Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An Ode to Lainy... and my new found love of Zumba!!!

I've mentioned my friend Lainy (aka Elaine aka Lainykins) on my blog a few times. I want to give her a more proper introduction -

Lainy came into my life in Spring 2005 when she wrote to me on myspace asking me about my hair (true story). We met shortly thereafter and since she lived closeby and we shared common interests, we started hanging out. Lainy is one of the first female friends I ever had as an adult. And even though I have nine years on her, I feel like we've both seen each other grow up - or at least evolve - in the 5 years we've known each other.

I was 33 at the time we met, and I'm turning 39 in a few days. Those have probably been the most interesting, fun, difficult, amazing, stressful, memorable and best years of my life. She's been in my life to witness the separation from my husband and selling of my house, through my divorce, my alopecia, my depression, my move to Brooklyn, the devastating loss of my beloved Smokey and the million other things I've been through (good, bad and hilarious) since moving to NYC in late 2005.

She's seen me change in some pretty significant ways too - not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Of all the people in my life right now, she and William at work probably know me better than anyone. And I feel closer to the two of them than anyone else I know.

Since I wanted to share more of Lainy with all of you, I decided to take you on a fun little trip down memory lane. Here are some photos of us over the years. It's "Memory Lane with Lainy", if you will...

Summer 2005 at Lucky Cat, in Brooklyn:

Lainy & Me @ Lucky Cat in 2005

At Otto's, October 2005:

Halloween 2005 at Otto's in Manhattan - Very Naughty Nuns:

Smoking Nuns - Me & Lainy Halloween 2005

Sharing secrets at Otto's, February 2006:

Lainy & Me, sharing secrets

In the photo booth at Otto's (I'm guessing sometime in 2006)

This is a *classic* Sheryl & Lainy photo from September 2006, at Otto's again (this is also two days before I joined Weight Watchers)

Me & Lainy- just being ridiculous

At Otto's again, April 2007:

In June 2007 at a Mode Merr show that I modeled in:

Me & Lainy

April 2008 at Union Pool in Brooklyn:

Re-enactment of Lainy sneaking up behind me

April 2008 in Manhattan:

Lainykins and me

(This next photo is us from the waist down that same night. And no, we did not plan this. In fact, it was super embarrassing when we met up on the bus that night!)

Lainy left, me right

April 2008, Lainy's 28th Birthday at Gutter Bar in Brooklyn:

Birthday girl and me

Yay! It's me and Lainy! With hats!

June 2008 with the Greenpoint "Birthday Girl":

Lainy & Me

August 2008, in Long Island City Queens for Sean's birthday (or "Not really a beach", which is how it will forever be known in my memory. Her: "We're going to Water Taxi Beach. But don't worry, it's not really a beach" It was, indeed, a beach. With sand. And my 4" heels sunk into it with every step - but just look at that view of midtown Manhattan!)

Lainy & Me!

August 2008, with Rishana at the Rumblers Car Show under the BQE in Brooklyn:

Rishana, Me & Lainy

November 2008 (I ran into her on the 7 Train one morning on my way to work)

Morning kisses from Lainy on the 7 Train

August 2009, Summer Streets in Manhattan (I look huge here!):

September 2009 in Brooklyn:

Lainy and Me

October 2009, at the Greenpoint 5K:

Lainy & Me: Super 5K team!

April 2010, Lainy's 30th Birthday in Manhattan!

I love Lainy!

Lainy, I love you! xo

April 2010, celebrating at the Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Terminal:

Lainy and I have grown up cocktails. Cause we're grown ups. (Kinda)

June 2010 at Gantry Park in Long Island City, Queens:

Lainy & Me!

June 2010 in Central Park - Lainy graduated! I'm so proud! She's gonna make it after all!

I'm so proud of my Lainy! She graduated today!

July 2010 - rooftop party in Greenpoint:

Lainykins & Me! (two rooftops in one week!)

August 2010: Here we are just this past weekend on Park Ave @ 72nd Street in Manhattan for NYC Summer Streets:

So now that you've seen a brief history of me & my lil Lainykins, you'll understand that when I got an email alerting me to a Zumba class, I immediately wanted to attend... with HER. I knew it would be a fun experience and that no one else would make me laugh as much as she does. And since she and I declared this the "Summer of Awesome" and have a whole checklist of things to do together, I had a feeling she'd be down for this too - down like a clown! (OK I know that's ridiculous but I made up that phrase and I'm trying to get it to catch on despite William's insistence it has no chance...)

Sure enough, Lainy accepted my request to accompany me. And last night was the big night!

We met outside the studio in Manhattan and I asked the instructor, Kimmy if we could get a photo before class, since I knew I would be blogging about it (Yes, I *am* trying to stick my ass out! Sexy, right?)

