It might seem terribly negative (it’s not meant to be!), but one of the greatest pieces of advice I’ve ever received has been “don’t have any expectations”. It came via a Contiki tour manager, of all places, as our bus pulled into Amsterdam one afternoon.
“If you enter everything thinking “this’ll be AMAZING!”, Emmo began, “you’re probably going to be disappointed. But if you go into things with an open mind, and just take them as they come, you’re far more likely to enjoy yourself.” Although he was referring to travel, his words of wisdom are ones that I apply to everything (restaurants, evenings out, parenthood… honestly, everything!), so tonight, as my mother, grandmother and I agreed to trial an “Aqua Zumba” class, I waltzed into the water thinking little more than “hey, at least we’re trying something different!”
Aqua Zumba has been described as “low-impact, high-energy aquatic exercise” where “water creates natural resistance, which means every step is more challenging, and helps tone your muscles”, but the three of us still weren’t prepared for just how much of an aerobic work-out it was; by the third song, our arms were BURNING! We also hadn’t imagined that we’d be laughing throughout nearly the entire session as we kicked, punched, swivelled our hips and danced in the pool, but our instructor’s enthusiasm was infectious, and there’s something incredibly invigorating about being in water.
My grandmother had arrived at the class worried about whether or not she’d be able to participate after her recent knee surgery, but soon realised that she could follow along at her own pace (it’s very much suitable for all fitness levels). My mother had been concerned about her coordination, but performed every move (and perfectly in sync!). I had been nervous about wearing my swimming costume in public, but my fears quickly melted away once I saw that there were a variety of sizes, shapes and age groups – and both men AND women – in the pool. It also helped to remember to
get over myself that everyone else was there for the same reasons as us: to venture out of their comfort zones, to move their bodies, and most importantly, to be entertained!
Our Aqua Zumba lesson was held at the Whakatane Aquatic Centre, cost $6 per person, and was worth every coin.
Have you ever tested out an Aqua Zumba class? (And what should we try next?!)