Monday, April 29, 2013

Jazzercise, anyone?

This is not a running related post, but I wanted to blog about it for 2 reasons: 

1) it has to do with fitness to a certain extent,
2) it is a cute picture, and I wanted to share it.

Oh, and after this photo was taken, I was impressed with myself. So I guess that's actually 3 reasons.

If you don't know me well, or if you are just stumbling upon this blog randomly, you should probably know that other than running, I deeply enjoy giving back to the community through charitable works. For me, a lot of that charitable work is done through my membership with the 501st Legion. This organization is a screen accurate Star Wars costuming club that brings a love for the Star Wars movies to many people in an effort to not only share the passion for the movies but to help raise monies for charitable organizations which serve high risk, disabled, sick, or terminal children (to name a few). In my house, Ray is the big Star Wars fan, and I participate in this organization entirely as a way for us to do something together with the added charitable component. 

Recently we were invited to attend a local Relay for Life event at a local park. When we arrived, one of the first things that I noticed was how my costume would be needing some serious modifications as I was shrinking out of it. I've already replaced my boots because the calves were swimming on me, but as time goes on (eventhough we have already established that the scale isn't moving), I may need to revisit other components of the costume.

And that is incredibly exciting for me.

But what is even more exciting is that before I began this running thing, when we were interacting with the crowds at big events, I frequently felt myself huffing and puffing inside my helmet. I would be able to dance with the kids for maybe the chorus of a song, but much more than that, and I would get lightheaded and need to step away from the crowd to recoup. Last year, we attended a Star Wars themed wedding, and while I was able to dance for the majority of the evening, I never did much more than sway side to side performing dance moves similar to a slow-dance from 8th grade.

This time, things were different. After the first lap of the Relay for Life event, the music started blasting, and the stage was taken by two people from Jazzercise (you know, that aerobic half jazz half dance program that you haven't heard about since you last wore scrunchies and slouch socks).

And like at previous events, as I heard the music and I saw people dancing, I started to sway my hips and bob my head. And the Jazzercise women encouraged me to try the moves. So I did. And I picked them up. Really well.

And one song blended into another. And that song ended, and I found myself going up the stairs and joining them on the stage, because... well... what's cooler than a Star Wars character dancing on the stage with a couple of super fit women? And the song ended, and another started. I felt myself getting winded, but I kept going.

The moves were tough but I managed to hold on, finishing almost the entire half hour routine. 30 minutes of aerobic activity. Who would have ever thought I could not only do that, but do it in a complete costume? I certainly wouldn't have put my money on that bet!

I had a great time. And I'm considering attending a local studio that hosts jazzercise classes.

But when I do, I hope to leave the Star Wars costume at home.