Whoa Mama

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Your 24.

I, you, everybody has a shortage of time. We've all got our own details but the end result is the same. We each have 24 hours that we choose to fill. But we do get to choose.  It is easy to get caught up in life's demands and go the Steve Martin a la Parenthood route ["My whole life is 'have to'."].  I inherently disagree. Now this is not suggesting that I am practicing life with no schedules or obligations. And I categorically dismiss the More magazine midlife model of "Follow-Your-Passion-and-Everything-Will-Be-OK" bunk. I've yet to see much opportunity to pay off that relentless witch, Sallie Mae, while reading on the beach. That's not really my passion so much as my vacation anyway. There persists though this implication that because I'm over 40, I need to start wearing gauzy wraps and dismiss my entire life to follow some as-yet-to-be-identified untrod route. But I digress.

I espouse a philosophy that amounts to "Make the Most of What You've Got in the 24 Hours Granted". For me, that includes a daily practice of being in gratitude for what I have and for what I have lived through, while being my best today and consistently maintaining my health. Life ebbs and tides and with it I just try to always fold in a run, weights, walk, Pilates, etc. I am not a creature of habit so resolutions and declaration of "never again" or "always" are non-starters. That said, I'm do try to keep active; consistency is  bonus. I've started to go to the gym a couple times a week on my lunch. This is revolutionary since I usually eat at my desk. It isn't a hard core 90 minute burn but more like a 30 minute drive through. It is definitely better than more sitting. It makes me happier and quite simply I'm choosing to make more out of the winter days when hibernation is so tempting.

Here is today: I zip to the Y this afternoon and negotiate with myself that 30 minutes of a 45 minute Zumba class was ok. Despite all of the proselytizing, I really do have a 1:30 meeting that I can't stink at.

I jump into the class, my first one at the Y.  I'm used to a certain non-Y instructor. But I'm going to roll with it until I spot the bad ass teaching the class grimacing at us. And I don't like her music. I take it back. I can be a creature of habit if that means the things I like won't change. Seriously, she's got her mean face on.

The music gets better and I recognize some steps.

Then I remember what I love about Zumba. Everybody is shaking their money maker. EVERYBODY. Sure there is a beautiful people here and there but so is everybody else. There are timid women with hips going all the way north and all the way south with a visit to the west in the middle. There is some whooping and cheering. It occurs to me that the cat-calling whooper is not the instructor. It is the seriously overweight woman in the front row, having a blast! You can't help but get swept up in that kind of enthusiasm. Again remembering that Zumba is where everyone comes together. Everybody dances to their own beat. Another example, I'm directly behind a man who retired in the Carter Administration and he's not a sassy silver-maned Casanova. I'm sure he's leaving this class to head directly to Voelkers to bowl a few sets before going home to watch the game on the divan in his garage.

But everybody loves to dance, right? Well the person who really blew me away was behind me . In a wheelchair. Not temporarily. She was also not there for the first time. She was moving it! She was doing all the arm motions. And making it count while my two left feet were tripping over each other. Wow. Just wow. 

When my 30 minutes were up and I had to bounce, I wanted to tell her that I thought she was awesome. Then I remembered how I don't like when strangers try to chat with me either. So I buzzed by and said, "have a good workout", praying that what she heard was, "you make the world optimistic around you". 

Freshened up, still a little schvitzen and buoyant, I went back to my day, assured that we all get to choose how to make the best out of the 24 we've got. I'll be choosing wisely, with inspiration.