So I'm still doing Zumba. My neighbor Nicki and I try to go at least twice a week. And apparently so does everyone else on this end of town, because the classes are always packed. So unless you get there really early, you end up either a.) squished against the door at the back of the room, or b.) in the dreaded front row where your jiggling ass is in full view of the 96,000 other Zumba-goers.

And guess what? Last night we had trouble finding a parking space and didn't get there early enough. Class was already in progress when we walked in. "Welcome!" the instructor chirped from the front - into her microphone - as we tried to slip silently in. So of course, all the heads swiveled our way. And as my eyes desperately scanned the back of the room for a space to squeeze into, she said the words I dreaded hearing: "There's room up here in the front!"    

I know what you're thinking. I've been doing this for a while. I should be, like, a total expert. Everybody probably marvels at my mad Zumba skillz. Right? Well, not so much. I mean, I'm not terrible at it, but I'm not to the point of being comfortable in the front row either. Still, when the instructor practically orders you to stand up there - and there's no room in the back because of all the other people who don't wanna be on the front row - what can you do?

So that's how I ended up on the front row.

In front of a huge mirror.

In a glaring patch of direct sunlight.


When one is faced with an image of one's self doing Zumba, one can't help but look. And even though I tried to avoid glancing at myself in the mirror, it was hard considering every time I looked straight ahead, there I was. And when one is bathed in a stream of dazzling sun coming through the window, it tends to highlight one's imperfections.

There was a little too much midsection for my liking. A bit too much jiggle in the thighs. Even the occasional hint of - gasp! - camel toe. (Note to self: your gray workout pants ride up.) Oh, the horror!

To make matters worse, the instructor is one that I've only had once before. Her dances are different. She had a couple of new songs. So I wasn't exactly what you'd call sure-footed; it took me a minute to master each new move, during which time I bumbled around moronically, and by the time I'd caught on to one thing it seemed like she was on to the next. And then? She said something even more terrifying than her room-in-the-front-row comment: "Oh, here's our camera!"

I followed her eyes to the back of the room - and there, coming in the door, was a cameraman. A cameraman. As in, a guy toting video recording equipment. Seriously?

So there I was, bopping around in all my ripply, uncoordinated glory on the front row, being V-I-D-E-O-T-A-P-E-D. For what purpose I'm still not sure. I thought maybe I'd taken a wrong turn and accidentally ended up in hell instead of the 5:45 Zumba class.

Then it got even worse. Because the inevitable happened: I started to sweat.

When we do Zumba, Neighbor Nicki just glows. She gets this ... sheen. But I? Drip. Sweat comes from every pore. The ends of my hair drip sweat, it trickles down my back, down my neck, between my boobs - you name a body part, and it's sweating. Which leads to something terribly embarrasing: pit stains.

I slather on anti-perspirant before each workout. I've even tried the "clinical strength" kind. It's not like I intend to look like a sweaty fat guy by the time Zumba is over. But it's just the way my body works. Here, check it out:

Me playing Just Dance on the Wii. Note the ferocious pit stains. I get down, y'all.  

Exhibit #2: me jumping on my bed (don't ask). Ignore the huge gaping mouth and focus on - again - the pit stain of epic proportions.

For whatever reason, that's what I look like when I exercise. Only picture it like five times worse during Zumba. I was sweating like a whore in church, y'all. And what baffles me is that I'm the only person in the entire class who gets such heinous pit stains - or any pit stains at all, for that matter. I know because I spent the last five minutes of class discreetly checking out every single person in the mirror. There were big girls, girls with fitted shirts, you know, people you might reasonably expect to have sodden armpits like mine. But I didn't see a single spot of dampness on anyone else.

And yes, I shaved, so excessive hair isn't the problem.*

*Although that might be a contributing factor in the winter time.  

Anyway, last night's Zumba class wasn't the carefree rump-shaking fun-fest that it normally is when I've secured a spot at the back of the room (and when I'm not being, you know, videoed). I felt like I was under a microscope the whole time. Me and my pits. And my camel toe. And my spare tire.

I'm getting there half an hour early next time.


  1. I love that you're even brave enough to go! I would love to try it, but I would be right there with you.. pit stains, camel toe, and all. Only I can guarantee, people would be staring at me, not you. Maybe we should go together and be the comic relief for the class?

  2. Oh that is hilarious!!! But kudos to you for going!!! I would love to try it but can't seem to find an appropriate time. :( And I hear ya on the pit stains, I have had to toss many a favorite shirt because of literal stains from sweat. Ugh.

  3. video! let's see the video! lol. sounds like a nightmare to me as well. I took a pole fitness class & LOATHED seeing myself in the mirror. it's very distracting.

  4. I am one of those people who don't sweat. Most think it is a blessing, and in terms of how I look, it is but it means that I also don't sweat out the water weight and I get overheated quickly, like dangerously overheated. So I am not sure which is worse, well, let me correct that, I am sure when a video camera is involved, it is much better not to sweat.

  5. It's because you were standing in the patch of sun. That's the story.

  6. That is terrible. Why do they have mirror at the gym any way?

  7. "mad Zumba skillz" really made me LOL. I'm one of the few that hasn't tried Zumba yet, but I do enjoy normal aerobics classes!

  8. Also? Super jealous of Tracy up there that doesn't sweat. I'm a sweating machine. Like, I'm always the FIRST person in a crowd to sweat. And it's bad. I have pit sweat. Leg sweat. UPPER LIP SWEAT. I'm one big, hot, mess from spring until fall. That's why I prefer winter (but even then I don't dare wear a sweater in fear of sweating).

  9. I sweat like a man and get all red faced. It's scary. We could totally work out together.
    I've never tried Zumba. It sounds like fun (as long as you aren't in front and being videotaped...)

  10. Oh my gosh- they videotaped?! I would have high-tailed it out of there at that point. Try wearing a white shirt. The sweat won't show. But wear a tank under it or something so it isn't completely see-through and you won't be the winner in a sleazy wet T-shirt contest. Although that would make for a great blog post.

  11. You are too funny. I think I peed a little. ;)

  12. What a way to ruin a perfectly good Zumba class....mirrors AND video-taping!

    I have never been one of those delicate women who merely "perspire" either. I just plain SWEAT. By the time I get done exercising, even my earrings are dripping sweat. It's disgusting!
    (Yes, I still wear earrings, even to exercise. The only time I take them off is when I go to bed.)

  13. Sounds pretty darn near close to hell, if ya ask me....

  14. This made me nauseous just reading. (NOT ABOUT YOUR PIT STAINS!!!) I HATE being in the front row. I'd rather not even go to class.

  15. Okay - 1.) Heather gray has to be THE WORST color when having sweat issues. It just shows up so easily. 2.) ditch the 100% cotton and go with that moisture-wicking stuff. You'll smell about 1000% worse, but you will not have sweat stains And, 3.) you should be proud of that sweat. At least you're getting your a$$ to the gym, unlike myself.

  16. Totally laughing my head off right now. thank you for sharing. I know what you mean, i turn red like a tomato even if i'm barely huffing. hilarious post.


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