(Note: you may know/recognize Kimmy as "Lolita Ford" from Gotham Girls Roller Derby. Kimmy is also a certified personal trainer. In addition to training, she also offers private Zumba classes and Zumba parties. You can reach her at kimmyreilly@ymail.com) 

Lainy Kimmy & Me in Zumba

As for the Zumba class itself, I really wasn't sure what to expect. I had heard of it and only knew it was some sort of a dancey type thing. I am not afraid to admit that I do not know how to dance. In fact, I have no rhythm and am highly uncoordinated when anything involves using upper and lower body simultaneously. Knowing that about myself, I still wanted to do it because it sounded super fun. And besides, what's the worst that could happen?

The class was in a studio with a mirror that ran the entire length of one of the 4 walls. That meant you had no choice but to SEE YOURSELF working out. Now, I think this is pretty typical of gyms/studios, but I am not used to it. I understand the purpose of it, and liked having it there so I could watch and mimic the instructors, but it's so embarrassing to see myself - especially trying to do anything that even remotely resembles dancing. Of course it helps to see what I'm doing wrong and try to fix it, but it sucks to see how spastic and awkward I am.

Since this was my first class, and I had no idea what I was doing, I was a bit of a spazz. But you know what? That doesn't matter. I was doing it. I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something new that I *knew* I wouldn't be great at. And in the end, who cares? No one was judging me. No one was even watching me, because I know I wasn't watching anyone else - other than the instructors. And besides, no one is great at anything the first time they try it and we all have to start somewhere - wherever we are right now. Besides, the fate of the world wasn't resting on my performance. I did the best I could, laughed at myself, and even though I turned to Lainy a few times and shot her quizzical "WTF?!" looks, I was doing it. I was working out. I was using my body in a way I never have before and I was having a great time.

At one point I felt like I was doing a particular step pretty well and whispered to Lainy "I'm totally showing that move to Sour Balls at work tomorrow!" (side note: I forgot the move and didn't show him). And when Lainy nailed a move and excitedly exclaimed that "We might officially be dancers now!", I told her we should audition for Solid Gold.

After nearly an hour of jumping around, shaking and rolling our shoulders and arms, moving our hips, some salsa moves and I have no idea whatever else, it was over. And we felt great!

It turned out that I loved this class. I loved Zumba! I had so much fun, got a workout, and had another totally memorable night with Lainykins. We had such a fantastic time that when we left the class and were talking about it, she looked at me, opened her beautiful blue eyes really wide and said (this is a direct quote, mind you:)
"Could you imagine if the outcome of this is we become amazing dancers?!"

I only stopped laughing long enough to pull out a paper and pen and jot that down before it escaped my brain. She was so excited and what an adorable thing to say. That's my Lainy.

We may or may not become 'amazing dancers' anytime soon, if ever, and I'm pretty sure we have no shot in hell of getting on Solid Gold since it was canceled shortly after she was born - but I do know we're going back for another class later this month. In addition to that, I think she and I will add dance clubs to our repertoire of social activities. After all, we have to show off our amazing new dance moves! Right, Lainy? ;)


  1. I am *SO* glad that you liked Zumba. I took a class once around here and I was smitten with it. I've only gone that once because with the 1/2 marathon coming up I'm trying to keep my activity to running and biking, aka, lower risk of twisting my ankle trying to dance LMAO. I hope you guys go back. I can just see your sexy ass dancing around in class, hee hee.

    Your friend Lainy is *super* adorable by the way. You two are as cute as two peas in a pod.

    Oh & I definitely plan on using the phrase "down like a clown" not only because its catchy but just to prove sour balls wrong ;)

  2. Yes, yes, yes! Zumba is the shit! I discovered it last year and I love it. The problem is I have a hard time finding a consistent class. I usually see it only offered in random spurts at random location. I've Zumba'ed in a library, a synagogue, the Latin American Association, the YMCA and Methodist church. But as often as I can find them, I take them!

  3. Zumba is amazing! As I gained alot of weight when I was sick and couldn't move as I used to, I decided to give it a try. An old friend is now a teacher so I started to attend her classes. I came addicted ... FAST! Even participated in a 2 hour (yes straight!) Zumbathon to help raise $ for another local instructors sick husband. Did I mention it was in 95 degree heat in July in a local elementary school gym.. no air conditioning?!?!? Its great for anyone, of any age, any shape and any size.
    And thank you for sharing your love of Lainy! It's nice to see the pics and hear the stories :-)

  4. Suzi, if you can get that phrase started up there, we can make it spread like wild fire! Thank you! I can't wait to tell William!

    Crys, I have to look into it over here too. This was a special 2-time only class but I want to do it more often too.

