Format's a little different this week, but with good reason. For the first time in a while, I took a weekend getaway that did not involve a race or a holiday. Nope, I just up and went someplace I'd never been before, just to see an old friend from years ago, and temporarily escape my usual surroundings.
In addition to the run I would normally enjoy on a Saturday morning, I took a plunge into a Zumba class. Not something I normally do, as it's easy to assume that I get all the cardio I need from running. Maybe so, but it's a hell of a lot easier to concentrate on running form than to get all your moooooves synchronized to the rhythm!
Yes, I fully admit to having white boy rhythm. :). I did not have the moves like Jagger, but I more likely had the moves like Jack Tripper! That's really an exaggeration, even I could pick up the moves after they repeated them that many times. I just couldn't do it with the flair and grace as the majority of the class. So be it ... this old friend of mine enjoys it, and I wanted to share in it while I was in town. Stepping outside the comfort zone once in a while ain't such a bad thing.
Also, this friend of mine and I decided to second guess an issue that many would assume was a done deal. Our federal government has stopped working because of several issues, due to the fact that each of the two legislative bodies that govern our nation is ruled by a political party which cannot concede to the demands of the other. Since the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is directly funded by this Divided House, we were under the impression that the Johnson Space Center was closed, lock stock and barrel. A short drive off of the highway (45, I think) and an observation that nobody was being charged for parking, and a half way filled parking lot, proved us wrong.
Of course, most of Mission Control was out on furlough, but they had a skeleton crew to communicate with the International Space Station. And the astronauts? Kinda hard to send them home now, ya dig?
But we were told by a friendly tour guide about the plans to put MEN ON MARS, and that woke up the part of me that always loved learning about space and reading 321 Contact Magazine as a kid. :). Especially learning how the launch needs to be timed exactly when Mars' orbit is closest to Earth's (no, really Dave?) otherwise it'll take 2 years to get there instead of "only" 6 months. Also learning that being in the Orion capsule would be the same thing as being in a minivan with three other people for months on end - could you deal?
So after indulging my inner science-loving kid, I indulged my inner fun-loving kid. That night, we went to the Kemah Boatdwalk on the Gulf of Mexico, and rode one of the fastest roller coasters I've ridden in decades! Brought me back to summers at Great Adventure and Action Park. All good times. :)
And today? Saw the development and transformation in children that Sunday morning soccer games can still provide under the right circumstances. Even got a smile out of one of those kids who really upped his game. :).
(Ummmm, yeahhhhh, Dave, you just rambled on for a while. Ya wanna, I dunno, get to the point?)
If I must, fine.
Sometimes it's good to step out into the unknown. Most of the time, we do this because there's a compelling reason to do so. But sometimes it's OK to do it just because. Because it's a free weekend, or maybe because it's the second Thursday in the month. Because it's just there. Because you otherwise wouldn't. Because it's just that good.
It's amazing what we can do when we just feel like doing it, and not because we have to. Or because there are consequences for not doing it. Maybe just because you know you'd be happy doing it, and if you didn't, you'd have to force yourself not to say, "what if."
I EXIST. I MATTER. I BELONG. I DESERVE.
PS - the above concerns traveling to previously unexplored ports of call, but obviously can cover damn near everything else. Take from it what you will, comment, follow, like and message'