Happy Sweat

Daily Movement Prompts, Tuesday, July 18, 2017: Happy Sweat

One possible element of someone’s work-out experience can be “that rush” or an overwhelming joy in an activity. I’ve been in several different conversations with various friends lately about how each person experiences different movement choices with different measures of love for the activity.

For example, I was showing my physical therapist the format of my dance style and the core posture and family of movements, so that he could evaluate which exercises I needed to do for my knees. The moment I stopped my demo for him, I could feel my knee pain again. And I noticed I had *not* felt the pain as strongly while I was doing my demo.

I’ve experimented with two forms of bladed weapon styles: one is a full-contact, non-choreographed heavy weapons sword style with solid blades made of rattan, and the other is a blunted metal, non-choreographed historical rapier sword style. I tried each of them in two different times in my life, thinking that maybe I just hadn’t given it enough of a chance to really fall in love with the fighting. And after four experiments with going to practices, being in armor, working out with swords, I had to conclude that I just didn’t ever click with the styles. Specifically, I didn’t enjoy those movements enough to get sweaty doing them.

When I had that moment in the physical therapist’s office, noticing that while in my dance form I didn’t feel my knee pain as strongly, I felt excited. My love for my favorite dance form must be similar to my friends’ love for their sword fighting. My conclusion is that I found my “Happy Sweat.” I enjoy the dance itself so much that I don’t mind getting sweaty while practicing. I feel accomplished at the end of a hard sweat on the dance floor.

I listen to how some of my runner friends talk about their experiences, and for most of them, running is their “happy sweat.” I know that I enjoyed working hard at swimming years ago because I didn’t feel sweaty while swimming.

This won’t hold true for every person. You may never find a “sweaty” activity that you truly love doing. You might be doing exercises and movement choices based entirely on other goals and reasons.

But for some of us, it is a relief to find the activity that puts us in a state of “happy sweat,” where we endure the hard work and the sweat because we *love* that activity. It is my hope for you that you find movement choices you love.

How will you move today? How have you felt lately about your movement choices?