Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Secret Dream

I want to dance.

I want to do like the magnets say and "dance like no one is watching."  I want to take my little kitchen dances with my kids and my dog and expand it.

I love to watch So You Think You Can Dance every summer.  I love to watch Mama Mia and every wedding movie that has dancers in it.

I never attended high school dances, and though I attended middle school dances, I'm not sure I ever danced.

The last time I danced with joy - with middle school choir to Madonna's True Blue - a friend of mine laughed at me and my swinging hips (I don't remember all of it, but I do remember the laughing, the pointing, the "boom! boom!").  And from then on I barely moved for choir choreography, and I learned to be self-critical before others laid into me.

Wedding after wedding -- even my own -- I've been too self-conscious to dance.  I'm a sad geek who encourages her husband to go dance with others rather than sit on the sidelines with me.  (It takes a lot of convincing, but I can usually at least get him to leave my side for a polka.)

Now that The Biggest Loser isn't on Tuesdays, I've started watching Glee.  I borrowed the first two seasons from the library, and naturally I loved it.  Singing, dancing -- what's not to love?

One of my favorite numbers is this: Artie's Safety Dance.  Like Artie, I want to break out of what holds me back.  I would love to learn to do Artie's routine, complete with confidence & attitude, but for know I'd settle for having the courage to dance with my husband at a wedding reception tonight.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Week in Review

I had a pretty successful week.  I...
  *  worked out at the track 4 days
  *  jogged the track 3 times 
  *  bicycled errands
  *  didn't break into the kids' sugar bomb cereal
  *  had salad for 4 meals
  *  tried pilates
  *  registered my boy and me for a 5K training program -- committing us to train for and participate in an October 5K
  *  planted a garden with my girls
  *  danced in the kitchen with my youngest and our dog
  *  lost 2 pounds! 

Next week's goals:
  *  20 push-ups a day  (or 20 planks of at least 30 seconds each, during the week)
  *  find a stretching program
  *  do all my 5K training homework


Thursday, June 14, 2012

P is for...

Today's adventure was brought to me by the letter P.  P is a fun letter.  It's used for push-ups and pedal.  It's also used for pilates, and since pilates looks like pirate, and I got a kick out of the pirate triathlon last summer, certainly I'd get a kick out pilates, too.  What's not to love?  Holding poses, seeing how long your muscles can hold out. Sounds like weightlifting, and I love weight lifting.

I. don't. like. pilates.  And here's why.

1.  Lack of endorphin rush.
2.  I spend lots of energy trying to uncramp my neck scar tissue and losing focus on what the exercises are meant to do.  And doing those bicycle things and scissor kicks while lying down makes my back and hip sound and feel like a pan of JiffyPop.
3.  No endorphins.  None.
4.  This is the big one for me, I think.  In addition to determination, pilates requires prolonged concentration and self-coaching.  When I exercise, I'm all about being my challenger and my cheerleader.  Concentrating is no fun.  Exercise for me needs some play.
5.  Did I mention that there are no endorphins to be found in a pilates workout?
6.  Unfortunately I ended up next to someone who's been practicing pilates for 8 years.  That person was probably a very nice person, but for the first time in a long time I couldn't get past feeling judged -- and the person probably wasn't even looking at me!  But because there was nothing to do but think about owies and not tipping over or how goofy I felt lying on my back with my feet way up there...  Nope the whole thing made me uncomfortable.

But one of the magnets on my refrigerator reads "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."  Maybe I need to give pilates another chance -- stare it down, win the battle, and discover the treasure that makes it so popular with so many people.  I hope there are endorphins.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Happy-Dance Time!

Dear Whole Wide World,

I could hardly wait to get home and write.  Guess what I did this morning. 
I jogged 1/4 mile three times! 
I was going to be ecstatic enough after my first jogging lap, but by the time I'd finished a walking lap after that, I found myself jogging a second lap!

During my first lap I was jogging like Estelle Getty's "Sophia" on Golden Girls: shuffling, a little hunched over.  That, I decided, was probably why my upper back was hurting.  So when I started breathing again, I reminded myself to follow Cathy's advice and keep my shoulders back.  It worked!

I found my throat closing up almost immediately, par for the course when I jog.  This time though, I heard followed Carol's advice and thought for a minute to figure out what was bothering me -- was it physical or mental?  Turns out it was mental, the old self esteem issues.  I was really afraid of passing the walkers in front of me, for fear of being seen as slow, fat, and weak (ironic that I was afraid of being seen as slow if I was passing them, and weak when I was strong enough to push myself, but such is self esteem).  So I decided to jog behind them; not like a stalker, but using them like that little guy I follow when I Wii jog.  Whatever works.

During my second jogging lap I started a cadence, thanks to Kim.  Kim has a goal to weigh less than her husband, even for a day.  I love that goal and I decided a couple weeks ago that I'm going to weigh less than my husband.  It's a goal that makes me smile.  So when that lap started getting hard, I started "Less - than - Pat. (step)  Less - than - Pat. (step.)"  It worked!  I got through the mentally hardest part of the track!

During my third jogging lap I thought about how even though I was doing a solo workout, I was far from alone. 
  *  My dad was with me -- I saw his hospital room, where we spent our last days together; the track & football field I was on was one of his coaching grounds. 
  *  Cathy, Carol, and Kim were with me in the advice and inspiration they've shared with me.
  *  My husband was there in the pace that I kept.
  *  My kids were there in the memory of the times we've tracked together.
  *  The midges were there in a swirling banner of celebration.
  *  The Spirit that comes with the rising sun, with rushing wind, with silver clouds, and with water and trees was there, fully alive.
  *  And as luck would have it, there were three other people on the track.  While I was on my cool-down lap, one of the three happened to reshape the bumper on the car I'd driven.  C'est la vie.

I started jogging this morning because I'm going to register for this.  "This" is a 5K training program being run by Euclid Parks & Rec.  We'll meet Saturday mornings for a hour and have jogging homework.  Hopefully I've convinced a couple people I know to join me because I can't deny that I have doubts that I'll be able to jog a 5K by October. 

But I won't deny myself the thrill of trying.