After 36 hours of grooving to different musical themes for a Multiple Sclerosis Dance marathon, my enthusiasm for the greatest hits of the 70’s, had left the building with Elvis. The sock-hopping segment had just about done me in several hours earlier. Now Stayin’ Alive seemed to have an entirely new message, a deeper meaning of vicious irony to my sputtering nerve endings. What day was it? At that point, coffee just doesn’t do it anymore, and the whole event became a blur of colorfully clad participants undergoing their own transformation from peppy gung-ho’s to dead-beat zombies. Bleary-eyed, I could tell I wasn’t the only one pushing the limits…
Now, I have never been a structured type of dancer, I just kind of move to whatever seems to feel right for the music. But right then, nothing really felt right. So it didn’t really matter that during the course of this fundraiser I was bumbling my way through the hustle, fox trot, tango, two-step and the lot. I think the twist may have been my real shining moment. I knew I just needed to keep moving, and not stomp on my partner’s feet too hard (Slap!). Just keep moving. How much longer? These shoes are killing me on this concrete floor!
But… I made it to the end, and I’m glad I did it. I knew the pain in my feet would get better at some point, and I found myself hoping something good came to someone somewhere from my anonymous contribution. And you know, there was a definite sense of satisfaction attached to that blind euphoria. If you’ve never worked for a cause like this, I recommend you give it a go sometime. You know: Do something for someone without expecting anything in return. Don’t do it for yourself (wo)man, do it for people, you’ll ne-ver even meet! It’s good for the soul. I recall several times on the Golden Gate Bridge when cars in front of me had already paid my toll! I’ve since done it for others. I remember how good it made me feel to realize there are a lot of good people everywhere. Whether you realize it or not, someone’s already done something for you out of kindness. Think about it. Good will; pass it on.
I do remember ranking second place in the fund-raising category, collected from well-meaning sponsors all over town. There were some kind of incentives being offered, but after 36 hours, I couldn’t think about much except hitting the rack. Trudging back to my room Sunday morning at 1 am in a stupor, I had reached a detached state of blank consciousness – no, not like Bill Murray in Caddy Shack.... So I had that going for me… My friends, who had dropped in to cheer me on a few times, were all still out carousing it up in the local clubs. But they left me a few beers in the fridge with a nice congratulatory note. Good on Ya! They quickly helped calm that wakeful feeling; I didn’t even make it through the second beer. To sleep… perchance…
I dreamed I was awake, drifting in and out of fantastic places full of vibrant colours and dramatic landscapes. Objects of random attention soon became magnetic bodies, drawing my conscious spirit upon them in an instant. Mountains were suddenly within reach, green forests were bathed in a deep golden glow, placid lakes of azure refreshed the senses so… completely. Bears and coyotes were dancing around flashing disco balls to the greatest hits of the 70’s and stellar jays were circling around in areal formation… Tossing my hat to the sky, I was pulled into the dance circle, and locked arms with the nearest bear. His breath smelled of someone’s leftover chicken picatta, but I just had to keep… da-ncing, yeah, just keep dancing… yeah. You should be da--ncing, ye-ah!
Sleep deprivation can arise from a multitude of reasons, such as anticipation of an upcoming event: good or bad! But, let’s keep that latter category under control! Right? If you’re going to deprive yourself of the benefits of a good night’s rest, let’s at least try to have a good time doing it? Like going the distance at a 36 hour dance marathon, where the good times just keep rolling… Low melatonin levels, low physical activity during the day, and/or a lot of noise from the party next door can all contribute to this torturous condition! Sleep deprivation has also long been known as a cruel method of torture. You will tell us e-verything… Mwahhahahhahah. I’ll tell you anything if you stop the Bee Gees from repeating in my head.
Oh yes, back to more dancing… Watching this year’s Dancing with the Tahoe Stars made me realize and appreciate the discipline it takes to actually learn and perform those structured moves (like Jagger)! The Tahoe Stars had been doing this for years. So like Pro’s are supposed to, they made it look easy. But (a big one!), I was also very impressed by the neophytes as well, because they were probably in the same boat as you and I a few months back. They obviously overcame numerous mental and physical obstacles to train for this (once again sold out) fund-raising performance. That’s quite a feat (for the feet and more). Oh sure, you’re saying that these folks didn’t dance for 36 hours, it was only for 3 or 4 minutes. How hard can that be? Well, you know it was competition in front of a packed house and Judges watching every little step. What do you think about that? Sure, they also got to take breaks between their lessons. They practiced hard for this. They got to sleep even! Maybe. Maybe not. I’ll bet a few didn’t sleep too well the night before the event - in anticipation. So perhaps some of them were dealing with that on top of: A packed house… watching e-very little step… And, I also happen to know that the winner, who was absolutely stunning on the stage with her Tahoe Star, won the night with a broken foot.! Uh-huh. Hard to believe? Now that shows what the human spirit can overcome. See? It’s good for the soul.
P.S. March is MS Awareness Month