As I mentioned last week, having a baby on board hasn’t stopped me from working out now that I’ve got my energy back. And because we’re still riding high on the group energy that was PowHer (yes, still!), I got to wondering why I’d let my love for group exercise slide. I love the energy of a group and how it pushes you harder and farther than you’d go on your own. I used to take classes all the time, and my gym offers a ton of them but I definitely haven’t taken advantage like I should. I’ll blame running; I’ve definitely spent my time hitting the treadmill way more than hitting up the classes. I’ll also blame my kiddos — for a long time they interrupted my workouts, and I was hesitant to disrupt a group class because I’d have to go rescue a crying kiddo. But my kids have been fine at the gym childcare center for months now, so I decided to cut it with the excuses and get out of my comfort zone. Because as much as I love group classes, they can be a little intimidating when you set foot in a new one for the first time just because you’re not always sure what to expect.
So as my running gets slower and with it the boredom gets greater, I decided last week to switch my workouts up by revisiting my long lost love: Zumba! And I’m kicking myself for letting that love lapse. The usually packed class only had about 15 or so of us, so it was nice not to be crowded for my re-introduction to Zumba. But the fact that it was a small class meant that there was nowhere for me to hide — and in Zumba, I like to keep my hip-swaying attempts toward the back. Instead, my being in the back still felt like being front and center. Especially when you add in The Belly.
So I’ve talked about how my belly has gotten larger way earlier because this is my third kiddo. And you know what doesn’t help you fly under the radar in a Zumba class? A pregnant belly. Before class started, an older woman was like, “Oh HEY” to my belly (thank God I’m pregnant because otherwise, awkward) — and then went on to drill me, very nicely — about whether it was okay for me to work out, if I could lift weights, if the doctor had given me the okay. I assured her I was fine and I could tell she was impressed; she mentioned that if I was there, she didn’t have any excuse for not being there, too. I’ll admit, while I don’t always like the attention a pregnant belly brings, I did feel like a bit of a bad-ass. Throughout the class she continued to check in on me — was I drinking water? was I okay? — and she was kind of showing me off — like, “Hey, this one is pregnant and how awesome is it that she’s here!?”
I’m sure the attention will only increase as my belly size does — pregnant women in classes are always a minority unless it’s a prenatal class — but I’ll try not to mind. I feel like I’m being the Fit Pregnancy Ambassador. A representative showing that, yes, you can work out while you’re pregnant. Even if I maybe look slightly ridiculous trying to gyrate my hips!
Do you like to slip under the radar in group classes or do you prefer to be front and center to show off your mad skills? —Erin