Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thesaurus Thursday: "Gelastic"/Fit & Active October.

Today's word and segue into short Fit & Active October post is "gelastic," and adjective meaning "laughable."

A very uncoordinated person joining a dance class for exercise might seem gelastic, and in many ways it actually is; you just have to learn to laugh at yourself.

I mentioned in my last post that when deciding on classes to take at the Y, I resolved to only continue ones I enjoyed.  One that stuck out to me on the schedule was Dance Blast.  I thought perhaps because I sometimes turn music up very loud and jump around to it in my kitchen (Um, never mind.  I don't do that at all.  Ever.  I swear.), it might be something I'd enjoy.

Like this. Only different.

What I didn't realize is that the classes don't methodically lay out all the steps for you, even when doing new songs.  More difficult steps might get a brief introduction, but for the most part the instructor just jumps right in, and you follow along.  So during my first class, I was completely lost, oh, about 50% of the time.  That said, when the class ended, I was hot, sweaty, exhausted, and happy about it. I've never been happy about exercising in my life.  But to enjoy myself, I had to focus not on how much I was messing up the steps but on how much more fun it was to move my body around to the music than to simply listen to it while pedaling a stationary bike or running on a treadmill.  I found out that my body doesn't particularly like monotony.  Which was rather surprising considering that I am normally all about routine and habit.

I also had to realize that no one was focusing on me.  Everyone was busy with their own dancing; it wasn't a competition.  When I did look around to see if I could follow someone nearer to me than the instructor, I noticed that many people weren't perfect.  Some knew the choreography better than others, and some knew it perfectly, and some hardly did the same dance at all, but everyone was dancing without any apparent self-consciousness.  I've gotten better at following along each time I've been, but I'll still never be a great dancer.  It doesn't matter, though.  I'm getting a workout and having fun, and no one is judging me for not being perfect.

So here are some thoughts to take away from this: if you're ever nervous about varying your exercise routine, remember that you'll never know how much you'll enjoy another activity until you try.  And always, always remember that it's OK not to be perfect.  It's your workout, no one else's.

Oh, and sometimes laughing makes exercise even more fun.

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