Let me introduce you to the pursuit of a body beautiful.
After too many street-side, stir-fried culinary calories, I wanted present control of my figure and fitness.
In the past I had attended mixed martial arts with kickboxing. It was in a nice studio, with nice girls and no self-defence was required.
The thought of getting in a boxing ring was exhilarating — but the entrance fee was not the only high price to pay. You have to be a good sport and roll with the punches.
So, in the hunt for the ultimate fitness fun, Columbian phenomena Zumba – served up Thai style – won hands down instead. All I had to do was turn up ready to rock n’ roll, or rather, to Zumba. The class was at six post meridian, and I was about to redefine ‘happy hour’.
I found myself, in more ways than one, in one of the finest urban fitness metropolises I’d ever seen.
It had enough serious equipment to silence any sorry excuses.
If I wanted to reclaim my body, this two-storey alpha, omega, fitness emporium was going to be the ultimate place to rediscover those curves.
The sign on the wall of the supergym read Platinum. Like the precious metal, I had to say I was feeling strong, coveted and precious.
Platinum is also known for having ‘a long shelf life’ which happens to be another upside to exercise I’m happy to buy into any day.
I looked the part in a colourful cropped top, leggings, and trainers with The Tick that reminds me, don’t just stand there soaking up the ambience and culture; Just Do It.
So I did.
In the ‘freestyle’ area I engaged in some essential warm ups, nailed some stretches and did justice to a mixed session on a cross trainer before we worked on targeting my abs.
I say ‘we’ because it can take two people to help shape one, and so I pulled off my training with the wonderful convenience of a personal trainer. I wanted to re-experience a strong body and this was a serious spare-no-excuses, grown up playground with the benefit of very personable and helpful trainers.
During strength training I had targeted specific muscles, some of which I forgot existed. But the intro session with my P.T. – that’s personal trainer to you and I – came to an end too soon and I reluctantly said a Thai bye.
I hadn’t quite reclaimed my shapely midriff, so I followed my orders to attend a class and headed up one level. Where Zumba class, also known as the Latina fitness revolution, awaited.
In the mirrored studio we were high in the sky, and high on energy.
The charismatic and unrestrained teacher was, as you would expect, effervescent.
He had zero body fat, sporting a cool top, particularly low slung three-quarter length pants, and showed off sculpted lower abdominals. There was excitement in the air as the sound system went on, producing ear rending acoustics from Columbia’s other export, Shakira, singing Hips Don’t Lie.
There were sky scraping, sexy booty shaking moves, one after another, intermittently broken up by moments of rehydration and song chages. The cool choreography was brilliant and easily executed.
I was in the third from front row giving all the appearance of a pro. We danced to the left and turned around at lightning speed, then right, and a fast forward motion. In the floor to ceiling mirror reflection we all synchronized.
A quarter of the way through, the energy in the room was infectious and I had to resist resorting to laughter. The music had progressed to Thai-dance, keeping the tempo fast and the beat holding us accountable.
When I didn’t keep up, I reminded myself, like the gym says, that we’re Platinum. Which means that if I was a singer instead of a dancer right now, I would have sold over 1 million records. My platinum power theory made me feel resilient.
So I kept on moving.
The instructor changed gear and we eased our bodies into the warm down. He grinded his hips down low as only a Latin American dancer could and we shook our bodies out, stood on tiptoes and stretched. The class session ended in applause and a room of Thai smiles.
I headed back to the changing rooms and spa for a steam and sauna, high on serotonin and dopamine.
Feeling and looking good, I felt a million dollars; and American dollars converted is 35,452,971.99 Thai Baht. It may be true that to join in the class costs just a tiny fraction of that. It’s a small investment with big returns, for a mind and body beautiful in Bangkok.
As my complimentary trial came to a close, my time there had been the best and, as the saying goes, ‘the best things in life are free’.
Have you tried sculpting a Bangkok body beautiful?
Featured image features a Creative Commons photo via Emagrecer e Perder Barriga/YouTube