I'm a low-key stoner.
Back in college, I'd wake and bake, go to class, smoke again, go to my second class, go grocery shopping, do some work, and light up one final time before a buffet-style dinner. I smoked so much weed that I actually became a fully functioning human being when I was high, so I stopped.
The fact that I could be that stoned and still cop A minuses in Urban Literature 101 was starting to worry me.
I've recently slipped back into my old pothead ways. Honestly, everything is kind of just better high. Friends are funnier. Sex is hotter. Food practically jumps off of your tastebuds. So I figured I'd try something I love doing sober while high out of my mind: working out.
I've gone to Hatha yoga high before, which was essentially just stretching stoned for 45 minutes. For my experiment, I wanted to go to a class I'd never tried before and that would challenge me more than yoga. Zumba seemed like a good idea.
And so, at 5 pm on a Tuesday, I found myself on the street smoking a chubby spliff with my friends. They waited generously while I took my sweet time puffing away.
“Sheena, you are hilariously high as a motherf*cking kite right now,” my one friend said to me.
I laughed giddily. “Wish me luck.”
I can definitively say I was as baked as I've ever been. My coworker and gym buddy Gigi accompanied me to Zumba because, hey, I needed a responsible adult with me to make sure I didn't die.
We made our way into the gym. I was zonked out of my mind while trying to change in the locker room. The thing about being high is that time slows down -- in fact, it almost screeches to a complete halt -- and every touch, every sensation and every imperfection is magnified by 20 times.
Worried that everyone could smell my end-of-day feet, I did a few double takes around the room while tying my shoelaces at a snail's pace. No one was looking. I took my hair tie out and ran my fingers through my hair, savoring the softness of the loose waves. Sometimes it takes being really high to appreciate just how great your hair feels.
Then, I was taking my coat off when all of a sudden, I felt overwhelmingly self-conscious of my body: my pit stains, my poorly moisturized elbows, the little hairy patch on my thigh that I forgot to shave. Gigi told me to shake it off.
We entered the class. As I slung my towel over my shoulder, I realized that I'd completely forgotten to bring a workout top. I did have a shirt in my bag, but it was a T-shirt that said "KALE."
"No worries!" said Gigi. "I have a crop top."
If it were any other day, I'd have gone with the KALE tee. Not just because I enjoy being ironic (kale sucks), but because I don't feel comfortable showing my belly while exercising. But I was feeling fearless. F*ck it, I thought. Crop top it is.
The instructor was a hip, tattooed, woman in her 30s with more energy than three sober Sheenas combined.
"ALL RIGHT, LADIES! Let's DO this!" she yelled.
"Jesus," I said to Gigi, covering my ears. "She's, like, up here," I continued, using my hands to demonstrate, "and I need her to be down here." The collective "WOOO!" of excited women in the room was a tad more than blazed, highly sensitive Sheena could handle.
Latin music began blaring. Mostly middle-aged ladies stomped their feet and swung their hips. It took me a few minutes, but soon I was groovin' and a-movin' to the beat. I felt completely uninhibited, like there was not a bone in my body. My hips swayed from side to side, soft and easy like Jell-O. I remember thinking, if only they were this loose on the reg...
I had totally underestimated what Zumba would be like. TBH, I thought I was going to be in a room full of 70-year-old women doing some water aerobics-type sh*t, except on land. Oh, was I wrong. Zumba was fast-paced and high-energy the whole way through. It demanded lots of spirit.
The good news is my muscles were too numb to get sore; I couldn't feel a thing, so I kicked higher than I've ever kicked and punched the air more enthusiastically than I've ever punched.
I spent the next 55 minutes oscillating between a J. Lo wannabe and slow moron. It wasn't until I took my first short break that I realized just how dehydrated I was; not only was I stoned, but I was also sweating small lakes out of every orifice (I have overactive sweat glands). My water bottle quickly became my BFF.
"SHAKE YOUR BOOT-AY!" the instructor shouted. And shake I did. I shook like the Earth was fallin' apart.
And then she yelled, "Slap it. Slap it HARDER!" while slapping an imaginary butt in the air. So I slapped an imaginary butt three times as hard, all loosey-goosey, as if I didn't have any elbow joints.
Yo, this was fun. I was having the time of my life.
At my high points, my inner child came out, and I focused entirely on my reflection in the mirror, imitating the quick, sharp movements of the instructor. When I realized I couldn't exactly keep up because of my, uh, condition, I just did my own thing (that's what she encouraged us to do, anyway):
Even at my lows -- my winded, sleepy, thirsty AF lows -- I felt the boom, boom of the bass through my veins. Music doesn't discriminate against the stoned.
By the end of class, I was absolutely wiped. I wasn't even sure I'd make it home without fainting at least once. My eyes were more glazed over than a Krispy-f*cking-Kreme:
But I surprised myself, as I tend to do. Not only did I make it home OK, but I stopped at Victoria's Secret on the way and bought a way over-the-top, turquoise bustier, because I discovered in Zumba that turquoise was ~my color~, and I was also feeling accomplished as hell.
Will I go to Zumba while high again? Nah. I might get high and try another gym class, maybe one that isn't straight cardio. If I can go to Zumba high as balls and be the damn star of the class, I can do anything.