I can relate. You have made it to middle age (Gasp! Yes it is true, we are more than half way to 80) and you have spent a quarter of that lifetime (Yes, the past twenty years! My god, have we really known each other that long?!) neglecting yourself.
I get it. You were busy training for a lifetime of work in one of the most demanding careers around. You trained and you studied and then you trained and you studied more (Do you really have three degrees after college?!? Was being valedictorian of your elite college not over-achievement enough for you?!) Alas, none of that training was of the “personal trainer” or “training for an Ironman” kind. No. You didn’t have time for that (Okay, neither did I; yes, I confess that’s my office wall).
I know why. There were the 120 hour work weeks, then there were the babies, and now there is life with a busy career and growing kids (They really have to have sooooooo many needs! Darn food and shelter! But, why so many school events? And for the love of god, why so many extracurriculars that eat up every weekend that we are lucky enough to be off?) I know there is a spouse involved (I mean how else would those kids get clothed and fed everyday while you work from dusk to dawn, or frequently from dawn to dawn or dawn to the dusk 40 hours later?). In the midst of all this working and raising babies you are busy doing your best to be a good wife too.
So I can totally see why putting you on the bottom of the list was easy. You would feel too guilty to do to otherwise (You know that guilt trip is totally in your head, right? Everyone around you, who you feel you don’t give enough time to, would really rather you put some time into yourself.) You deserve it. You need it. It will make you a better wife, a better mother, and a better doctor. But it needs to be something that gives you pure joy so you don’t beat yourself up about not writing that grant instead, or missing bedtime, or skipping that after dinner glass of wine with your husband. I too used to struggle choosing it on the precious few nights I home from work and not in a post-call coma. But I am so glad I found it.
And, I am writing to tell you that it is Zumba. You see, I remember the days when if it was a Friday night you were spritzing on the Aquanet and heading to Sh-booms to dance the night away (In retrospect both the hairspray and the venue was questionable but you were young). I have a vivid picture in my mind of you rockin’ out to It’s Raining Men at your wedding (Why you would be delirious about it raining men having just married the man of your dreams is also somewhat questionable but it is a great song). And, I know your childhood dream was to become a Solid Gold Dancer (Okay, in retrospect the hairspray and the venue totally make sense even though it was no longer the 80s by then!)
I love Zumba and so will you (Zumba’s motto is “ditch the workout, join the party.” Doesn’t everyone want to party more as they age and trick the body into feeling younger, hipper, and cooler?). Zumba burns calories and builds core strength through super fun dance moves. Many are Latin inspired but there is a range so you can salsa, or charleston, or plain old old-school aerobics style grapevine your way to an effective workout (Come on. Surely you have seen the infomercial? Yes, it’s true you really do have that much fun doing Zumba. Not everyone there is as hot as on the infomercial but that’s fake TV and not real life). There are some variations like Zumba toning that focus more on muscle definition (In Zumba toning you use a double sided maraca thingy and who doesn’t love that–like shaking a martini without the alcohol and calories but the dancing leaves you buzzed in a calorie deficit.) Also, as if channeling your childhood aspirations there are cool Retro 80s Zumba parties (Seriously, if this isn’t s sign what is?!?). You can see how the Core Connection‘s clients danced “Like a Maniac” here.
So instead of trying to coordinate our schedules to meet up over a cosmo let shake at Zumba together. You love to dance; getting a groove on is in your biologic makeup (I know because I am a doctor) so I guarantee that Zumba will bring the pure joy that it seems you need to justify being able to find some way to squeeze physical fitness into your life in a way that reading journal articles on a recumbent bike decidedly cannot.
It may be the answer to your mid-life fitness woes my dear, dear friend and former aspiring Solid Gold Dancer.
Your ungraceful, uncoordinated, booty does not dissociate from her spine but still gets her ass to Zumba friend,