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Hi everyone.  My name is Judi Goldstein. I’m the loud New Yorker you might have seen or heard at either  Zumba Gold, Fitsteps, or Zumba Fitness.

I am 61 years old, and come from Long Island, New York.  I have never done well in team sports, because I’m a natural clutz.  However, I have always tried to keep fit in different ways.

In my twenties, I attended Jazzercize classes for years and loved them.  After this period, I started jogging.  I could never run more than 2 miles, and it took me 30 to 35 minutes to do so, but I was determined.  I remember when I was living in Los Angeles, I used to get up at 5.00 AM and jog, in the dark, on the streets of L.A.  Omg, I was crazy!!  Then I would go to work.  Anyway, that was a long time ago.  I left the states in 1991 and moved to the suburbs of Paris, where I lived and married, (and divorced), until 2002.  My company then offered me a position in the UK and I happily accepted it.

I used a treadmill at home for about six years, but eventually got  bored with it.  I was quickly becoming glued to my sofa.  I had to find something.  I knew that joining a gym was a possibility, but thought I would try Zumba since I remembered how much I had loved Jazzercize.  So, someone told me to join the Zumba classes at my local Gym, which I did.  The experience left me uninspired.  The instructor did her job, didn’t care about us, didn’t show us how to do anything, and allowed us to be crammed in like sardines.  I think I attended 2 or 3 classes and gave up.

On Facebook, one of my American friends posted something about Zumba Gold, which I had never heard of.  So, I googled it, and found out all about this lower impact Zumba.  I thought to myself, that if there were any Zumba Gold classes in this country, they would probably be closer to London.  However, I decided to google, “Zumba Gold, Camberley.”

You will never believe what came up!!!  Yes, Sveta.   Omg, there was Zumba Gold in Camberley.  I was amazed, but then memories came flooding back about my gym experience, so I decided to call first and ask about how many people were already in the class.  So funny looking back now.  I called Sveta’s mobile, and asked her if her classes were very crowded.  Of course, she couldn’t begin to understand the question, because the classes hadn’t even begun yet.  Her first class was beginning the next week,  which was August 2014.

So, my Zumba Gold experience began.  There were 2 of us for the first few classes, which grew little by little.  Sveta was so warm and friendly and knew us by name.  As Sveta was finding more venues to hold classes, she encouraged me to increase the frequency from 1 time per week, to 2 times.  Oh, dear, would I be able to keep up?  What I realized was that the more often I attended classes, the better I was feeling.  I wasn’t looking to lose weight, particularly, but I wanted to increase my fitness. 

Then I tried Fitsteps and loved those classes as well.  I eventually set myself up to the challenge of trying a Zumba Fitness class.  I believe I attended on one of the hottest days of this year, and I really suffered through it.  At the end of the class, I swore never to attend one again.  However, my confidence was building as Zumba Gold and Fitsteps began becoming more “fun” and less exhausting.  I gave it another go, and have been attending one fitness class per week ever since and continuing with Gold or Fitsteps twice a week, as well.   I’m not as good as the younger ones, but Sveta has taught me how to challenge myself physically and also how it doesn’t really matter if you can follow all the steps or even keep up with the others.  It’s about feeling good, getting healthier through exercise and being part of our little community.  I’ve met so many wonderful women in the classes and find that we all support each other.  I am now hooked.