Have you seen the new comic from the Oatmeal, the one about running? It’s called The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons I Run Long Distances and, as with most of the Oatmeal’s work, I find it both hysterical and horrifying.

Personally I’ve never gotten into running; it feels like a chore to me. I’ve done it, I’ve even run a 5k race, but I never gotten to that euphoric feeling that runners talk about. I certainly have never felt about it the way the Oatmeal does. Nope nope nope. Ref. the “horrifying” comment above! o.O

Reading that comic, though I realized there IS something I feel that way about: dancing!

three-dancing-women-in-red-costumes-and-feathers-md

Nothing at all like I dance around the house. At all.

A few days ago I posted about a woman who learned to dance in a year, something that really impressed me. I didn’t think much about the fact that one reason I was drawn to that story is because she chose to learn to dance.

Mind, I’ve never had too many actual dance lessons. Never could afford them regularly, unfortunately, despite sporadic attempts to sign up for jazz or tap or ballroom dancing. There once was a time when dancing kept me sane, when my entire world crumbled apart in death and grief and despair, and the only thing I did for myself was go to night clubs and dance until dawn.

Dancing is primitive, it is emotional, it is necessary.

At least for me it is, and yet I have not been dancing regularly for years. I keep making excuses, and here’s the sad part: I tell myself there is no point since I’ll never be “successful” at dancing.

How twisted is that? How self-limiting and self-defeating?

I never, EVER danced to be successful at it. I danced to find that euphoric place of joy, where endorphins meet their maker and shake it out. The Oatmeal talks about the nearly transcendent feeling of going on a long run, and I did not relate to that at all until I compared it to how I feel dancing.

My new resolution is to dance for 30 minutes a day. Free-form, at home, by myself: just plain old primal dancing, just for me, just because.

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