Hey, how are you doing? Sorry I haven’t posted in a while – I’ve found it hard to find the motivation to write, despite having lots to write about and trying to make THIS year my ‘Year of Writing’ (last year didn’t really work out…). So here’s a brief run-down of what I’ve been up to:
Tap Dance Standards Workshops
I recently attended a trio of tap dance standards workshops on Zoom, hosted by Sole Rebel. I literally jumped at the chance to learn some classic repertoire! I told you about the first one, Leon Collins #53 in my last post, and the next two were Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson’s King For A Day, which I absolutely LOVE, taught by Old Kent Road’s Avalon and Buster Brown’s Laura (some of which I’d learnt at Tap Dance Festival UK in 2019), taught by Old Kent Road’s Ryan. Thankfully recordings of the class and of the full routines were provided, so I can continue to work on these in my own time. I’ve just signed up to the next trio of workshops, which will be focusing on improvisation, musicality, rhythm and body percussion, which will be challenging and amazing!
In February I signed up to a ‘Couch to 5K’ writing challenge called Wake Up Your Writing, where I received a timed writing prompt by email every day for a whole month. Unfortunately I got to day 5 and gave up…*sigh*…BUT, I still have the emails, so I am going to pick up where I left off: “Pick a character you know and love and make them do the thing you always wished they would”. I’m going to have a think now about which character I want to write about 🙂
BOP Jazz Workout
My SO and I are still working from home, and while it can be too easy to flop on the sofa in the evening, one thing I have been motivated to do is the BOP Jazz dance workout every day after work. I think part of it is the feeling of stretching and lengthening those stiff muscles after a day at the desk, and the other part is the wonderful chilled jazz music that accompanies the workout. It’s a manageable bit of cross-training. I also like the fact it’s more of a body conditioning and stretch class than a bouncy cardio workout, which I really have to be in the mood for! (BOP are the London-based Body of People Jazz Theatre Company, and the founders, Dollie Henry and Paul Jenkins have written a fantastic book called The Essential Guide to Jazz Dance, which is on My Must Reads list).
After having been really on it and motivated in going to the gym every Tuesday during my lunch hour, I ended up not going for 2 weeks. I am almost 3 weeks into the new rhythm tap term, so I am doing something, but I do want to keep the gym in my weekly routine for fitness, toning and important dancer’s knee maintenance. But, having given in to ‘I can’t be bothered’, it took everything I had to make myself get back to it yesterday.
At midday I went, worked out and felt great afterwards!
How to motivate yourself to hit the gym:
Create a manageable routine – my routine is gym every Tuesday at 12pm, tap class every Thursday at 1.30pm, with a rest day in between.
Don’t make your sessions so long that you can’t face going again – Because I’m squeezed by my lunch hour, I go for about half an hour to 40 minutes, which includes important stretch time.
Don’t set ridiculous goals that you can’t achieve – a six-pack is overrated, unless you’re into competitive bodybuilding… One of my goals was to lose a couple of kilos – done!
Include a variety of machines in your repertoire – I started with just a few basic machines and then I’ve been trying to add a new thing every few weeks.
Measure your progress – this may be weight (yours or the weights you are able to lift), body measurements, or even blood pressure readings if you’re trying to reduce your BP
Reward yourself on your achievements – a massage, a new piece of gym clothing
Find a gym buddy and go together – this might be a friend, colleague or family member
If you gym in the evening, go straight there from work. DO NOT go home first. You won’t leave!
Prep an amazing post-workout meal that you can look forward to afterwards. I make all my lunches for the week – a salad that usually consists of chicken breast, rocket, olives, feta, sweetcorn, pasta with pine nuts and spinach.
Create a bangin’ playlist that you look forward to listening to as you work out (as well as modern stuff, mine has a lot of 80s power tracks, which are high-tempo, cheesy and super-motivating – think Maniac by Michael Sembello)
I actually look forward to my shower at work afterwards because it’s like a bit of pampering during my working day with the shower kit I created:
Tropical Shower gel
Coarse body scrub
Shea Body Butter
Tea tree foot gel with arnica
Mini bath mat
Yes, I scrub, shower, shave and moisturise like a mini spa treatment. A shower doesn’t have to just be practical!
What motivates you to get up and go to the gym? Let me know in the comments.