Monday, 21 April 2014

The 'Thon

After my little 5K swimming challenge of a couple of weeks ago - which I finished in the fine time of 2 hours & 15 minutes, I foolishly decided I was up for something else.  So when my lovely, lovely friend and Zumba teacher told me about the Zumbathon (with added Spin people in the corner) she was organising for Autism Awareness, something made me sign up.  I'd like to blame it all on an overdose of Pinot Grigio, but I was stone cold, boringly sober.

Well, somehow, a couple of weeks ago, I found myself in the local community centre, surrounded by almost 100 other likeminded crazy women (and a solitary man, counteracting the oestrogen in the room!) leaping around for no less than 3 solid hours of Zumba, all in the name of charity.  Three hours is a long time.  Three hours is almost two films.  It's more than the Corrie Omnibus, it's more than a Saturday morning shopping trip!  Three hours of anything is a long time, but three hours of crazy jumping around?  Well, that's something else altogether.  We're blessed in Ruth to have an amazing, awesome & energetic instructor, I don't think I would have been able to keep going with just anyone in charge.  But somehow I did.  The people, the cause & the music kept me leaping (with a bit less co-ordination than some!) for a full three hours.  Seriously, I've just got to keep saying that! Three hours!

Part 1 was last year, if you were wondering
Ruth's son was diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder when he was three, and he's the inspiration for our efforts.  He's an absolutely gorgeous boy, in his own world of trains and therapy, and Ruth keeps us entertained with tales of his exploits.  No-one knows what his future holds, any more than any of us do, but his journey is going to be a long one as he learns to understand and communicate with the world around him.  Autism is especially hard, as it's such an invisible problem, someone who is on the Autistic spectrum can look no different to anyone else, but their behaviour and interpretation of the world is very different.  That "naughty" child in the shop, on the bus, in a restaurant, they might not be able to help their behaviour, and stares and complaints make things a whole lot harder for them and their families.  Awareness and understanding are massively important, especially as the number of people affected by autism is increasing.  I'm not going to make this a big "this is autism" post, there are many bloggers far more qualified to write that post than I am.

My crazy pink hair, and the amazing Ruth
I've found recently that I'm really enjoying exercise, possibly for the first time ever, and it comes down to finding things I enjoy doing, and having a challenge. I'm easily bored, see, and that's where Zumba helps, because it's fun, it's different every week, and I think I've almost mastered that kind of booty-shaking normally seen on MTV.  Whether or not the latter is a good thing depends on whether you're stood behind me at the time!  In fact, I've decided I enjoy it that much, I've even invested in the Wii Zumba game, so I can shake my booty even if I can't get a babysitter for Squeaky.

Shake that booty
Now, there is a video in existence of us all leaping around at the end of a three hour Zumbathon, but seeing as I was the only person with ridiculously pink hair, I'm far too visible, and none of my precious readers really need to see me in such a sweaty state, so I'll leave it to your imaginations.  However, if there's any spare cash burning a hole in your back pocket, or you've got a lottery win you just don't know what to do with, there's a Just Giving page here, where you can donate to the National Autistic Society, in support of our sweaty, silly, amazing day.

As for the next challenge, I don't know.  It won't be running, I can promise you that, but I'm low on inspiration.  Any ideas?


  1. Well done Lorraine ! Three hours is a long time in a zumba class. I love zumba, it's so much fun and well done for raising money for the National Autistic Society too :)


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