No Harm Done

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

It's About Time!!

Posting here has been pretty infrequent since the great Nearly New-Year’s Bombshell of 2007. Lots of things are happening here, but there’s just not enough time in my day to blog about it.

What’s been taking up all my free time?

Well! Thank you for asking.

My personal time drain actually began over a year ago, and has slowly sped up since then. It began with an innocent question from my sister, Mallory. She’s a brilliant, busy grad student, you know, and I hear from her maybe 3 times a year. During one of these treasured phone calls, during which I regaled her with stories about the boys, she asked me, “So…. What are YOU doing?”

“Umm…. What?” I replied.

**insert sounds of crickets chirping**

I realized that I wasn’t really doing anything. I spend so much time with the boys that I didn’t have any activities apart from them.

So a couple of months later I began taking voice lessons from a local university professor. Six months after that I began singing in a trio at church. Singing has become a new adventure!

I am planning on auditioning for the summer musical at a local theater in May. I’ve been acting in community theater from the age of 10 until I became pregnant with Braden. I’ve missed theater over the past 12 years, and am looking forward to getting back into it.

The second new activity I’m involved in is learning Welsh. I pick up languages pretty easily. Why not work toward learning one with a purpose?

I’ve always wanted to learn Welsh, but the problem has always been twofold:
(a) Who can I find to teach me Welsh? It’s not like there is a plethora of classes or instructors out there.
(b) Once I learn some Welsh, to whom can I speak? Again, no plethora of Welsh speakers in this part of the world.

In January I discovered this wonderful website from the BBC. It’s a very thorough beginning Welsh program online. It’s completely free, and reminds me of the style of instruction used by the Spanish series “Destinos” way back in the 1980s and 90s.

So far I’m working through Unit 2, and can meet and greet pretty much any Welshman I might meet. The boys are learning some of the greetings too, though all they can say now is “Good morning,” “Good bye,” and “My name is _____________.”

Baby steps…..

But! My most adventurous new activity is one I found at the gym. I’ve been really working at running and doing the nautilus circuit weights. I’m making progress, but it was starting to feel routine and boring.

Last fall, I thought about taking a class, and so I signed up for an aerobics class. It was fun, and definitely a break from my routine, but my knees were killing me! There was so much squatting and kicking… ugh! And don’t even get me started on those giant, wobbly exercise balls.


Not for me.

Just before Christmas, a sign went up for a new class. It immediately grabbed my attention. Under the eye-catching graphic the sign said (essentially):

Beginner I Pole Fitness: This class is a 4-week session designed for first-time pole dancing students to learn the basics in an encouraging atmosphere. Students will learn basic spins, dance moves, and climbing techniques.”

My first response was to mock it because, well, that’s what I do.

But after a while, it began to sound more and more interesting. Pole dancing is soooooo not me. I’m modest and very, very prudish. I don’t even wear low cut tops. I don’t know if I could move seductively if I wanted to. But…. I did kind of want to learn. And I liked that it was only a four-week class. If I hated it, it wouldn’t last long.

I also loved the idea of an aerobics class that required me to wear dance heels. I decided that this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up!

The first 4 weeks were hard. I had aerobic stamina, but zero flexibility. So I’d try a backbend and only be able to lower myself down a little bit. And then, I’d get stuck. I couldn’t get back up, and I’d have to hand-over-hand pull myself vertical again.

(This is a picture from someone's class. Not my class. None of us are this coordinated.... yet.)

The beginning class focused on flexibility and muscle tone, and by the end of the four weeks I’d noticed a definite improvement. Now, I am in the middle of my third month-long class. The blistering on my hands and chafing on my legs from sliding around the pole are slowly going away. I can get back up the pole when I backbend or “slide and shimmy.”

I still can’t sashay my hips, but that’s not surprising.

Again – this is me.

Not coordinated.

The class is definitely breaking up my exercise routine, and I can tell I’m building strength and improving my balance.

The most exciting and unexpected change, though, is my confidence. At first we were all embarrassed about being there and moving around in front of each other. But now we’re much more confident and willing to try new things.

The guys who’d stand in the doorway and gawk bothered me too, but now I’m at the point where I’m able to ignore them. Especially since they've stopped snickering. In the beginning, they'd snicker and chuckle at us. This was VERY annoying when we were trying to learn. No one likes to be heckled when learning something new! But the "peanut gallery" has gotten quieter, and they're watching us a bit more intently now. I'm hoping that means we're improving!

Next month, I’ll be in a Level 3 class, where we start to get into the inverted moves. (They start you by teaching you how to kick up to an inverted position, and then you just have to hang on in sort of a hand-stand.

You have to build up your muscles and get used to being upside-down before you learn and moves.) I’m actually looking forward to it!

And this summer, I’m looking forward to showing off my moves at the playground!


At 2:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU CRACK ME UP!!!!!!!!!!!!


At 6:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your sister will love that you have some new personal interests.
But pole dancing and Welsh?
Why not belly dancing?
Your great grandparents were from Wales, but is Welsh a language?

At 6:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK - I get it - April Fools on me!

At 8:16 PM , Blogger Mallory said...

Bore da, to you!

I'm looking forward to seeing some of your new moves. If you need any inspiration to spice up the choreography, I can do some strip club investigations for you! I especially loved the part about calluses on your hands and thighs! Awesome. :)

At 8:19 PM , Blogger Mallory said...

I also love how you compliment my intelligence in a post designed to mock my gullible sensibilities!! :)

At 10:36 AM , Blogger Dy said...

You had me, hook, line and sinker, until the pole dancing. That... just... I couldn't quite... Wow. And yet, *still*, I made it all the way to the end of the post before I thought to check the date. You're good, girl, you know that?

Zorak mentioned your .50 post just last night, too. (And mocked me, yet again, for copping it in public. *sigh*)

I should have known. :-) You make me laugh. (Sales pitch) DH really needs to look at work on the Arsenal. You'd love it down here, and could help w/ the house renovations! The boys could roam the property, and we could mock the neighbors. Seriously, he should check it out. It's awesome down here. (/Sales pitch.)



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home