Making room for one more thing.

In October, my friend Angie invited me to Jazzercise with her. I had a great time, and they had a special, so I joined.

But November and December were already booked up solid, or so it felt, and cramming one more thing into those months just didn’t happen. I think I attended maybe 8 classes in two months. Maybe 10.

Then 2017 began, and like so many, I set a fitness goal: 150 classes.

Why 150? Well, the core reason is that extrinsic motivation often works for me, and Jazzercise has two extrinsic motivators: my name on a board with a “150” next to it, and a t-shirt.

Then I let January go by and only made it to a handful of classes again.

I set a couple of general goals in January; one goal was “finish challenges I begin.” So when the owner sent an email explaining a February challenge of 30 classes in 35 days, I figured I could kill two birds with one stone: fit Jazzercise into my already busy life AND finish a challenge I began.

I planned out the classes I could attend (strength classes counted double, so I didn’t exactly make 30 individual classes) between February 1 and March 7, and made up my mind to see it through.

I’m a few classes away from completing that challenge, and here’s what I’ve noticed:

  • I’m sleeping better.
  • I’m not suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder the way I tend to (though the week of 70 degree weather also helped with that).
  • I’m developing muscle where, a month ago, none existed.
  • I had zero PMS symptoms.
  • I don’t get winded as easily when I walk up the stairs at work.
  • I’m generally calmer.

Fitness has never been my strong suit, but something about Jazzercise clicked. Maybe it’s timing, maybe it’s the type of exercise, maybe it’s the promise of free t-shirts (I’ll get one for finishing this month’s challenge). Whatever it is, I’m glad Angie invited me, and I’m glad for this month–I proved to myself that, as busy as I am, I can still make time to work out.

I can still make time to work out and watch movies with friends and write and go to basketball games and get sick and take a class at the JCC and have parent-teacher conferences and grade tests and spend time with family.

It’s a good lesson for me to have finally learned, that in making time for exercise, I can still have quite a full life. A good life. A better life. And maybe, a longer life.

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