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If It Could Cost... Just Money

Like a snowball chasing me downhill, the reality of my unfit body started to haunt me, and many ideas came to my mind. One of them was ‘If I had the money, I would like to have plastic surgery to get rid of all the loose skin in my body’, this I discarded by reminding myself of how painful surgeries are, how long it takes me to recover from one, and how afraid I am of the cuts. Then I thought of going to one of this great spas where they take out the grease of your body through the latest techniques, but also discarded the idea when I learned that I would have to travel a long distance and leave my family every two weeks to do it.

The only thing left was to start the moves. How to do it? Walking alone would not take away my jello like skin. I needed something else… but what? Dancing. Yey! I went to different dance academies in town, but got scared when I saw how fast people moved around the room making the cadence of the dance be shown off in every bit of their bodies. That is when I spoke to my husband about my intentions of getting the moves to begin.

He got excited instantly. He said we should all go dancing, meaning that my daughter would also come with us. Then we found out it was impossible, as teenagers had a special schedule and could not be with older people in the same class. ‘Too bad for them, they are losing three dance aces’ was the common reaction of my party.

Then we run into this discreet fitness center, where the owner treated us well and informed us that we could take all classes for one single price. Sounded nice. As there were three of us, she offered a special price if we began that same day. No need to say it twice. Up we went to try out ‘the classes’, thinking they were some kind of heavenly spaces of fun, where people learned how to softly move their bodies.

We did not care too much about which class to take first, as we didn’t even understand the word aerobics. My husband diligently stayed to work in the weight lifting room, where two very handsome young men, with extremely good looking bodies, showed him around the novelties of every machine. Me and my daughter went to the beginners dancing class, without knowing that the class of the day was… BELLY DANCE.

The Arabic rhythms started playing, the hot teacher welcomed us and she started the warming up exercises. This is where I realized I couldn’t move. My body had been sitting still for so long, that it forgot how to follow the music. Her arms made perfect waves that I could not imitate, her waist moved like a thunderstorm and her chest… well, let me tell you, it had a life of its own! There she was moving, moving, moving…. One, two, three, turn around, three, two, one, move the hips! Only the hips, not the chest! Now only the chest, not the hips!

Bere Bere music is so nice. I remembered my friend Halima all the time. I thought she would be proud to know that I was learning these sexy moves from her land. At the end of the class, I had sweat for the first time in years, was totally exhausted, but was completely happy! Then came the aerobics class, which I took out of curiosity, and went home to fall asleep as soon as my head touched my pillow. The next day there was aerobic salsa, and the next Tae Bo. Aero Salsa made me remember the good old days when I could dance, while Tae Bo reminded me that I had never been to a self defense class in my life.

This is how I started a routine that has been going on for the last two months. Every day, whenever we had an opening, the three musketeers would grab their sport suits to get it together at the gym. I remember my first Ung Yang Do class very well because I could not breath after fifteen minutes of kicking and punching an invisible someone who urged me to punch stronger and kick higher into his chest. When I left the class my face was so red that my loving husband handed me water and said we could leave if I wanted to. ‘NO’ I answered firmly, took some rest and did some work in the machines to help build strength in the muscles.

I looked around me in every class and saw many slender women with beautiful bodies. I wondered what they were doing in the gym if they had such great figures. Naïve! After the first month I realized they were fat before, and now had these beautiful bodies that needed to be kept that way.

In one more month, I will graduate from my beginners class, but I am already attending intermediate classes. I don’t get tired out anymore and there is nothing hanging lose in my body anymore. Almost all the jello is gone. I have a waist again. My feet don’t get blisters anymore and I had to buy many sports outfits to change every day.

Hey Halima, you should see me dance now, I move my belly like a pro. Hey Shiku, you should see me move my feet to Brazilian Samba. Hey Jennifer, you should see me fight with style in Tae Bo. Hey Consolata, you should see my resistance now, you would be proud of me, as I finish two and even three hours of fierce exercise, without even blinking too much. I am a pro in the bicycle, I can ride it for twenty minutes at once, just to warm up. And I got myself a knockout front.

Girls, ladies, I wish I could say it just cost me money, but no. Like everything in life that is worth it, it cost me sweat, sacrifice, stubbornness, and willingness to win. Once again, I did something new, and I did it well. I am so proud about it, that I wanted to share it with you all, and thank all of you for being my inspiration.

Latin America and the Caribbean
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