Every step counts.  Yes, I said EVERY STEP COUNTS!  Whether you walk it, run it, merengue it at Zumba, lunge at Pound, or squat it at Strong by Zumba, every step is a step in the right direction for your health!             

My first step started in August 2015 with a short lunch-time walk.  I was overweight, unhappy, and scared…I come from an overweight family, and therefore I’m fighting genetics at every turn.  The lunchtime walks got longer, and the walking steps became running strides that resulted in my first 5km race at Sudbury Rocks.  The running strides became longer and faster, leading to my first (of three to date) 10 km races/runs.  I was on top of the world!  I felt fantastic, amazing, powerful and strong!  And then…the steps stopped.  I stopped running, stopped finding time to run, and became scared again that I would slide down that slippery slope again towards unwellness. 

But, like I said, every step counts…and in September 2016, I stepped inside my first Zumba class!  I had always said that I would never do Zumba.  I had plenty of excuses after all, I have two left feet, I’m not coordinated, I can’t dance, I’m not comfortable in my own skin, let alone shaking my hips in front of total strangers in a dark school gym!  But I took that first step, and I needed to, because although I had stopped running, I still had glorious aspirations that I would run again, this time a 10 km at Sudbury Rocks 2017, and each first step at Zumba, Pound, and Strong was yet another step in the right direction! 

It started with one class a week, then two, and now, it’s rare that I’m not punching in for up to 8 classes per week, with running 2-3 times a week too.  The Zumba workout is truly exercise in disguise!  I end up sweaty, breathless and glowing, thanks to the intense cardiovascular workout that my amazing instructors bring!  My twice weekly Pound class is my strength training in disguise too…45 minutes with ripstix makes me feel like I’m a total Rockstar…and again, I’m sweaty, breathless and aglow!  The piece de resistance is the Strong by Zumba on Saturday mornings…it’s the total package…cardio and strength tied with a big red bow! 

So, although I didn’t run a single step all winter, thanks to these classes, and the amazing, inspirational, encouraging instructors who teach them, and the amazing new friends I’ve made, I was more than prepared to take on the Sudbury Rocks 2017 10Km run, even posting an 18 second improvement in time from my first 10 km in July 2016. 

Since August 2015, I am super proud to say that I’ve lost 40 lb, my shyness, and my excuses!  Since September 2016, I’ve gained strength, balance, flexibility, new friends, and most of all, confidence in myself, my body and my mind!  I don’t know where my next steps will take me, but I know that my Zumba Vibe tribe will be there, every step of the way.