Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Not Mick. But rather the protagonist in one of my works in progress, Heartless. Jagger's a tough chick, not afraid to squeeze into a leather pantsuit and kick some serious ass. She couldn't care less if her fiery halo of hair is matted, or if her mascara is trailing from her eyes like Alice Cooper. Mirrors do not frighten her.
It's been far too long since Jagger and I spent quality time together, so I decided to take her to Dance Hall Fit Hop class last night.
I suspect our friendship took a serious blow.
As Jagger is often fond of saying, she doesn't dance. She likes racquetball and running, high-impact exercises that serve a dual purpose - building up her cardio and working through the frustrations of her day job.
But last night dance instructor extraordinaire Jessica offered up a few words of advice for me and my feisty heroine. Low impact exercise is better for you.
It's true. That pop, pop, pop you might hear when you run is not the same "pop" Jessica encourages in dance. And yet, I sweat so much last night red hair dye left a trail from my neck to the middle of my back. Totally unsexy.
But Jagger doesn't care about vanity. She's more interested in the challenge. So as I took to the floor for the second week of hell Dance Hall, I thought: What would Jagger do? (WWJD)
In reality, she'd avoid dancing at all costs. That and elephants. But if the story warranted it - or her yummy sidekick Torek challenged her - Jagger would rise to the occasion. She wouldn't give a crap about how she looked while learning the steps. She'd simply get it done.
I tried that.
I don't have near the amount of confidence Jagger does, but having lived vicariously through her adventures for about, oh, 80,000 words, I've picked up a trick or two.
Somewhere near the half way mark of Dance Hall last night I stopped worrying about the mirror and focussed, REALLY focussed, on the actual steps. My arms are beginning to move in tandem with my feet, and even though I falter when the beat changes from eight counts to two, I feel somewhat less ridiculous than I did three classes ago.
I also hurt. Every muscle - especially my hips and abs - are singing the "Achy Breaky" blues. Off key, of course because I can't sing either.
If Jagger actually danced her way off the page and into the studio, I have little doubt she'd be just as clunky. Like me, she doesn't quite feel the beat true dancers do. Her hips are more accustomed to pivoting versus swaying (or even popping), and she certainly does not know how to "wind" (WTF? I'll never get THAT step!) - but she'll keep practicing. Her personal drive to compete - to *win* - will make her push her body to the extreme. And then she'll kick it up a notch.
Because that's what Jagger does.
Unfortunately for Jessica, Jagger is also quite adept at using a bow, and this morning, I have little doubt she's pointed one of her black arrows at J'Adore Dance. I'd recommend ducking.
The Book In My Bag Today: Wicked Lovely, Melissa Marr