Monday, January 20, 2014

Werk it

I’ve been running for almost a year now, but when it comes to workouts like yoga, Zumba and Pilates, I’m totally out of the loop.
The last group exercise class I did was aerobics … in 1997.
I’ve heard of “downward dog” but I couldn’t tell you what one is or how the “dog” gets down. The only thing I know about Pilates is that Pilates People Like It Spelled With a Capital P. And “Zumba”? It makes me think of some kind of Brazilian scooter.
But since the end of daylight saving time robbed me of my after-work running time, I figured I’d try a group workout again.
I started with a ballet barre-style group class at a local fitness studio.
We did a lot of squats in the barre class. We did squats with our right foot on tippy toes. We did squats with our left foot on tippy toes. We did squats on top of squats. I’m sure my thighs were wondering why they were being picked on so much, but it was for their own good.
It wasn’t all ballet moves at the barre class. We also got out a big rubber ball and did situps while lying backward on the ball. Well, everyone else was doing situps. I was just trying not to roll off the ball.
Another week I tried something called piloxing — or Pilates/boxing.
I’ve never boxed before, which was probably obvious when I put my special piloxing gloves on backward.
But it turns out that boxing is kind of fun, especially when you think of people you wouldn’t mind knocking out — like mouthy teenagers, backseat drivers or uncooperative journalistic sources.
During piloxing, we jabbed right. We jabbed left. We jabbed double time and super double time while running in place. I felt like a very sweaty female Rocky Balboa.
I took a Zumba class next.
Zumba is like aerobics and dancing to Latin-inspired music.
Sounds doable, right? Yeah, if you’ve got rhythm. And coordination.
I liked the Zumba music. It’s too bad my arms and legs didn’t like working as a team.
There were two other things that I realized didn’t go together — this 40-something mom and Zumba’s hip-hop dance moves.
At one part of the class, we bounced back and forth doing a kind of a “fling your arms in the air like you just don’t care” move while pogo-ing from one side to another.
“Pop your booty,” yelled the instructor, as she twisted and shook her fat-free behind.
“Pump it, pump it!”
Am I twerking? If only my teenagers could see me now.
My booty popping was so bad, Miley Cyrus’ grandma could probably twerk better than me.
I had been keeping up with my Zumba teacher about 75 percent of the time ... until she introduced a new dance step combination. She started out in slo-mo and then she kicked in into high gear, leaving me in her Zumba dust.
But I’m not quitting. I’m going to twerk on it.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Take a break

Jennifer Huffman is on vacation.
Her column will return in two weeks when a number of Christmas/end-of-2013 questions could be answered.
For starters:
Did College Girl’s flight home arrive on time and was the airport reunion like what mom and dad imagined?
Did all family members, including grandparents, get enough face time with College Girl during her visit?
Did mom get her fill of hugs from College Girl?
Did her younger sisters get their fill of big sister? Or were they happy to wave goodbye to College Girl so they could take over her room again?
Did middle daughter clean out her bedroom closet like mom hoped she would?
As the foster parent of College Girl’s ferret, did the two sisters fight over the pet?
And did anyone bother to clean out the ferret’s cage?
Did the Huffman girls see their out-of-town cousins for Christmas and did all cousins return to their respective homes lice-free, unlike a previous visit that someone has been forbidden to write about?
Did all Huffmans make Santa’s “nice” list this year?
Was Santa able to find the Huffman house on Dec. 25?
How many times did mom have to invoke “the meaning of Christmas” during the past two weeks? How many times on Christmas Day itself?
Is dad happy with the new power tools that mom picked out at Home Depot?
Is he impressed that mom now understands the difference between 18-volt and 20-volt DeWalt cordless impact drivers?
Is mom happy with her Christmas gifts? Translation: Is she wearing a new pair of Uggs today?
Did mom find time to make the Christmas cookies she bought all the ingredients for or did someone just eat all of the semisweet chocolate morsels straight out of the bag?
Do her pants still fit after two weeks of pumpkin pie, cookie and chocolate eating?
Which of the following movies did the Huffman family watch over Christmas: “The Polar Express,” “The Sound of Music,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Anchorman 2’’?
Did the family’s 16-year-old couch with the broken springs finally succumb over the holidays and if so, has dad’s new Barcalounger been delivered yet?
How many times did mom have to ask the girls to write their “thank you” notes and have they actually been mailed yet?
Did mom manage to read that new Stephen King novel or is it still on the floor by the bed?
Did mom catch up on her sleep?
Is she ready for 2014?
Jennifer Huffman is on vacation. Her column will return in two weeks.