The Hoofer

>> Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I have three words for you:

Beginning. Tap. Class.

OK. Take a moment to compose yourselves...

Yes, I signed up for a beginning tap class that meets conservatively once a week for one hour -- a pace that even I may be able to manage.

I also considered Beginning Hip-Hop, which is...

OK. I’ll wait while you compose yourselves again...

Which is even more hilarious. One day I peaked into a Hip-Hop class and saw five cute college girls all popping and turning and head-shifting and looking cool and bored at the same time. Oh how I wanted to join them. But then I had a flash of me, 36 year-old mother of two, standing amongst them with a big goofy smile on my face and I nixed the idea. There’s nothing more un-hip than appearing to enjoy something and I wouldn’t be able to help myself -- it would be too much fun!

So I looked further and saw this ad for an exercise class at the Culture Center:

Striptease, by Anissa
(Please bring button down shirt and knee pads)

No problem there, since I keep a pair of knee pads in my night stand next to the bed. But, darn -- no button down shirt...

Finally I saw the Tap Dance class -- which is perfect since the girls’ love Singing in the Rain and like to watch the dancing scenes over and over. I’ll be their female Gene Kelly, their personal hoofer, tapping away on the Mexican tiles in our family room between Elmo dolls and Legos. I’ll be their hero!

Or maybe not. Now that I think about, every time I try to dance the girls ask me to stop. If I keep dancing, they ask me to stop loudly. And if I persist because I’m feeling particularly ornery, they beg and plead for me to stop and then start to cry.

Huh. Am I the Elaine Benes of dancers? Regardless, I’ve got three weeks to buy my tap shoes.

Which is good, because I really (really) need the exercise. Turns out, while writing has been great for me emotionally, has helped me to appreciate my family more than ever, and has introduced me to new and interesting people, it’s terrible on my ass.

Because all I do is write. And sit at a computer. And write some more. Instead of walking somewhere for lunch, I eat at my desk and write. Instead of exercising after the girls go to bed, I go to my office and write. (OK, OK, I never exercised after the girls went to bed, but I could have if I’d wanted to...) And what am I doing right now? I’m writing!

The worst part is (the “wake-up call”, if you will) is that lack of exercise has affected my writing. My energy is low. I’m not getting enough oxygen to my brain. I find myself staring off into space, my mind a-blank, vaguely thinking, the girls did something today... that was cute... that I should write about. What was it...? Ironically, to be a better, more prolific writer, I need to exercise, because the IV drip of Excedrin and Pepsi just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Like it or not, I have to exercise to restore balance.

Proving once again that everything we need to know can be learned from The Karate Kid. Mr. Miyagi was right when he said Balance, Danielson. Balance. Ying and Yang. Up and Down. Dark and Light. Sitting-Like-a-Slug-at-the-Computer and Getting-Off-My-Lazy-Ass. I must have balance.

So off I go to try something new, to tap my way to a healthier, more energetic body, to think better and to (of course) write more.

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