No Fooling

April, what took you so long? I’ve been looking to you, the light at the end of a dark tunnel, the sunshine after the rain, and I’ve trudged through the long work hours and concerts and extra commitments knowing that if I could just make it through the last few months, I would have April as a reward. I have big plans for you, April. We’re going to have fun together, you and I. Although many of my blog challenges involve things I’ve never tried because why on earth would I ever want to, some are things I’ve always wanted to try but just never made the time or never dared to do. But because it’s April and I feel so free and indulgent, nothing’s going to stop me. I’m doing the fun stuff, starting today.

Today I tried something I never knew I was missing. Today I cut the noose and let it loose, I stopped talkin’ and started walkin’. That’s right, you guessed it:

As you probably already know from your frequent visits to the website, this is a fitness program unlike any other. It is defined as: “A springy, rhythmic way of moving forward, similar to a horse’s gait and ideally induced by elation.”

“It’s about Self-Expression. It’s about Non-Violence. It’s about Conservation.” It’s about “allowing ourselves to fulfill our own sense of self-expression instead of imitating others like monkeys.” And it’s about “enhancing the inner-child in ourselves and feeling like free-spirits as though we were children again.”  But whatever you do, don’t use its trademarked name incorrectly.

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Reading that makes me nervous to even mention the activity by name. For someone who’s such a free spirit, Joanna sure keeps tight reigns on her prancing empire. But you know what? Good for her. She’s appeared on talk shows, advertisements, and even a John Meyer music video She knows how to squeeze every penny out of her fifteen minutes, from her book to the $30 t-shirt. Not bad for some free YouTube videos.

I found out about a one-time-only class being offered at my husband’s work in honor of April Fool’s Day and begged all my friends and neighbors to join me. I had a few takers, but when the day arrived sick kids, car trouble and other real-life issues meant I was on my own. From the description of the class, I thought I was going to be prancing my way through a college campus with coeds. I was getting panicky and starting to regress a bit to my former self but I was determined to see it through.

Usually when I exercise, I prepare by pulling my dirty hair into a ponytail and changing into old sweats but I was inspired by Joanna to dress up for the occasion. I put on a nice cardigan sweater, some lovely jewelry, and I whipped out the curlers to make my hair look just right. I wanted to look my best so I could feel my best.

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Luckily my friend Rebecca made some last minute babysitting arrangements so I wouldn’t have to go by myself. She’ll never know how happy that made me. We found the location and a few other people looking for the class but the instructor wasn’t there yet. Everyone was starting to wonder if it was just an April Fool’s prank, but then he arrived.

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And it turns out the class was not for students but faculty, staff and spouses so most people were real grown-ups there on their lunch break in business attire. And we didn’t prance through campus but in an enclosed area away from the public eye so it wasn’t as frightening as I imagined. We were quite a varied bunch.

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Oh, and did you notice the horses? Why didn’t I think of that? I even own my own horse mask and hooves.

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It was fun to try but as Rebecca pointed out, real horses wouldn’t just trot around in circles – they would want to run free. I loved the feeling of the wind in my hair and the sun on my back but I think I can only understand the true magic of prancing when I have plenty of room and can see the way stretched out before me. How can I “spring off the ground like an antelope” in a small yard.? I need space and freedom.

Since so many of my friends were so very, very sad to miss it (you know you all were) and because one friend actually showed up but couldn’t find us and thought we pranked her, and because I think it would be even more fun to prance with a whole posse, we’re organizing a neighborhood event, just a get-together, nothing to violate trademark laws, I promise. So feel free to join us on April 8th at 5:00 p.m. or feel free to step outside to watch as we prance past your house. I’m sure I’ll be even better the second time around.

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