Challenge, Do Something You Are Bad At

Fit To Ride

 

Exercise is more likely to happen if it is interesting, yes?


 
In my endless quest to get my butt off the couch and myself off the farm, I found a weekly adult dance class at The Dance Foundation. The format is perfect. Mid-day; I can ride in the evenings. Drop-in; no series sign-up. Casual format; no one was going to ask me to do a year-end recital.

Real dance. I’ve never seen the point of hopping about randomly. I can do that at home without paying anyone. This way, I can convince myself that I am learning something. But not too much. The instructors change each week. So, there would be something new and interesting each week without being a whole new skill set to absorb. Tapas dancing, if you will. Last week, Sara Wallace taught contemporary jazz.

TDF was welcoming. They convinced me that would be okay to be terrible. I knew I was going to be. Terrible, that is. This is not me being bashful. We all have variation in our skills. When I rolled for rhythm, the dice fell off the table. So, I expected to be a tuneless lump. What I didn’t expect was how many other things I was bad at.

Look at me. Put me on a horse and I’ll be the first one in the ring. No problem. An equitation pattern with three judges watching? Bring it on. I was surprised at how much I did not want to go bouncing across the dance space in a room where other people might happen to glance at me.

Step by step. I had forgotten how bad I am at remembering dance sequences. I could feel myself trying to think it through. Robotic is the word I am going for here. Put part A here. Then place part B there. I would get the first four steps, after that, pfft. I had to watch the instructor every time. When she let us move on our own, nada. No muscle memory. No flow. Forget about following the music.

Up and down. My knees aren’t bad. Yet. There are stiff, especially if I sit on the floor. I rise with the grace of a lumbering bear. One of the moves was to sit down, roll from hip to hip, stand. I took so long to heave myself back up that everyone else was four moves ahead. I could not finish on my own, see above about needing to follow someone.

Expression. If I have a physical skill, it is riding. This is not an activity that encourages expressive movement of the arms or sassy sashays with the hips. I have spent years learning NOT to fling my body parts about with abandon. The effort of staying quiet in the saddle has increased my natural tendency to be uptight in mind as well as body. Jazz is so not me.

It’s all good. I wanted to get outside of my normal run of activities. This certainly is. I absolutely plan to go back. I may get better over time. I may never be better than the first time. That’s okay. Either way, it will get me off the farm and get me moving around.

And I got a blog post out of it.

My challenge to you. Pick something are interested in but are bad at. Find a safe space. Go for it. If you feel so inclined, let us know how it went.

Update

I made the TDF Facebook page. This the second time they have referred to me as dancer. When I showed up for the first class, there was a form they had all their dancers sign. Me, a dancer?!

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Categories: Exercise

5 replies »

  1. This is something that Groupon is good for (other voucher websites are available I’m sure). My daughter has been to a mass yoga event in London and tried paddle boarding last Sunday…now if only I could find the nerve to do it myself…
    Well done on the dance classes (& subsequent blog post), will getting out of your comfort zone end up making it bigger? (Are parachutes and trampolines in your future?!)

  2. Ha good for you tho!! Dancing is… not my strength LOL. Love the idea of trying something you’re bad at, tho I feel that way often enough about riding anyway haha

  3. Paddle boarding, sure; parachuting, no. I’ve never seen the point of stepping out of a perfectly good airplane.

    As for feeling that way about riding? All. The. Time. With the happy addition of waaaay more mental baggage.

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