  5. I Love that you Love Zumba! I feel like I'm a dancer on stage at a rock concert or in a video when I do it. Of coiurse, I'm usually the oldest and the biggest in the class , but who the hell cares! Sometimes graceful, sometimes naughty girl, sometimes dirty wench...shake and wobble your booty. My best move so far is the cha cha.

    You and your Lainey friend look like you are having a blast. 2 peas in a pod.

  6. What an awesome blog! It's so great to have adult friendships, where you can act like..well, teenagers! I am preparing myself to do Zumba. I have a fear of my boobs smacking me in the face! Haha!! I'm glad you loved it!! Btw, I lost 5lbs :) http://fatkatielosingit.blogspot.com/

  7. How cute are you and Lainy?!

    I'm so happy that you posted about Zumba because I just found out that a new class is starting near my house at the end of the month, and I am going to step way the hell out of my comfort zone to go and try it. I'm awful at group-type things, but I took my first ever yoga class last week and it was awesome (stretching is my new favorite), so I thought, "why not Zumba, too?".

    Thanks for a great post - I can't wait to Zumba! :) Woohoo!

  8. I am a Zumba Queen, in my own mind of course! Those moves are so much fun. Feeling fabulous is a wonderful side effect! Have I told you lately how cute you are!!?

  9. OMG! I soooooo want to be you when I grow up! I better hurry up, being I turn 38 this November... lol. You so totally rock. I want... wait scratch that, I will from this moment on make memories like you and your lil Lainy. :-)

  10. I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU! My god! do you know how much i love you? do you? "Enough to zumba" is the answer! Enough to shake my arm fat liberally and sweat balls in front of strangers.

    Sheryl, mi amore (im speaking to you in spanish) you are the light of my light...the Ethel Ive been searching for and the Yoda I needed! You taught me everything I needed to know about life and now you gave me the gift of zumba. Thank you for hugging my sweaty ass and being you all the time.

    Everyone needs a sheryl, and if they havent found one....they need to get one immediately; it makes life better. you, my love, have made my life better and i love you so hard.


    p.s. its hop hop hop, shake it low, shake it high. repeat to the left, repeat to the right!

  11. also....im making the same face in every photo. wtf. i need a new pose!

  12. You are a big inspiration! Love your blog, and what u write here!

  13. "Enough to zumba" - see? that's why I love YOU! Who says shit like that. You always make me laugh. You have a gift, I tell you, a GIFT! Lainy Dawg & Bitch Cakes: Zumba Forever!

    But that's your Lainy face! It's the "oooooh" face. I have the same pose and only get photographed from the left. We're both nuts! In a good way...

  14. I also enjoy the Zumba and thought I was total spazz in the class but I do get incredibly proud of myself when I get move right.

  15. What a great story and friendship you guys have. I am yet totey zumba (I too am unco as)

  16. I was so disappointed when I found out that there aren't any Punk Rope classes in my area, but there ARE a ton of Zumba classes! Hooray that looks like fun.

    Too bad my BFF lives a two-hour drive away. :(

  17. I really enjoyed your story and the pictures, you have a beautiful friendship. I thought I had a similar friendship recently with 3 girls but they stabbed me in the back and it hurt a lot - they were the closest friends I (thought) I had and now I have nobody in my life as you described.

    I guess I have to get out there and make some new friends.

  18. I will be also using "down like a clown" over here in Detroit!!

    You are so lucky to have an amazing friend like Lainy! Glad you loved zumba!!!

  19. good for you for taking the class, regardless of looking like a spazz! rare is the person who is not a spazz in the beginning. i've been looking at zumba on the schedule at my gym, but not sure if i can do 5:45 am (ouch). but your review makes it that much more intriguing.

  20. Zumba! One of my fave activities. Too cute you and Lainey both wearing a leopard skirt. Wonderful friends are what life is about.

  21. She looks like lots of fun! It's so great when you just 'click' with people, right?

    I wanted to say that I saw you this past weekend biking up the avenue at the end of summerstreets!! I was too late to shout hello, and was walking in the opposite direction, but I wanted to let you know that my boyfriend and I both thought you looked like you were having a ton of fun, and may I say, you looked lovely!!

  22. Isn't it awesome to have a side-kick like that in your life? Someone who will say hell yeah, lets go! And while laughing at the end say that was some ride!

    You have a fantastic friendship something to treasure!

    I love my best friend to death but she just won't go an do things with me, and reading this I now miss that sort of aspect to the friendship.

    Keep having fun!

  23. Zumba is the shit. I could dance and had rhythm before taking it, but I'm a lot more confident now. I took it with my best friend, too, and we had so much fun. It's def. a bonding experience.

