Thursday, January 30, 2014

The relentless winter
Satellite photo from Tuesday January 28, 2014
In the last six days, four different Zumba things that I'd planned to go to have either been cancelled and/or postponed, or I've had to miss it because my own driveway was impassable.

The Zumbathon for Diabetes was the first one. I wrote a whole post about it because I was so excited to go, having had to miss the previous three that I'd been invited to. Me and Zumbathons...something about that combination just seems to be unlucky, sad as that is to say.

Well, with Saturday's Zumbathon cancelled, I thought I'd console myself with a bellydance workshop that was happening at a local fitness studio on Sunday. The studio owner had invited a Zumba Jammer to come all the way from New Jersey to do this special class. I thought great, I can use the tips and knowledge because bellydance is one style my own class seems to struggle with and maybe this can help. I'm sure it probably would have if our driveway hadn't been covered in snow drifts making impossible to get a car out. Or worse, out but not back in...

Tuesday rolls around and I have to cancel my own class. Monday had been a snow day for most (if not all) of our county and Tuesday turned out the same way.

Unfortunately, so did Wednesday...which meant Jae had to cancel her class too.

Who's going crazy inside her own house? This girl! Yes, it was pretty bad out. Yes, it was safer all around for everyone to just stay home. The logical part of my brain knows and understands that. That part of my brain also would hate for my own students, or classmates, or good friends to be in auto accidents because they ventured out in conditions like that. The crazy Zumba part of my brain says, "It's just a little snow...surely if I drive slowly enough...?" No. Safety trumps Zumba.
A plow ran off the road in Allegan County. (Courtesy Ken Darby via ReportIt - Jan. 28, 2014)
Case in point? What you see in the above photo happened in a neighboring county. So again, safety trumps Zumba.

But that doesn't mean I'm happy about it! Okay, here's the deal with me. I've never been one to get the "January blah's" or "winter blues" or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In fact, because of my eyes' extreme sensitivity to sunlight, the cloudy winter days that Michigan is known for are a relief. Bright sun glaring off of snow is painful and those are the days that I'd much rather stay in. It's a bit backwards from most people, I know, but there you have it. This winter seems to be different though, or at least the last week of it has been. I've just been in a blah kind of mood. Yesterday, Jae's class being cancelled because of the third snow day in a row (four if you count Friday of last week) felt like the last straw.

Bry works from home and for that I am truly grateful. We needed groceries and the temperature was truly frigid. I would have been loathe to take our boys out in that, even briefly, and thankfully I didn't have to. I waited until the little one's nap time and put a movie on to keep the big one entertained and went to Meijer solo. The trip there and back took a little over two hours and just getting out of my house for a little while seemed to lift my mood a bit. On my way back with the groceries, I got the van stuck in a snow drift...10 feet from my own garage! Seriously? I called Bry on my phone and he bundled up and came out and hopped in the van and had that sucker back in the garage in five minutes. He's brilliant with that whole "rock the car back and forth" thing that I have never quite perfected.

So it was in a slightly better mood that I decided that I'd spend the evening working on some brand new stuff. Practice was a given. I dance on Wednesdays nights and that's just that. How I was going to use that time though? Well, for one thing, I put on one of my Zumba tank tops - no reason not get in the right mood... And for another, I figured if I made my brain focus on the challenge of something completely new and different, that it might help me out of the funk I'd been in these last few days. Well, it just so happens that there has been a song knocking around inside my head since the moment I first heard it... Que Viva La Vida by Wisin. If you take the time to watch the video, let yourself get past the slightly cheesy opening, the actual song is worth it.

I love Wisin y Yandel, I don't think I've ever heard anything by them that I didn't like, and they've proven to be excellent solo artists as well. This song became my little project last night and by 10pm I had choreography that I was well pleased with. I love when I can take what I see in my head and make it work with the actual song. All that's left is to get it "class-ready". I don't have good cuing for it yet, and I need to make choreography notes, but all that is going to be a project for the weekend. As it turns out, the challenge of something new was just exactly what I needed.

Best advice: Challenging your brain and exercising are two great ways to beat the winter blah's. Put them together, and they are a winning combination. So here's a question for those of you out there who get house-bound because of weather from time to time: how do you beat back the cabin fever?

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