ptsd

Not a Secret Anymore (starts with a “Z”)

I have a confession to make. Only a handful of my friends and family know what I’ve been up to – and it ain’t pretty.

I’ve been getting ready to teach Zumba.

Helmet and flack vest not mandatory in my class.

Helmet and flack vest not mandatory in my class.

If you don’t know Zumba, it’s a fusion of dance and aerobics to Latin and international music. One of Zumba’s taglines is “Ditch the workout, join the party!”. If you had seen me Monday night after teaching my very first class, you would have assumed I had been chased several miles by said party and then called for an ambulance.

It was one hell of a workout – for me anyway. I forgot that as a participant following along I could take it easy and bring it down a whole lotta notches whenever I wanted. As an instructor – not so much. I told my class that it was perfectly normal for me to turn eight shades of red, have trouble speaking and steam up the gym with approximately one party-sized-keg of my sweat.

Yep. It definitely wasn’t pretty. Which is why I can’t believe I’m asking – would you like to register for my Zumba class?

You see, we only had five people registered for the class and we need at least ten or the class will be cancelled.

Another confession: I was really leaning towards “This must be a sign I’m not meant to teach Zumba…. HOORAY!!!” – which I understand might not inspire confidence.

In fact you may be wondering why I would bother putting myself through that again. The first is because the class asked me to (granted, that was BEFORE the workout/party). And the second is: This. Is. Good. For. Me.

REALLY good.

I can stay stuck in my head for endless hours… which is not a good place to be if dealing with depression or PTSD or whatever it is that happens to you after spending four years in Afghanistan and returning home to find yourself crying when you hear sirens or the roar of airplanes or Carly Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe”. Learning the choreography and teaching my body to move the way it’s supposed to takes an amazing amount of cognitive work AND of course makes me stronger physically. Plus, dancing makes me happy – especially the line dance for Danza Kuduro which I learned when I took my very first Zumba class at Kandahar Airfield.

Last confession: I’m not yet a “GOOD” Zumba instructor – I sometimes get the moves mixed up and may have to rework my lineup, but I’ll get there and am willing to share in the fun along the way.

My Zumba class is from 7-8 pm on Mondays at the West Carlton Secondary School on 3088 Dunrobin, which according to Wikipedia is in the “rural west end of Ottawa”. For reference that’s about 20 km from the Canadian Tire Centre (GO SENS GO!), 40 km from Parliament Hill (GO HARPER GO! Just kidding.) and 30 km from Mom’s place (THANKS FOR THE CAR MOM!). For my American friends that’s 2694 miles from Vancouver.

So if you’re handy to Dunrobin, like to boogie and have always wanted to witness a human-humidifier push her way through salsa, meringue, hip-hop and Newfie jigs then you have until NOON, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2015 to register.

The course number is 78848 and you can register online here or by calling 613-239-2751. The cost is $76 plus tax for ten weeks, but if you’re starting a week late maybe it’s even less.

By the way, the Ottawa Carleton District School Board offers a TON of classes throughout the Ottawa area from arts and crafts to small engine repair to (of course) Zumba. To discover all they offer this fall and winter check out their Learning for Life magazine.

And if you can’t sign up my Zumba class don’t worry about it. It’ll just give me more time to get ready for next term’s class which starts February 1, 2016. Stay tuned!