Posts Tagged ‘music’

Okay, so ya’ll were pretty much on to me in the poll about my Top Secret Cross Training Exercise.  (I’d surely like to know which one of you voted for “Other” and typed in “12 oz. curls after a run!”  Confessions, anyone?)

So you guessed it.  My cross-training exercise of choice is:  Tap Dancing.  This is only mildly remarkable because I hadn’t danced in a group/team/class since high school.  And I’d only even put on tap shoes a couple times in my adult life.  I would have had better chances at success being a hockey player or a nuclear scientist.

But I thought I’d give it a whirl since my little princess is The Dancing Queen and my darling ninja has decided to take dancing lessons to make her a Better Hockey Player.

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So I see this sign:  Beginning Adult Tap Lessons–Try It!  And I think:  how hard can it be?  After all, I’m an athlete, a runner.  I signed up for the class, thinking it would be fun, but wouldn’t really qualify for anything mildly aerobic. 

Imagine my surprise when I learned that there were very few times that tap dancers actually ever stopped moving.  Think of it as the equivalent of jumping rope for 45 minutes while trying to learn new ways to move your feet, remember these ways in varying patterns, have each move of your toe or heel make a particular noise at a particular moment,  figure out how not to run into the other dancers in the room (all 15 years younger than you, of course) and, if possible, to do all this while not falling down on your larger-and-older-than-the-rest-of-the-group’s fanny. 

So maybe this actually was exercise.  Yes, definitely. 

Way different than running.  Which is, for me, essentially a solo endeavor and in which the tricky footwork consists of exactly two moves:  thump, thump.  And the biggest challenge consists of willing yourself to go farther or faster. 

So the tap dancing thing has been a welcome way for me to get that aerobic exercise without pounding on my old joints once a week.  It’s given me a chance to focus my mind a different way than I’m used to, which is a welcome brain-stretch.  It’s given me a chance to educate some whipper-snappers in the reality that indeed, Thriller and Bust-A-Move were, not that long ago, songs that real people danced to, not just some funky retro music.  And it’s given me yet another opportunity to laugh at myself, because truly–I’m quite a sight to behold, let me tell you. 

And just today, another thought occurred to me.  Happy Feet.  Oh, yes.  It makes total sense that I would love tap dancing, since I am a penguin. 

One of my running heroes, John Bingham, refers to himself as “The Penguin.”  He refers to a time in his early running career where he envisioned himself as a swift and beautiful, muscular animal, running mightily, at which time he passed by a storefront and saw his reflection in the plate glass, where he saw something closer to:  a penguin.  Are you a Penguin?  Click this link to find out:  You Might Be a Penguin If…

How does this penguin business relate to tap dancing? 

Of course, this runner would love tap dancing.  This runner is a penguin.  And in both persuits, my feet are truly happy.

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Webkinz gray arabian

Answer:  If that mother is a runner, the stupid song is the Webkinz Gray Arabian song. 

I’ve included the link to the song for the very curious, but I’m warning you, DON’T CLICK THE LINK.  Here it is:  Link.  Don’t click it.  If you do, you’ll be singing the song for the next four or five months, too.  Don’t do it.  Seriously. 

On the other hand, at least the beat helps me keep a good pace.  Sigh.  Motherhood.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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When I walk out my door, I come face-to-face with a huge hill.  Literally. 

So any “little run” is also a hill run for me, which may have been the reason that most of my runs began as walks early in my running journey.

I had a strategy, which was to run when I could and walk when I had to.  Due to the steepness and quantity of the hills and my general lack of conditioning, that meant walking most of the time and running down the hills. 

I remember counting the seconds, then the minutes that I could run on the flat spaces of ground, after the downhill sprints and before the uphill challenges.  Then I remember being able to run a few yards, then a few more yards, on some of the easier inclines.  Each time I could run a few seconds longer or a few yards further, I scored one in the win column, as far as I was concerned.  Wasn’t it Vince Lombardi that said success is measured in inches?  Then there was the day, when I whipped the hill in front of my house.  Woo Hoo!  But the worst hill was yet to come.

If you’re from my community, you know the hill I’m talking about.  Going back into town across the bridge, that nasty, deceptive incline pretends to be one length and then gently curves around to reveal you’re only half way up!  The hill itself is a half mile long and steep.  It took tremendous effort to even walk up that beast the first couple months of my training.

I never quit.  I never turned around and just went home.  Even if I had to stop and walk, I finished that thing with every ounce of energy I had in me.

At last, early on Saturday, July 11th, during the beginning of a nine-mile run, I made it all the way up that stinking hill without stopping to walk!  Oh yeah, baby!  No matter what else happened, this was going to be a GREAT day! 


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And, yes, I most certainly DID have the Rocky music playing in the soundtrack of my mind.  I had finally conquered that beast of a hill and I was going to enjoy that victory for all it was worth.  

If I could do it, anybody can do it.  I’m still running that hill several times a week.  Still hearing the Rocky music playing in my mind.  And still thanking God for the strength and tenacity to beat that beast each time I encounter it.  Yes! 

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