Anne Lamott, a wise woman and amazing writer, recently wrote down “every single thing” she knows “as of today.” (You should read the entire essay; it’s brilliant!) Item #13 on her list is Exercise, about which she says, “If you want to have a good life after you have grown a little less young, you must walk almost every day. There is no way around this.”
I love to walk but I have discovered it’s not enough to keep my middle-aged body revving. I need more. Lucky for me, there’s Jazzercise. I know, I know: You’re tired of me telling you how wonderful it is. However, I got to thinking about WHY I love Jazzercise so much. Here are my reasons:
- It’s a community of women. Sure, every now and then on a weekend a man wanders in but during the week, it’s all us girls.
- I walk in wearing Spandex—which is not my best look—and no makeup and no one judges me. Because everyone else is wearing the same thing.
- We support each other. When my fellow Jazzercisers found out I was an author, many of them went out and bought my books. (Thank you, ladies! Your enthusiasm means so much to me!)
- The music is fun. It’s pop which is meant to appeal to all of us, after all. You can sing along. It’s often about love which is a topic I spend a lot of time with, being a romance writer and all. The best part: I can freak my children out by knowing the words to the music they listen to.
- Dancing has been proven to reduce the risk of dementia. Enough said.
- As a writer, I spend a lot of time in my head, so it’s a wonderful contrast to spend an hour really, truly inhabiting my body and enjoying how it moves.
- Jazzercise is something I do just for me. I’m not trying to excel at it. I’m not trying to impress anyone (see #2). I’m not doing it to sell books (although it has had that surprise benefit-see #3). It’s all about letting loose and being a different, freer version of moi.
- It’s a break from all my responsibilities. For one hour, I put myself in the hands of the fabulous, energetic, smiling instructors and let them guide me. No thought required on my part.
So that’s my love poem to exercise the Jazzercise way. We are all growing “less young” but we don’t have to let our bodies slide into disuse because of that. Dance as though no one is watching! I do.