When I watch the Olympics I am always amazed at how fit the competitors have to be just to get there, whether they win a medal or not. I don’t excel at any of those sports. But I do have my own favorite way to keep moving that has a lot in common with what they do. And if I was awarding the medals, I’d give myself a gold!
My favorite Winter Olympic event is figure skating. I love the artistry and the way the skaters express so much emotion in connection with their music. It’s a joy to watch the beauty and the technical skill.
I also love the danger and excitement of downhill slalom skiing. It boggles my mind to think about how the human body can do such amazing things with such precision. It’s an astonishing combination of conscious decisions and automatic, instantaneous responses from the brain to let them stay upright and on course as they fly down the slope.
That same amazing combination of strategy and instant control by my brain are what let me do one of my favorite activities – dance! If you had a sneak peak at my bedroom most mornings and evenings, you’d probably find me wearing comfortable workout clothes and high heels dancing to my favorite song of the week.
I’m not talking about the kind of random hip sway you see on so many dance floors. I’m talking about the latest dance steps that I teach myself as part of a full dance routine. Every week, I choose a new song from the 9000 plus songs on my iPod. Then I spend the first couple of days working up my moves to create a dance routine and spend the rest of the week perfecting it.
Most of the time, no one else ever sees my routines. But that doesn’t matter. This isn’t about performing in front of an audience. It’s about moving. It’s about rhythm and emotion and expressing how I feel in connection with that piece of music. It’s the exact same thing the ice skaters do. I’m just doing it in heels instead of on the ice!
For me, there is no better way to start the day. I always start with stretching and a slow warm-up just to get loosened up. Then I spend 30 to 45 minutes working on my song.