Everyone who knows me knows that my daughter danced in a piece at our church this past weekend. Because, well, I can't stop talking about it. It was a modern piece, set to a song called "Out of Hiding," by Steffany Gretzinger. My daughter played a girl hiding from God, and God, played by another dancer, brought her out of hiding and drew her to Himself as the other dancers leapt and circled around them.
It was breathtaking. It made me cry-not a sweet tear or two, but big ugly tears, the kind that used to make me run to the restroom because I was embarrassed. It made me want to dance.
Watching those little ones on stage, those 7,8, 9-year-old girls, it was hard to imagine them feeling self-conscious. Insecure. Worried. It's hard to imagine that in just a couple of years they could be scared about a failing grade or a failing relationship. As they danced, they just seemed free.
I see the same expression on the faces of women at my gym, taking a Zumba class. After an hour of (no men allowed) booty shaking and hip swaying, everyone seems a little lighter, a little happier. A little freer.
I think sometimes we can get so focused in the gym on hitting our weight-loss goals and choosing the right exercises to get us there, that we forget the simple joy of moving our bodies. When someone asks me about what type of exercise they should do to help them lose weight, I usually tell them two things. First, prioritize strength training. If you don't know how to lift weights, hire a trainer or enlist the help of a meathead friend who can help you. Second, figure out what you LIKE to do, and do it.
Zumba? Fantastic. Ice skating? Great! Brazilian jiu-jitsu? Go for it. If you like working out with others and need some like-minded friends, find a gym with group fitness classes and have a blast. If you like being on your own, find a path to jog or a trail to hike. Get outside, even if only for a few minutes on your lunch break. Twist yourself into a pretzel in yoga class.
Life is too short and full of the mundane to hate your exercise routine. Besides, you'll never stick to something that you dread doing.
What makes you feel free? What do you lose track of time doing? What type of exercise makes you feel strong and centered? What helps you take yourself a little less seriously and have a lot more fun?
When you know what you love doing, it's a whole lot easier to do it, consistently. And consistency is what gets results.
If you've rediscovered the joy of movement and found something you LOVE to do, drop me a line. I would love to hear from you!