Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dancing with my stars

Published September 30, 2006
St. George Spectrum & Daily News

Being a single mom on a tight budget, I've found that after paying for essentials there isn't much money left for fun. In the event of a surprise, like car repairs or doctor visits, the monthly entertainment budget is the first to be sacrificed on the altar of fiscal responsibility.

So what's a mom of five kids in need of fun to do? Well, she's got to get creative, that's what! For my own mother, the answer was found in a game called, "Let's see where THIS road goes!!!" which basically amounted to her packing my siblings and me into the minivan and getting lost on country roads...with lots of scary the dark. My sister, Gina, to this day, is not amused.

It seems I've found my answer a little closer to home. On any given evening, you will find the six of us in the front room, CD player blasting showtunes while we dance around in unbridled enthusiasm. If you've never had the opportunity to dance with kids, I suggest you try it, post haste. There's just nothing like letting go of your inhibitions and cutting a rug with a bunch of giggling, rugrats.

And when I say "unbridled enthusiasm," I mean complete, unabashed twirling, jumping, and flailing. Yes, I said flailing. You haven't danced until you've flailed around in total disregard of the rules of propriety and the laws of physics. We Wilsons are nothing if not exuberant...and in our exuberance, we'll all arms and ninja kicks.

Since instituting these nightly fits of frolic, I've noticed a remarkable thing. I have lost 8 pounds. It seems dancing around like a maniac worthy of a mental institution is an excellent aerobic activity! I guess it helps that when I dance with my kids, I break out all the tricky moves no fat woman should ever do. It's not pretty, but it's working!

This is good news for me, as my usual mode of exercise, my trusty treadmill, was rendered inoperable when a certain child who will remain nameless (Catherine Mae Wilson) decided to take the treadmill key on a field trip from which it has never returned. I was on the verge of charging her the $40 it will cost to replace it and taking it out of her birthday earnings for the next few years, but I'm so excited by the number on the scale that all I really want to say is, "Darling Cate...may I have the next dance?"

At some point, I'm going to realize that the Dance Like No One's Watching Workout is an idea ready to be pitched, marketed, and mass produced to moms everywhere. There'd be the book, workout video, and a special CD box set of all my favorite "move your flab" songs... If I play my cards right, I might never have to sacrifice my entertainment budget again!

Of course, if it means I stop dancing...I'd rather be poor.