  24. it's always been my dream to audition to become a Milwaukee Bucks dancer. not actually make it as a dancer seeing as i'm 40 yrs old and all. i just want to audition. i have the chair dance prepared in my head.

    now that you know A.dance.move, you should try out for the Knicks cheerleaders or something. sure you may not actually get picked, but it would still make for an awesome story.

  25. OMG zumba is my fav!! i go twice a week! serious calorie burnnnnn!!!!!

  26. I have a friend that use to teach Zumba and the few classes I took, I absolutely loved it. Your transformation over the past few years is outstanding, you look amazing!

  27. I love Zumba too! Hey out of curiousity what kind of shoes are you and your friend wearing? They are super cute! Please tell.

  28. I seriously only take the time out of my days to read your posts from start to finish. Go figure! Ha Ha Ha I wish we had Zumba here however better yet I wish I had a Bitch Cakes and Lainy here in Vancouver :(

    Yours Truly

  29. That vlack and white pic of the two of you is stunning. Your style seems almost designed for it.

    We all could use a Laney. You guys have so much fun!

    Tried Zumba once and was an absymal disaster. Definitely could not manage the moves, but will consider it again if I come across a good class. I agree, anything that gets you moving and heart a-racing is a good thing. Plus, I think dance in general is an awesome way to work out the micro muscles that don't get any action on the usual machines and free weights.

  30. I love your blog...I love your style...I just think you are awesome! I have been bangin' my head against the wall for the past 8 months lately as I slowly (okay I lie...I mean quickly) gain back the weight I busted my ass off to lose. (114 pounds) I am not sure why I do it to myself because I thought I was "there" but I thought wrong.

    I come to your blog to seek inspiration! Love the way you tell it like it is.

    I wish I had a "Lainy" but as the wife of an active duty man...they travel and we move. I make amazing friends and then boom...orders come in and away we go. Holding on to good friends is really hard. So I am a little, shall we say J.E.A.L.O.U.S.!!!!

    Zumba is the bomb! I could Zumba all over my house but then someone might see me and think I'm weird...awe shucks! They KNOW I am a weirdo. :)

    Anyway...I don't think I have ever posted a comment on your blog just to let you know I think you rock!

    Carry on....

  31. My dear, is this you on Martha Stewart doing punk rope? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CXUiPsTUzg&feature=related?

    You look so stylish!

  32. Thank you all for the comments! I never had many friends growing up so Lainy is extra special to me and I'm glad I could share her with you.

    Sinn- Yes! How did you stumble upon that? I blogged about it a few months ago when it happened. Thank you :)

    Fivezunigas - Mine are Saucony. I got them on Zappos for about 50 bucks. Not sure about hers.

  33. What a very special post about your very special friendship, and zumba. How blessed you two girls are to have each other (*_*)

  34. WOO HOO!!! I love Zumba...and not just cuz I teach it. I teach it cuz I love it. Yeah. Anyway, I'm so excited you liked it! Can I show your post to my instructor friends?

  35. Sheryl,

    I had seen the infomercial for the Zumba dvds a while ago and blew it off. Then I read your post this morning and looked into it. I spent an hour on the phone with an instructor this morning. She invited me to a class she was having tonight (I dragged my daughter along - who already has amazing abs). We had a blast! Thank you for putting it in my mind. I bellydanced! Omg, I bellydanced!

  36. I read you mention Punk Rope a few days back, and today had the notion of finding YouTube videos. This was one that came up in the search! It was pretty exciting! :)

  37. I friggin' LOVE Zumba :) Beto is my boyfriend, even if he's gay, and he doesn't know it :) LMAO

  38. You should definitely keep doing Zumba, and keep bringing a friend! I did it a few times with a friend and had a blast, then once by myself and hated it. Somehow it's easier to just have a great time and act silly when you have a friend with you.
    Also, I was inspired by your blog to start bike riding and today managed to ride over 16 miles!

  39. I love Zumba. I just blogged about my Zumba experience this morning. I'm new to the blogging world, but I'm hoping it will keep me motivated for my weight loss journey. I'm trying to get all my friends to go with me, but so far it's just me and class full of strangers. At least I haven't injured myself or anyone else yet - that's always a plus. :)

  40. Wow....I have just started zumba with a close friend also! And i had the same reaction! i hate the mirror but barely have time to look at it. So glad you love it, and so glad I love it too!

  41. Zumba is my punk rope. Totally turned the corner in my fitness world. You said it... using my body in a way I never had before! Shake it baby!

  42. Super cute pics.

    I just found out my Community Center has FREE Zumba classes until september. I have already made plans to attend.

  43. Zumba singlehandedly changed my views on exercise classes in those damned mirrored studios. I was so scared of those classes but now I love it. I'm seven months in and by the New Year I intend to be a qualified instuctor!


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