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Have you seen my coordination?

Features column

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

If anybody finds it, please let me know.

I don't even remember the last time I had it, so it's going to be a tough find. It's true what they say, though. You don't appreciate something until it's gone. I've lost my coordination. And this is how I know ...

We get to class a few minutes early and hang out outside the room where Zumba is held, waiting for the class before us to get done. I can see through the glass in the door and notice that they are lifting weights while they move around. Nobody told me about weights. I hope we don't have to use weights. Oh, good. That's not Zumba. No weights for us.

The class is over and we go in, finding three safe spots in the back. The room starts to fill up and I notice almost everyone has on cute exercise pants and tops. Ohhhh, that's a cute outfit.

And that one, too. I look down at myself. I look frumpy. A good number of them are stretching.

Nobody told me about stretching. Should I stretch? Too late. The music starts.

It's upbeat. Happy. I love it! The lady way up front starts to move side to side and I feel compelled to follow her. I can do that. She does a little lunge to the side. I can do that. This is great. I feel great. I don't feel frumpy anymore! I know I must look great. Get down with my bad self! I can Zumba! Then it happened.

Salsa front. Salsa back. Turn, turn, turn. Wait a minute. Why is everyone else facing that way and I'm still facing this way? I look over at my teenage daughter and friend May. They look pretty good. They have rhythm. They can dance. But what is that they're doing now? Raising their hands above their heads while they hop right and do a twisty thing? I can't do that. Or can I?

I try to do that.

I glance in the mirror, the floor to ceiling, wall to wall one at the front of the room. Oh, no! Who is that woman in the back with the really red face? Is she having a seizure? Wait a minute. That's just me. Trying to Zumba.

I look at the clock on the wall. Seven minutes?! Are you kidding me?! It's only been seven minutes?! I think that clock is wrong. The batteries have gone dead. Should I tell the instructor?

Wait a minute. She's doing something else.I can do this. I can do this. Leap. Pump. Left. Right. Side to side. To the front. To the back. Turn. Turn. Shake it. Shake it.

I cannot shake my butt like that. It's not a matter of principle. It's a matter of I can't shake my butt like that. I tried and it just refuses.

Side to side. Jump. Jump. To the front. To the back. Turn. Sweat. Cough. Sweat. Breathe. Breathe. You've got to breathe. Don't pass out.

I glance at the clock. Thirty-five minutes. Are you serious? I've been dancing for 35 minutes? I glance over at my daughter, proud of myself. She's looking straight ahead, either concentrating on her moves or pretending she doesn't know me. I glance back in the mirror. Bad call. That girl is having another seizure. Just a little bit longer. Just a little bit longer. What's that?

Another shimmy, shimmy, shimmy. Oh, no. I think I sprained a cheek.

I don't know when it happened, when I lost my coordination. I used to have it. I used to be able to dance. But something happened, and my coordination slipped silently away one day alongside half my patience and my ability to stay awake past 9:30 p.m. I suspect they are hanging out all together somewhere in hiding, not too far away, laughing at me.

So if anybody finds it -- my coordination -- please tell it it needs to come home soon.

The girl in the mirror desperately needs it.

Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at flyn1862bellsouth.net.