…on my way to the flash mob. For those unacquainted with flash mobs, they are groups of people in public places who appear to be going about their normal business, then suddenly break into a prepared action — often, and in the case of the story I am telling, choreographed dancing.
It was the last week of classes, which on college campuses typically means we’ve reached the crescendo of stress and anxiety for the semester. Our programming staff, for this reason, plans a week of stress-busting activities. My friend Tricia needed a quick replacement for pet therapy (a popular annual program) due to last minute difficulties. We brainstormed, and came up with the idea of doing a flash mob. Tricia enlisted a diverse group of students, faculty and staff who, led by three of our amazing international students, would surprise the campus with a seemingly spontaneous dance during lunch on Thursday. No way was I going to miss it because, as you all know, I’ve gotta dance!
At noon on Thursday, we met in the private fitness classroom to practice our dance prior to the performance. I was having a great deal of fun until a jump/spin ended in pain so severe I thought I would pass out. My left knee, which has been bothering me for several weeks, just had it. But I really didn’t want to miss the flash mob, so I hobbled through it, hiding in the very back row because I could only do the arm movements. There is a cell phone video of the dance at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQVQAjDOGWQ (if you have not already clicked on the link on my facebook page).
Thursday afternoon and Friday were spent either limping painfully wherever I needed to go or with my leg up, icing. (Never having had this kind of injury before, I had no idea how good icing something could feel, by the way.) I tried not to be a baby about it, and failed miserably. By Friday afternoon, I just wanted to go home and feel sorry for myself, nurse my wound with more ice, and obsess over how this would derail my fitness efforts.
Saturday, I had a sauna scheduled at Sisters Health Club. As I have shared before, the far infra-red sauna is my happy place, and a good 30-minute session of sweating profusely while reading O Magazine beckoned to me in my despair. When I arrived at the club, co-owner and trainer, Kylie Helgens asked me how I was doing. I told her about my injury and promptly burst into tears. I believe my next words were, “I miss my endorphins”, followed by a description of my fear that this would mean a real setback to both my fitness and weightloss efforts. If you live in Cedar Rapids and need a place to work out, you really need to check into Sisters. The women there, Kylie and Mary Beth Helgens, all the staff, and the members are the most positive, affirming and supportive people you could ever meet. I am grateful every day for their encouragement and cheer — by the time I left on Saturday, I had a plan of action, my fears were assuaged, and I had rededicated myself to a positive outlook.
I wish I hadn’t injured my knee. However, as silly as the flash mob may seem, I wouldn’t go back and change my mind about participating. When I finally see the doctor (on June 4, earliest appointment I could get) we’ll figure out what comes next on that front. In the meantime, I made a New Year’s resolution in 2009 that I intend to go on keeping: to choose people and doing over being alone and fearful. When you do this, sometimes you get hurt. But the hurt is nowhere near as deep as the happiness that comes from actually living your life. And sometimes, no matter what, you just gotta dance!