01.08.18, 6:32pm: I Forgot I was Wearing Mascara.

Last night was my first STRONG by Zumba class of the new year at one of my gyms.

It had been two weeks since we had class on Monday. Christmas fell on a Monday, as did New Year’s Day; the gyms were closed, or at least there were no group classes. I missed my Monday evenings—it’s my favorite class of the week.

There were so many people! It was awesome. A lot of regulars, too; I have faith they’ll return week after week.

Prior to the music starting, everyone was talking. As soon as I turned on the warm up, the room was quiet; everyone was focusing on me. They were ready.

So was I.

STRONG is not a dance class. It is a high-intensity interval training class. We spend an hour firing up and ultimately pushing our limits through punches, kicks, squats, burpees, jumping jacks, plyometrics, and more. It’s a solid workout. The results I’ve seen since my first class in July are amazing.

There’s no sweat like STRONG sweat.

Throughout each quadrant, we have push up challenges. Modifications are explained and there are people in class I can depend on to help those who aren’t familiar while I’m on the floor pushing my own limits with others doing the same. Once done with the sequence, we pop up and move into the next.

It was after the second or third challenge, when the sweat is really flowing, that I realized I hadn’t washed off my mascara. Full on raccoon eyes; inadvertent smokey eye. I need to invest in waterproof mascara, or remember to take it off before hitting the gym.

Given the badassery of STRONG and feeling exactly the same, I wiped off the excess and moved us forward, channeling my inner Furiosa.

If you have a resolution to get healthier, check out STRONG by Zumba. Instructors and classes in your area can be found on the website using your zip code in the US.

I wish you all the best. It isn’t easy, but nothing worth it ever is.

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