Zumba Class – Kelly’s Perspective

(Same experience – one Zumba class – three different perspectives! Buckle your seat belt and get ready to move!)

Yes, I took a Zumba class. (Pause for you to catch a glimpse of that pig flying by.)

I’m not sure how it happened. One minute I was standing there enjoying my visit with my two favorite super heroes and motivational speakers – Linda Larsen and Polly Pitchford – and the next minute I’m nodding and saying yes. It happened fast and in slow motion at the same time. Kind of like when you watch a woman getting into the shower in a horror movie and you’re yelling in slow motion “Noooooooooooooo!” So I didn’t quite hear their words, “Do you want to go to Zumba with us?” What I heard was, “Do you want to be a part of our super cool club that very few people get invited into?” What I saw was the silver keg at the frat party and the guy we called shark (who would get carried through the crowds naked with a shark fin in between his butt cheeks) motioning and enticing me to come and take my place at the funnel and show them exactly how it’s done. And I heard them chanting, “Kelly! Kelly! Kelly!” And my eyes glazed over, and the kid who never fit in finally took her steps into the college party hall of fame and acceptance.

So one minute I’m eating a brownie, and the next minute I’m standing in the back of a Zumba class trying to see if the windows will open – figuring that jumping from a two-story window would hurt less than this class.

I chose the back, just like in church, and we started shaking, and I have to admit, it wasn’t that hard. I could follow her moves, and I was surprised at how good I was. Which would have been perfect, except she hadn’t officially started yet. She was just setting up her equipment and stretching. Which lasted for about two minutes and then she went all Jekyll and Hyde on me, and turned into Mommie Dearest Does Zumba.  I had a choice – to jump in, or run screaming from the room.  I chose to run. But I was blocked by a wall of shaking Zumba skirted  women whose dangling coins rattled around me like a tribal mating dance, which may seem like an odd picture, but if you could see all those pelvises thrusting around me, you would understand.

I tried to fake a heart attack, which didn’t get me medical attention, but simply a bunch of sympathetic “Oh, bless her heart she’s special” looks.

Thrusting your pelvis looks cool when someone else does it. I looked like I was having a seizure, and I’m pretty sure my boobs left this county. I knew I should have tied them up first.

I’m always convinced that aerobic instructors are out to get me. I think they were those people I inadvertently offended somewhere back in time, and this is their chance to get me back. And they are quite successful.  Every time she looked at me, her eyes said, “I can smell brownie on your breath, drop down and give me twenty pelvic thrusts.”

I’m sorry, but I just don’t share the same excitement for working out as some seem to have. The thought of jumping up and down to see if my boobs will blacken both my eyes – just doesn’t appeal to me. And the sound of my stomach slapping against my thighs, just doesn’t do anything for me either. And the beat of the music does not inspire me to work hard – and neither does your yelling at me – but if you just ran in place in front of me with bacon-wrapped chocolate, and I’m pretty sure I would run myself into the grave. Which is exactly where I was headed in this Zumba class.

I still gave it everything I had – because that’s what I do – expend great deals of energy and sweat trying to impress the people around me. I was born for this. And to do this without showing signs of my stroke – well, it’s nothing short of brilliant. I felt like I was in boot camp. I was taking on the world. I was Rocky and Rudy and Norma Ray all rolled into one. Until I looked up at the clock and saw that it had only been six minutes. “Kill me now, God,” I whispered.

“This next one will get your butt moving,” she yelled and gave me her super special smile that said, “Take that! And we’ll see if you go for that buttered biscuit again!”  I can appreciate her desire to get my butt moving, but what she failed to see was that my butt had not stopped moving from the first song. What she failed to realize is that my butt has been registered as a lethal weapon. Seriously. It’s in the law books. Death by self-propelled butt checks – an offense punishable by law.

The rest of the class was like a blur as I was convinced these were my final moments, and that my heart was going to explode, and I was going to die and the cute paramedics would see me without my eyelashes in.  My life flashed before my eyes, and I thought of all the things I had never done – bungee jumping – an African safari – an evening alone with George Clooney (lights off, of course – even my fantasies have boundaries.)

Surprisingly, I lived through it – which you probably figured, since it’s probably hard to blog from heaven (Where I am SURE they don’t have Zumba class or nobody would want to go.) And I must admit that, while grueling, and I’m pretty sure I did not enjoy one single moment – I did have this weird since of accomplishment. I walked a little taller because I had done something very hard for me and the world didn’t stop. And I felt like I had made another deposit into my courage bank, and had armed myself to be better prepared for the next courageous jump out of my comfort zone.

Will I go again? Double heck no. But I’m glad I went. And I actually learned some things in the process:

  1. Know your left from your right. Even if you think you know it – do some drills beforehand. Zumba is scary enough when you’re going in the right direction!
  2. Don’t wear hair extensions. Self explanatory.
  3. Working out can actually be fun – if you choose to make it fun.
  4. You always have a choice – to sit it out, or jump in. Choose to jump, even if you’re scared. You’ll rarely regret it. Unless there’s a funnel involved.
  5. The best lessons in life are learned outside of your comfort zone. Take every opportunity you can to see what waits beyond your safety net.
  6. And last but not least – eating chili before you go – bad idea. I don’t care what they tell you.

And there you have it – Zumba, from MY perspective. Now you’ve GOT to hear it from motivational speaker Polly’s perspective.

And it will lead you to motivational speaker Linda Larsen’s perspective – or you can come back here and click!


Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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  1. Oh Kelly. Oh dear. You need to travel with Depends that you can hand out to people before you start talking.  And your blogs should come with a warning:  Go pee BEFORE you read this blog!!!!  I’m dying here.  I must have missed the tribal mating dance!  Oh yeah. I was looking at the clock, trying to will the hands to move faster!!!

  2. I don’t know what I loved more, your blog or your face photoshopped into the picture!!!!  You guys are my heroes!

  3. Too funny! You brought me with you on that journey, and I’m counting it as my work-out today! You’ll never hear this from me about an exercise class, but I seriously wish I were there with you all. From another n0t-crazy-about-exercise-but-I-doitanyway motivational speaker!

  4. Thank you thank you thank you. Once again I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants. Every person needs to laugh this hard at least once a day. Motivational speakers included!!! Wait – ESPECIALLY motivational speakers!!!


  1. […] Zumba Class – Kelly’s Perspective […]

  2. […] Aren’t you curious how those other two ladies saw it? I know I am! Click here to check out motivational speaker Kelly Swanson sees it!  Once there, you can also check out how motivational speaker Polly Pitchford sees […]

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