shake the wintertime blues: move.

February 18, 2015

move This post almost didn’t get written.

First I had to double-check the price of two tickets to Puerto Rico. Which led me to wondering about cute sun hats for babies with tiny heads. Which led me to wondering about sunscreen and babies. Which led me to an Airbnb hunt for a non-gross beachfront apartment anywhere with an approximate price tag of zero dollars per night and maybe a fantastic cabana to boot. Which got me to thinking about how much I love margaritas.

And that’s not saying anything about the paths I went down while looking for airfare to Hawaii, or Marfa, or San Francisco.

Hi, February. Lovely to see you again.

I’ll cut to the chase: Exercising has just never really been my bag. Sure, I played sports. Play being the operative word. My dad was my soccer coach from age 8-ish to 14-ish. But when I wasn’t getting bowled over by my own teammates, I was doing arabesques on the sidelines. Then there was a brief stint with lacrosse, which I mostly remember because I got to mold a hot plastic mouthguard onto my teeth and I could never find matching spandex to wear underneath my skirt. In high school I joined the track team, but was sorely dissappointed to learn that it meant having to run.

In my adult life, I’ve dabbled in sportiness. There was even a period a few years ago when I went to yoga regularly. But that was back when my friend Carrie lived in Brooklyn and we’d go together with the promise of stopping for a grilled cheese from the Court Street Diner afterward. Savasana was my favorite pose.

Suffice to say that when my yoga mat got lost in our move almost a year ago, it was not replaced.

But this week has been rough. I’ve been all kinds of cranky. Out of sorts and moody and just….February. It should really be an adjective.

“How are you feeling today?”
“Ugh, I don’t know. Kinda February.”

This is a very roundabout way of saying that I did something wacky and exercised voluntarily. (And I don’t mean just taking a long moody walk around the neighborhood, though I did plently of that too.)

Toward the end of my workday, I slipped out of my “work” leggings and into my “play” leggings and set my laptop on the floor and spent thirty minutes working on those arabesques under the gentle dictatorship of Ms. Mary Helen Bowers. And after I got my thigh muscles to stop quivering and my back to stop spasming, I felt amazing. And then I did it again the next day. And again after that.

I realize this isn’t revelatory. But it’s feeling that way for me. To be honest, in the almost nine months since Faye was born, I’ve had to constantly measure my days in chunks of hours. There are play hours. And work hours. And the work hours have a number attached to them, usually in the sum of the babysitter’s hourly rate. And so those hours are supposed to really count. And lately I’ve been counting words and chapters and posts and leaving out things like breaths. So. I had myself a little intervention. And now I’m counting port de bras, and tendus, and breaths too. And I’m feeling much better.

RESOLUTION #14,379: Move. More.

PS. I bought the Ballet Beautiful intro bundle.
PPS. The photo above shows my “exercise” set-up. Faye’s quilt where I actually do my new routine, not pictured…
PPPS. Now I really want a leotard. And maybe ballet slippers.

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  • Reply Linda Zimmerman February 18, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!! Exercise works every time – on the body and on the mind!! Keep going!!!

  • Reply k.f.r. February 18, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Just stopped in to say that Marfa is fantastic. I highly recommend it! I'm a stranger and you have no reason to trust in my recommendations, but still…

  • Reply Hannah S February 18, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    It is so good to hear that I am not the only one who feels awful come February. Even though its cold in December I am just excited for the holidays, and in January I am playing catch up on cleaning and enjoying the first snow. February however has nothing going for it, other then its a short month and there is Valentines day in between. The bf and I have a gym membership so for now its been guilty motivating me to go at least a few times a week since we are paying for it anyways. Having classes right in your own apartment sounds much more pleasant especially in this recent horrid cold.

  • Reply oliviajamie February 18, 2015 at 6:47 pm


  • Reply Suzanne February 18, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    This is wonderful! I'll have to look into some online ballet in the future. My dearest husband gifted me ballet classes for Christmas, and I have been enjoying them oh so much! Yes, you must at least get a pair of slippers. I love having a pair after putting away my point shoes 15 years ago.

  • Reply Lauren Reid February 18, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    you are the second blogger i've seen post about this. I too danced from age 3 until college. I've done the NYC ballet company workouts in the past and always enjoyed them, and felt like they were kicking my butt – those little movements can really make a difference!

    I'm very tempted to check this out — thanks for posting it! šŸ™‚

  • Reply Kamila February 18, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    I started the Ballet Beautiful workout a few months ago and I'm never looking back. So glad to hear you are also enjoying it. I've had Total Body and Body Blast on rotate, I even bought the book so now I'm totally convinced I'm slowly becoming that graceful ballerina who is whipping me into shape (thanks MHB!).

  • Reply Briar February 19, 2015 at 12:22 am

    We've got a major case of the Februaries around here these days, too. I did ballet for many years when I was younger, but perhaps now is the time to dust off those canvas slippers for a little midwinter pick-me-up…Thanks for the inspiration! xo

  • Reply A February 19, 2015 at 12:28 am

    I started spinning, yoga, and TRX in October. I hadn't exercised regularly in years and was tired of feeling bloated and unhappy. Now I am 15 lbs lighter and so much happier. It's all about finding what's best for you and sticking to it, while enjoying it.

  • Reply Neurotic Workaholic February 19, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Exercise leads to the release of endorphins, which make your body feel better. I usually don't want to work out either, but I usually don't regret it once I'm finally done with a workout because I really do feel better.

  • Reply Amanda February 19, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    I love this- thank you so much for sharing! I have been feeling really down and blue lately too. I'm so happy that you are feeling better šŸ™‚

  • Reply JennieLynn February 19, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    It's not often that "elegant" and "exercise" can fit so nicely together in a sentence – but Mary Helen Bowers somehow manages it beautifully!

    (Can I just say, I experienced a jolt of excitement when I read you were doing the Ballet Beautiful workouts? Somehow, having your endorsement of an activity I already enjoy doubles my motivation! šŸ˜‰ (Hero worship much? Haha!))

  • Reply abby February 20, 2015 at 4:36 am

    Good for you. So awesome! I know for me, some kind of regular intensive activity is hugely supportive to my overall well being and sanity.

  • Reply February 23, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks so much for this post– I took your advice/lead and started interrupting my desk hours with 30-45 minutes of movement. My downstairs neighbor may not be a fan, but I certainly am! Feeling so much better and less sluggish in this terribly cold weather.

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