Miriam’s post about women and smiling has been on my mind recently and I was hoping to be able to add something to the conversation.
I recently realized that I really need to start exercising. Unfortunately, my choices are limited. Because I walked on the balls of my feet exclusively for nearly 12 years (from the time I learned to walk at 9 months until I was about 13) I have insanely weak ankles. My knees are also messed up pretty badly. That means that most things that my peers do (like jogging, for example) are totally out of the picture for me. In fact, most high impact things are totally out of the question. I used to swim, but there isn’t really a free pool available to me. And a gym membership to anywhere with a pool is definitely not in the budget.
With all of this in mind, I thought that I should try dancing. I started out with a “Dancing With the Start: Latin Cardio Dance” DVD ($10 was in the budget.) It’s a good DVD, but it is slightly boring. Luckily, we have a Hulu Plus subscription and I started to take advantage of some aerobic exercise shows available there. I am happy to report that this has been fairly successful.
What exactly does this have to do with smiling, you ask? Well, one dance workout that I do is a Bollywood dance thing. It’s super fun, I really like it a lot. However, the person in the show is constantly encouraging me to smile. It makes a big difference, don’t you know? When you smile all the cells in your body smile.
To be honest, I find it to be a bit presumptuous. How exactly does she know that smiling while dancing is going to make a big difference for me? Yes, I have fun with the Bollywood moves. But when it comes right down to it, I’m doing this for exercise and smiling during exercise is not in my programming. I am focusing on the moves and how my body is feeling. If I’m smiling I’m focusing on that and telling myself “You feel awesome.” To my mind, this could actually lead to some real harm. If I’m busy thinking about how great I feel (you know, because I’m smiling) I may not notice that my body is trying to tell me that something is wrong.
So, Hemalayya, I will not be smiling when I do your Bollywood Boogie. And I would appreciate it if you would stop telling me what to do with my face.