It was only when I hit the age of about 16 or so and discovered badminton that I really began to enjoy any activity that got the ol' heart beating; before then, any raised heartbeat was probably indicative of an impending coronary.
Anyway, badminton served as a something of a gateway drug, leading as it did to joining a gym, then taking up cycling, then quitting the gym and starting running, followed by, as you probably know, my current obsession of the last few years, Bikram yoga.
And today, yoga led to something new: Zumba.
I've known about Zumba for a while now purely because I have a few gal pals who've done it and subsequently raved about it, but I've never really thought it was my sort of thing. Mainly because despite being told a few years back that I "dance very well for a straight man" (one of the nicest compliments I've ever received), I'm very conscious of dancing anywhere where a) people are sober, and b) all the lights are on.
Despite this, today I did my first Zumba class, ironically as a result of going to yoga. The reasons for this are twofold: firstly because one of the girls who works at yoga runs the Zumba class, and secondly because I was harassed into attending via the medium of Twitter because apparently it was 'rude' that I'd not gone along to support her efforts before.
So there I am in a lovely little studio in Chiswick at 10:30 this morning, awkwardly limbering up and wondering what the hell I've let myself in for. As it turns out, I'd let myself in for a bloody good time. Basically, while I consider myself quite severely deficient in the coordination stakes, I can pretty much shake it with the best of them, especially when I've got a professional showing me the ropes. Quite frankly the hour flew by far too quickly, fortunately without me smacking anyone in the face as a result of an overly excited arm shape, and by the time class finished I was drenched from my t-shirt right through to my undercrackers. I had to whip the t-shirt off and wring it out in the bathroom; unfortunately I couldn't do the same with my pants.
So what did I learn today? Well, first of all that Zumba is AWESOME, and I'll definitely be going back for some more next week. Secondly, I shall do so wearing clothes emboldened with sweat-wicking properties, because looking and feeling like I'd just passed through a carwash was pretty gross. On the plus side, it's nice to know that I do have them moves like Jagger and no, my hips don't lie.
That said, I do really need to work on my titty shimmies.