Check one off the list: ZUMBA!

I can check an item off of my “32 while 32” list! Yesterday I took my first Zumba class- ever! This class has actually been in the planning stages for quite some time, so let me tell you the story behind it.

As many of you know, I teach high school. I volunteered to take the position as “wellness coordinator” at our school three years ago. The position is unpaid, requires some extra time and work, and has been frustrating at times in the past, due to the general lack of interest in health and wellness amongst the majority of people. Regardless of all of that, I continue to keep the position because it’s what I love to do. My passion is educating others about living a healthier lifestyle and getting them to love exercise and being active.

In the past, I’ve run two “Biggest Loser” contests, coordinated a kickboxing class, and organized “spring” and “fall” into fitness challenges. I loved the idea of having a kickboxing instructor (who happened to be my wonderful friend, Jill) come and teach classes at our school- and so many people were excited about it! Staff members were charged $5 per class, and could get a better deal by paying in advance for multiple classes. We started out strong, but eventually people just stopped coming. It had nothing to do with the class- because Jill is an amazing instructor. People simply lost motivation, made excuses, and got lazy.

Back in December, I got an email about offering Zumba classes after school for a specific period of time. We just had to provide a space, be sure that at least 15 people were interested in attending, and the school board would pay for an instructor to come out! Needless to say, I was over the moon about this one! In my seven years of teaching, I have rarely seen any type of healthy initiatives offered from the higher-ups. Usually they try to “reward” us with crappy food and sugar- which people seem to love! Obviously, I have a lot of issues with this. (It makes me want to vomit!) I could go on and on …. but I’ll spare you.

I surveyed the staff to see how many people were interested in the Zumba classes, and the response was overwhelming! The classes were actually being offered to every school in the county, and a number of schools showed interest. Since only so many schools can run the programs at a time (which are once a week, for six weeks), we had to wait a while for ours to start. And yesterday was our first class!

Our instructor, Stephanie, works for a company that basically contracts out instructors to go to different locations (schools, businesses, whatever). I was a little worried because 5 or 6 people emailed me during the day to say that they couldn’t come to class for one reason or another. But, by the time we started, we had 15 people ready to go!

Zumba is hard work, but it’s also so much fun! I have no rhythm, and can not dance, but I just let myself go and didn’t care. I think I was drenched after five minutes, and the class was an hour long! It was an awesome workout, and a nice change from my usual group exercise classes.

This is me and the instructor, Stephanie, glowing with sweat. And just a side note- it is a pet peeve of mine when someone zooms all the way in when taking your picture!

I can’t wait for next week, and I really hope everyone comes back (and more people join in)! Everyone seemed to love it, and people were laughing and smiling and just seemed so happy during the class, and afterwards. It was really priceless and made me super proud. πŸ™‚

When I got home, I actually jumped right on my spin bike for a little bit to test out a song I heard on the radio that I’m currently obsessed with (Cough Syrup by Young the Giant). I went through it twice, and it will be perfect for Sunday’s playlist. I’m really into choosing the music that I use for spin classes, and constantly think “I need to play that” when I hear songs on the radio. I even keep a little piece of paper and pen handy at all times (or send myself a voice text) in case that happens.

After all of the cardio, I made myself a big ol’ smoothie with Vega Vanilla Chai protein powder, a half of a frozen banana, spinach, ice, water, and guar + xanthan gum.


Have I mentioned that I’m obsessed with my Vitamix?…. πŸ™‚


It was 81 degrees when I left work today- and it’s supposed to reach the mid to high 80s today! I LOVE THIS! Although it’s supposed to cool down a bit for the weekend, it’s still supposed to be in the 70s. Who can possibly complain about that (well, I guess snow lovers can complain)! Now it’s one day closer to the weekend, and I took tomorrow off! Life is good.

Does your job provide any healthy (or unhealthy) incentives to its’ employees? Are you a Zumba fan?


