Artist Cathy Cooper from Backyard Bill
In my younger less encumbered days I would burn excess physical energy through drop-in jazz classes. That was back in the day when Bob Fosse way synonymous with jazz and my city had plenty of rundown warehouses with a dance studio in just about every one. It was fantastic. Run in, take the class, sweat like mad, stretch it all out, bump and grind and boom you were done. There was no lululemon, everyone was in bare feet, sweats and t-shirts, and it all had a very New York feel.
Then it all came to a crashing halt as the condo towers began to sprout. And then I had kids.
Since those glorious days I've dabbled with pilates, yoga, running (yuk), and have maintained a fairly active pace (cycling) but not active enough apparently. The problem is that I won't push myself. I'm one of those people who simply must go to a class to exercise to my capacity. And, as it turns out, to stick with it I really must have music.
All this is leading to my discovery of zumba. Latin music, lots of hip action and plenty of sweating, and more importantly a workout that is based on interval training that really strengthens the heart. After six months of roughly (and I mean roughly) two 1 hour classes per week, I am no longer looking for the defibrillator. I can keep up with the youngsters and have rediscovered the joy of dancing. It's been an enormously pleasant way to relieve tension and forget about the day to day. When I can't go on my usual day(s) I'm pretty darn grouchy.
It seems to be like riding a bike, I can get back on and do what I want to do, and even what I used to do - there just requires a longer recovery period between classes. But while the body is still willing I've decided to push it to the max. As decades wrap themselves up I do look back with regrets (although I know I'm not supposed to) and think, yes, why didn't I do that? I was perfectly capable, I just needed to push myself a little.
As one thing leads to another, I'm thinking more about pushing myself in other ways and fully living this time in l'age.
Thanks to That Kind of Woman for leading me to Backyard Bill and the inspiring artist and stylist Cathy Cooper.