5 or 6 dancers. Once class begins, the lights are turned down and a series of colorful blinking spotlights illuminate the stage. Like any exercise class, it begins with a warm up and grows into a fevered pace before slowing down for a cool down and stretching. I think I first loved Kazaxe because it made me laugh at myself for one hour. There are no verbal instructions – the music’s too loud for that – so really you just have to muddle through. I once brought a blind friend and her husband to class, thinking the husband would help her out so I could get on with my high intensity twerkin’ and workin.’ Instead, the husband was completely captivated by the whole thing, leaving me to attempt to prevent my friend from hurting herself or others. “No, go left. GO LEFT!” It was a painful experience but I still laugh thinking of the absurdity of the situation.
My husband came to class one time. One time. He started out in the row ahead of me, but I had to make him move behind me. His moves were making me laugh so hard and, well, my bladder isn’t what it used to be. Sweet man. I told him to get behind some hot girl so he could watch her bum and he said “I AM behind a hot girl.” Points were scored, but he never came back.
I was going about 3 times a week when the bottom dropped out. A Marshalls employee at the shopping center complained about the noise and class was moved to a back room in the Bingo hall that would only hold about 100 -125 people. Now people were arriving upwards of an hour before class to reserve their spot, and things got pretty rough in the old lady back row. I stopped going as frequently, attempting to go to the less popular class times. They never adjusted the music volume for the smaller room, and I can directly attribute my permanent tinnitus to one particularly painful class. It’s my own fault. They provide free earplugs but I couldn’t seem to work out in them.
Kazaxe soon moved to a different space. This one a boxing gym that smells of sweat and more sweat. The floors are carpeted, which makes it a bit harder for me and my knees, but I was still going to the noon time class once or twice a week prior to surgery. After class, I was physically exhausted for the rest of the day and my knees started making funny noises when I went up and down stairs. But I still could not admit that maybe I’ve aged out of Kazaxe. It still made me laugh, especially when the twerking started. No one should have to see a woman my age move like that. I felt as though I needed to apologize to the poor folks behind me.
I haven’t been to Kazaxe in months now. If I did, I would have to make sure there was a defibrillator on the wall or a twerking nurse with recent CPR certification nearby. A lovely lady at my church has started a Zumba class on Wednesday evenings. It takes place in our Fellowship room where we usually have coffee after church. At this class, the music is not too loud, and it’s a twerk-free zone. Unlike Kazaxe, the music is G-rated and the instructor is fully clothed. It’s no “high intensity dance-party workout” but my knees feel pretty good and I have enough strength after class to make it to my car without resting on the way.
Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, but once my foot is fully recovered I plan to head back to Kazaxe at least once a week. A lady of a certain age doesn’t have too many opportunities to attend a dance-party, plus I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that I’m too old to be twerkin’ and workin’. And maybe I’ll give someone a good laugh, even if it’s just me.