I have a serious confession to make.
I’ve been Jazzercising… and I LOVE IT.
It all started back in October when I was planning Iris’ birthday party. I stopped by the party supply store on my lunch hour and noticed that a Jazzercise location had opened up right next door. Intrigued, I grabbed a pamphlet from their front door. I took it back to my office, which happens to be right around the corner, and half-jokingly showed it to my co-workers. But that’s when I noticed their hours… They have a class that starts ten minutes after our office closes and ends early enough for me to pick up Iris before her school closes – pretty perfect timing. Not only that, but October was totally FREE Jazzercise month for anyone who wanted to try it, no strings attached. Office challenge, anyone?!
One afternoon before the freebie month was over, a few of us got up the nerve to try it. No, we didn’t wear cheesy headbands and matching leotards (although we threatened to), but we did jump straight in, not knowing what to expect. My first class was… a mess. I was all over the place and all out of breath after just the first ten minutes. However, I left feeling like I had actually done something good, even though I may not have done it correctly. My co-workers and I laughed about it afterwards, but we all were in agreement – we wanted to do it again.
After getting through the craziness of the holiday season, I officially joined Jazzercise two months ago and haven’t looked back. I pay $50 per month and that gets me unlimited classes. My location offers 27 classes per week and they even offer child-care at several of their classes. I’m lucky to have a Jazzcercising buddy too, as my good coworker friend also took the plunge. You see, I’m not an exceriser at heart. In fact, I usually freaking hate it. My schedule is jam-packed during the week with home-life and work-life. Making time for me is usually pretty difficult, but now thanks to Jazzercise, I finally have an hour a day that I devote strictly to taking care of myself. I will admit that even with over 30 hours of Jazzercise under my belt, I still very much feel like a newbie and probably will for a while. I’m not naturally coordinated or athletic, but the best part is that it doesn’t matter. I may jump in the wrong director or squat on the wrong beat, but the point is – I’m moving, working up a sweat, getting my heart-rate up, and actually having fun doing it.
Why I love it:
+ It kicks my butt. There are several different style classes, but overall it’s a mix of (often intense) cardio, strength, stretching, and Justin Bieber. Okay, maybe just a little Bieber, but tons of other current hits (for once I actually knew every song that was featured at the Grammy’s).
+ It’s a mental workout as much as a physical one. You have to pay close attention for a full hour, otherwise you’ll quickly get off track. It’s rare that I go five minutes in my day without getting side-tracked, so to have a full hour where I am just concentrating on one thing is life-changing.
+ The environment is welcoming and positive without being overwhelming. The instructors are always upbeat and encouraging, which makes for a comfortable space for us girls to give it our all.
+ Because of that moment when a routine clicks and it makes me feel like Beyonce. I mean, I know I look more like a stumbling drunk person, but I feel like Beyonce!
+ For the first time in my life, I want to exercise every day. I’m actually bummed if I miss a day, not because I feel guilty, but because it really is something I look forward to. On days where I can’t make it to a class, I try to walk, jog, or do a bit of the routines I can remember at home – but it’s just not the same!
+ As with any exercise, it’s pushed me to be more conscious of what I eat. I’ve pretty much eliminated fast-food from my diet and since Whole Foods just opened near my house, I’ve been eating lots of leafy greens and tofu for my weekday lunches, while sticking to fruit and proteins for healthy snacks.
What I’ve been surprised with:
+ I am not the youngest person at Jazzercise. On some days I’m actually closer to being the oldest. While people, including myself, have a preconceived idea of what Jazzercise is (hello, 1980’s moms in neon spandex), the brand has totally revamped itself to stay relevant.
+ Turns out, Jazzercise might be the secret weapon no one is talking about. I’ve run into several friends and acquaintances there that I had no idea Jazzercised!
I signed a six-month contract, so I’ll be curious to where I am a few months from now when my beach vacations are over and the idea of wearing a swimsuit isn’t dangling in front of me for motivation. I really hope that I’ll be right here though, with my weights, mat, and dancing (I mean Jazzing) shoes on. Just kidding, they are just regular sneakers. And Jazzercise is, surprisingly, a regular work out – just a much more fun one.