I'm not a great dancer, but I love music. I love how it makes me feel when it's played loud. I can feel it in my stomach and it always makes me want to move. In the spirit of aiming for more joy in my life, I think it would be great to dance more. Nothing fabulous, just more moving to groove, dude. I'd love it if I could dance for a 1/2 hour a few days a week which would not only be more fun but also great exercise. I walk between a mile and two miles every day with my dogs, which works well for my diabetes control. But I'd love to be able to dance too...not like a competitive aerobics class kind of thing, but rather a place to move and sweat and feel alive with others. I like the idea of more reasons to play the Gorillaz and Madonna and Beck and the Ceasers and the Killers and En Vogue.
So my question is how do I do that with diabetes? How do I do more exercise it if I don't do it every day? I have been able to carve out the 1/2 hour every day, rain or shine, to walk. It helps that the dogs get me going and I feel guilty if they don't get their walk. But that 1/2 hour a day is about all I can rely on, given my schedule. To add another 1/2 hour of more intense exercise on random days poses some problems beyond time. It's the inconsistency (of intesity and time) that kills me. One day with increased activity, one day without means low bloodsugars on the days I do it, high ones on the days I don't. I know it takes experimentation to find out how to make it work. But man the ongoing "planning of fun" is pretty depressing. And not doing new things, because of all the planning and experimentation it requires, becomes very seductive. It's so easy to get deterred. I started swimming last year and it was great, but I couldn't do it consistently enough and as my body changed because of the increased activity, my bloodsugar control went out the window. Out of control diabetes usually manifests for me in interupted nights with unexpected highs and lows. It only takes a few nights in a row of this for me to loose my motivation. I get tired. And get to where I will do anything to just feel rested. So I walk for exercise. Which works, but is boring. I'm just reticent now, to try anything new. It's not exactly relaxing to be doing something different for "fun" and have it become physically harder to manage my diabetes.
But I yearn for more physical activity, spontenaity and fun. How do I do that? Beyond the reticence I just described, I have also found that trying something new can be a very solitary and confusing process. Frankly, I feel like I'm guessing through most of it. In the spirit of seeking out help in adding more physical activity to my life, I have talked to people who know about exercise and have found they never seem to also know about diabetes. I have also talked to the people who know about diabetes and always seem to speak in generalities about exercise, but never have the time to focus on my specifics. I've read books and articles, researched the web. At the end of the day, I'm left to trying to piece it all together which is hard and scary and full of pitfalls. I feel like I need a knowledgable coach who gets the complexity of diabetes and exercise. It would be great to have someone who is there with me through the process, to help with motivation, frustration, anxiety, set backs and ultimately, to share in the success.
Or maybe, in the absense of that, I just need to start slow, dance to one song a day. I could do that. And then maybe bump it up to two songs a day once I've figured out how to manage the impact on my body. Maybe, as usual, it's all about the pace. I can start small with one song a day. 7 songs a week, 7 dances a week, is 7 more than I am doing now. That sounds like a veritable party when I look at it that way, and that party certainly adds up to more joy. So I guess for now, I will plan to ease into the dance fever.