I had a good friend tell me that he adopted a motto that served him well – it was, loosely translated, “If I have the time and the money, and it isn’t going to physcially harm me, I try to say yes”. Essentially, if it’s just fear or laziness or insecurity holding him back from experiencing something new, he tries to shake it off and go for it anyway. I figured this was a good way to live, and while sometimes my comfort zone and limits get the best of me (honestly, the laziness is usually what gets me), I try to take the chance and participate in stuff that could possibly be cool more often.
This week, I’d already turned down an invite to try an African dance class. The lazy and crazy schedule monster got me. Sure, I didn’t have anything specifically keeping me away from it on Thursday from 8:30-10:30pm, but I got out of the studio on the East Side at 5, had to go home which is North, and then would have had to go down South. On top of that, it was an early in day Friday (or at least I attempted to make it one…sigh), so I would just be getting home when I usually start wandering to bed and such. That being said, I felt a twinge of guilt I just didn’t buck up and do it.
Then, the invite came for a Friday nite Dance-a-thon at one of my favorite bars, the Creekside Lounge (it was actually a new space next door called Creekside Live, but I didn’t know that until we got there), and the motto rang out in my head. At first I was like, eh, I’ll go, sounds ok, and over the next few days I got more and more excited until I was literally pumped to go dance for hours and hours. I made sure I was wearing my comfortable shoes and had layers to peel off as it got too hot and/or put on if it was cold (didn’t know if it was inside or outside). I was totally set.
We walked the 5 minutes to the bus stop, caught the bus, walked about a mile and got there and I got my wristband and scoped out the place. There were free red bulls but since I don’t drink caffeine very often, I wanted to hold off on making myself crazy. Finally, around 9:45 the contest started and, sadly, the girls that invited us didn’t show up on time so I was the only one entered. Everyone took turns dancing with me, keepin’ me going – I think I tired out about 3 different shifts of people. Soon it was 10:45, 11:45, 12:30…and then they soon figured out they needed to eliminate people, so they started saying you not only had to be dancing, you had to be dancing hard. A very drunk Zliten came up to talk to me, and I was dancing, but not quite so vigorously, and I got my wristband cut at around 12:45.
While I was a little disappointed, I was also happy. I wanted badly to pee, have a drink of anything, and to hang out with my friends who had sort of gotten tired of dancing – and sorry folks, pretty much in that order. I had intentionally only had sips of people’s drinks and about half a redbull so I stayed somewhat dehydrated, simply because I needed to keep the liquid in balanced with the liquid out (sweating, not peeing my pants). It’s not normal for me to be at a bar, at almost 1 am, and pretty much sober. And, I missed my friends! At least we got pictures!
I was pretty proud of how far I’ve come with many things, proved by that night. Along with the obvious stretching of my comfort zone and overcoming the lazies to get out there, it’s a testiment to how much stronger and how much better shape I’m in than ever before. Two years ago, the walk to the bus stop, the walk from the bus to the bar, or dancing for a few songs would have tired me out. A year ago, I was impressed on my birthday I danced for about 30 minutes without a break. Friday – I mixed it up on the floor nonstop for 3 hours, after doing at least a mile and a half walk. Sure, some of the time I was just sort of keeping the beat and not going all out, but then there were points of the night l headbanged to Smells Like Teen Spirit, jumped up and down through all of Tubthumper, raved it up through some crazy techno, and got freaky deaky to some hip hop. I wasn’t even exhausted at the end, just sort of “over it”. 3 hours is a long time to do anything!
And if you’re wondering – I totally counted it as a workout. I was damn sore the next day. The hurty-est thing on my body? My arms. Puzzling, I know. The legs talked to me a bit, but my arms were WRECKED.
So, my fine interweb friends – your mission is this: go out and do something this week that you don’t normally do or something you’ve been putting off. If you normally get the beef, get the chicken. If you’ve been waiting to try that new machine at the gym that’s a little intimdating, today is your day. Even a little thing is good, but the bigger, the better. I will always remember last Friday, even if the end of the night was a little fuzzy (again, remember, I’m a crappy role model). It’s also the push I need to just go and sign up for that damn 5k TONIGHT instead of waiting for some mystical time in the future. I’ve got the money, the time, and it’s not putting me in immediate danger, so I’m there!
Tomorrow I will be here to talk about the plan for the month, because sadly, I need to actually think about it. This weekend was rough! FYI, the first picture is pre-dancing, the second is immediately after dancing, and the third is right before we left the bar and scored a cab.