I Twerked and I liked It (though my knees did not).
Yes, you heard it here straight.
A-HA! I have you on the edge of your seats, don’t I?!
Yes. Twerked (read a short blurb about the word here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twerking). I first heard the word back in 2013 when Miley Cyrus caused quite a stir at the MTV music awards with her…um…dance routine.
It started with a conversation with this nice gentleman at the gym. His name is Bob. He commented some months back about my form while I was doing bicep curls. He said something to the effect that I was doing them perfectly, something he doesn’t often see at the gym. I felt mighty tickled by that affirmation because, well, he’s ripped; based on his physique I surmised he knew a thing or two about weight lifting. I thanked him for his kind words and went on my merry way feeling good about myself.
Since that time I’ve seen him a time or two at the gym when schedules randomly seemed to cross paths. We’ve had but a few brief conversations. I’ve learned he is sixty and besides weight lifting he likes high intensity workouts (HIT training) and he likes to dance.
So the other day I was finishing up my workout on the elliptical when he arrived at the gym. We exchanged Happy New Year pleasantries and caught up for a minute or two since the holidays.
“I’ve got to get back on track after a month of over indulgence,” I told Bob. “Really, I’m just having a tough time finding a new groove since moving here.” I said wiping sweat off my forehead as I stepped off the elliptical. I told him about the HIT punch bag classes I enjoyed in Alabama
“You should try the HIT workout that I do,” he said. It’s basically an HIT dance class.”
“AH…well, I like to dance but it’s been a long, LONG time. I wouldn’t say I’m a dancer. I taught aerobic classes eons ago–in my other life–but that was pretty basic stuff. But, I did take a Zumba class a couple of years ago…it was fun but I felt like I had three left feet; folks were dancing to the right and I was going left. That sort of thing.”
Bob laughed, understanding. “Well, you should try it. It’s a place where there is no judgement. It’s high energy fun.”
My interest was piqued. I thought about it for a moment. Maybe this will shake my workout doldrums.
“Well, alright-y, I’m game,” I tell Bob as I prepared to leave. It’s a new year and my resolution of sorts is to step out of my box more. I’ll try most anything… at least once…(except for jumping out of airplanes…and…oh, yeah…NO DRUGS!).
“What’s the name of the place?” I ask.
“Kazaxe,” he says. It’s pronounced: kah-zah-SHAY
I whip out my phone. “Can you spell it for me? I asked. “I need to enter a note on my phone otherwise I’ll forget it. I’ll look it up online and certainly will consider it,” I tell him as I thank him and say goodbye.
Later I Google Kazaxe. It’s billed as The House of Positive Vibrations.
OMG…Wow. “This is some high-octane dancing,” I said as I scrolled through various YouTube videos. It’s Zumba, on steroids. Lots of booty shaking and rather provocative gyrations too. I’m shaking my head in dismay as I look at hips thrusting and bottoms shaking right and left. I cannot possibly do that.
That got me thinking about that old cliché… one cannot judge a book by its cover. Though I don’t even know my gym pal’s last name–or much of anything at all about him–I never would have thought just by looking at Bob that he was into this type of high intensity dancing. Not to mention that he is sixty and dancing like that.
Little did Bob know; he had laid down the gauntlet. Now I HAD to try this crazy booty-gyration, Kazaxe thing. “It will be my one out-of-my-box thing for the month,” I explained to Rocket-man as I showed him one of the videos.
So, off I went late Sunday morning. When I arrived at the place, which is in a large industrial complex, I was surprised by the number of cars. The parking lot was jam-packed and cars were lined up curbside up to at least a quarter-mile away. The building itself is grungy. The “dance floor” is not your typical dance studio by any stretch. The floor is concrete, the cavernous room is dark except for lights on a front stage and the occasional neon, disco-type lighting on various support columns in the room. In addition, there are no mirrors. I was struck by the fact that there were all manner of sizes of men and women. In fact, there were some pretty heavy guys and gals. Just minutes later I would be awed by how well they moved to the ear-splitting music.
As I waited for class to begin I mingled at bit saying “hi” to various people. I went over to one tattooed young woman who exuded happiness and introduced myself. “This is my first time in a class like this,” I said. “Oooh…you are gonna love it,” she gushed with over-the-moon enthusiasm. I’ll admit, though nervous about being three left feet, I was getting excited. House of Positive Vibrations indeed.
I found my spot near the exit, to the back of the room. A minute later the stage fills with the instructor and six or so students from the floor. And there he is on stage: My gym pal Bob is one of them!
Three…two…one…BOOM. Class starts. From zero to 100 class took off. The music was astoundingly deafening. Just two minutes in my heart is beating out of my chest. Holy crap….I’m going to do this for fifty-eight more minutes???
I’m looking at Bob on the stage….he’s sixty but moving like he’s twenty. Wowza!
It takes a good five minutes before the synovial fluid in knees, hips and spine makes me feel more supple, flexible all over. I’m gushing inside! I’m moving better –and, for the most part I am not three left feet–although there is no way I’ll ever get my butt and hips to gyrate and bounce like the instructor’s…unless I somehow got rid of some vertebrae!
I made it through the entire hour. Drenched with sweat and feeling lovely and jelly-mellow I made my way to the lobby to dry off for a moment before donning coat and scarf. Bob catches up with me.
“That was intense!” I tell him, “…but wow…I had a blast.”
“This is my happy place,” Bob says.
The sentiment strikes me, literally like being hit by a two by four. Happy place. We all need one. I realize that is what I have been trying to find since leaving Southern California. I was supremely lucky to enjoy more than one “happy place” while living there.
So it’s several days later and my knees are still swollen from that one Kazaxe session. I’m considering giving it one more go, just because. I even purchased ear plugs on Amazon. Alas, Kazaxe may not become my happy place because my knees won’t allow it but I will not go down without a fight.
The journey continues–as it must–in search of a new happy place. As odd as it may sound, there is bliss in that.