20 Comments on “Check one off the list: ZUMBA!”

  1. Lee says:

    We actually just had a representative from LA Fitness come in and offer us a membership rate that’s $5 a month lower than what I was paying before, so that’s a healthy benefit, I suppose. It cancels out all the unhealthy food/treats that are always in the office!

  2. im pretty sure she is erin’s client. is she a personal trainer too? looks very familiar.

    • Lauren says:

      I’m not sure… I don’t think she’s a trainer, I know she teaches classes all over.
      But I could be wrong- she might be a trainer too.
      That totally helped, right? πŸ˜‰

  3. I tried Zumba a few weeks ago and it was great! Unfortunately all the classes around here seem to start while I’m still on my commute home or it would definitely be included in my regular routine. I keep looking, though!

    I hope you continue to get a good turn-out.

    • Lauren says:

      It’s hard to find classes that fit into my schedule, too. I like to work out right after work, and most start when I’ve already been off for 3 hours. I’m not usually wanting to leave the house again after I get home from work! Luckily this one is AT work, right at the end of the day!

  4. Corrie Anne says:

    I knowww.. I hate it when treats are always like donuts or pizza. Okay, I love pizza. But I don’t need extra temptations. Haha. How FUN that you are having Zumba at school!! I’ve done it a few times, and it’s pretty fun. I hate the zoom too… especially when sweaty!

  5. My company used to provide (drown us in) 14 kinds of candy, 23 types of sodas, weekly bagels or pastries, and birthday cakes for every employee. But I talked to some of the other employees who were also trying to live healthier and make good eating choices, and we rallied together TO MAKE THE SUGAR STOP! We now have weekly bananas, oranges, and mixed nuts available. We still have soda, but also other alternatives like teas and Vitamin Water Zero too. It’s been a great change for ALL of us!

    • Lauren says:

      Oh my goodness- that is a lot of junk food! Glad that they started giving you guys some healthy options. I’m sure that just by eliminating all of the sugar and processed carbs and replacing them with healthy options, people will start feeling better and be more energized!

  6. BeckyA says:

    Started doing Zumba last fall. Love it! Every instructor is different though, so you definitely want one that is high intensity. It goes so fast and its fun.

    We don’t really have any healthy incentives at work – it’s a non profit, so not many extras. But our offices are right on a walking trail along the river and a donor did give all of the employees ergonomic equipment so that we could stand while we work. That’s something!

  7. That’s so awesome and hopefully the enthusiasm continues! I started a yoga group at church, but after a few weeks I was the only one who showed up so I had to cancel it…huge bummer.

    • Lauren says:

      Man, that stinks! A yoga group is a great idea!
      I hope the enthusiasm continues too. It’s only for 6 weeks. Then again, people love to make excuses to exercise!
      I’m just going to be positive about this one…

  8. My job doesn’t do anything other than standard non-smoking health care benefits. Zumba sounds like such a great workout, but my white girl rhythm won’t allow for it. πŸ™‚

    That Vitamix pic made me smile. Perfection. :)-

  9. Errign says:

    I used to love Zumba, but it just got too busy at my university to keep taking it – it was like an hour wait to get into a class!

    I work at a ski resort, so I guess it’s an incentive that we get free skiing? πŸ™‚

    • Lauren says:

      Heck yeah- free skiing would be a good incentive (well, if I skied that is!).
      Waiting an hour to get into a class is ridiculous- you won’t see me doing that (it’s like that at the gym I work at!)!

  10. I started Zumba classes since january and I’m totally in love with it! I love it because you sweat and move like crazy and just don’t realize it πŸ™‚
    Glad you enjoyed it!

    • Lauren says:

      Yup- and it’s good that we don’t have any mirrors. I can move around like crazy and don’t care how I look, because I don’t see my reflection!

  11. maybe I didn’t push myself hard enough but I didn’t feel as sweaty after zumba as I do after a good ol’ aerobics dance class!

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