Balancing Dancing and Running

Deep down, I know that I will always have a love for dance. Having grown up with dance as a part of my life since the age of 4, it is impossible to even think about shutting dance out of my life for good. Many of my fondest memories from junior high and high school centered around one dance activity or another, particularly since I was involved with a dance company and often spent more hours at the dance studio in classes and rehearsals than I did at home.

One of my many Nutcracker tutus

One of my many Nutcracker tutus from when I was in high school

But I’ve now added running to my reportire of sports activities. (For those of you who argue that dance isn’t a sport, I highly suggest you take a look at a recent editorial published by the Huffington Post. There’s a lot to be learned from this fourteen year old dancer who offers a great analysis as to why dance is a sport and is just as, if not more, demanding than any other activity classified as a sport). When I started running, I promised myself that running would not be my sole physical activity. Although I’m slowly starting to enjoy running more and more, dance will always tug at my heartstrings and capture my attention.

In addition to writing my own blog, I’ve started following a couple of other blogs in order to gather training ideas and keep myself motivated. One blogger has emphasized the need to not just run while training for a race, but to also focus on other exercises in order to promote and build strength and endurance. This writer captured my attention, as I never intended to have running replace all other forms of exercise that I also enjoy. Not only do these activities work different physical muscle groups, they also exercise different parts of the brain.

Yesterday as a part of my professional development activities at work I took a Zumba class, led by one of my colleagues who teaches classes at various gyms in the area. Its been awhile since I last took a dance class, but yesterday’s Zumba class reminded me just how much I love dance and how important it will be to continue to incorporate dance into my workout routine. Although my primary focus is on preparing to run my first half marathon in January, I’m looking forward to being able to keep dance as an important part of my life. Sadly, the Zumba classes offered at the gym that my husband and I belong to are not at the most convenient times, but once the school year ends and summer comes I’m looking forward to taking a morning Zumba class once or twice a week. Not only will the class help me with stretching and flexibility, but it will also help with continuing to build and maintain my endurance.

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