Grateful for [a] Saturday Night Fever.

No, not a real fever where one is very sick, especially now, but rather a dancing disco fever.

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I was a disco queen in my late teens and early twenties and I am not embarrassed to admit it. Dancing made me happy and I would go into another world and dance away most of the night. Over the years so many of my boy- friends made fun of me for my love of disco music. But, who is laughing now? I live in NYC as we are all in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic and I am so thankful that I kept many of my 70’s disco dancing albums, especially Saturday Night Fever where one can dance to almost all the music on the album by the Bee Gee’s, Tavares, The Tramps singing Disco Inferno and really let loose with Ralph McDonald’s Calypso Breakdown

I am an exercise nut meaning that I used to go to the gym every day, no matter what. So now, during this pandemic, my only respite has been to take my dog, Dea out for her two-mile walks, twice a day. But, in the event of bad weather, I needed to do something to get those endorphins going. Badly.

Another reason to be thankful for my keeping various seventies disco albums was that years ago, I used to take aerobic classes at the gym, both high and low impact aerobics, and I remember almost all the moves. So now in my  decent sized living room I begin with a warm up and then lift and stretch my arms high above my head as I raise my knees and then reverse it with my knees kicking backwards and my arms thrusting along my sides or rolling my arms up and down high above my head, as I move left and right on my living room floor, struggling to burn more calories. But doing the same thing up and down my eight feet of space in the living room gets dull pretty quickly. I am also aware that my living room is like an obstacle course, with Dea’s toys all over. I try urgently not to have an accident in my own home, by tripping on the toys, the area rug or bumping into my rocking chair and falling. 

Hence, at this point, I let loose and dance as if no one is watching. Except someone is. My dog, Dea. She does not know how to react to my moving up and down the living room floor, kicking my legs and arms and doing twisty movements for 45 minutes. So, Dea goes under a chair and watches safely from a sheltered distance. 

She remains under this chair until I have finished with the fast music. I then put on softer sounds and take out my yoga mat and move to the floor to do leg work, stretching and stomach exercises. Now, Dea wants to participate with me and tries unendingly to get all of my attention by digging into my mat, burying herself inside the towel that is placed on top of the mat or just plopping down smack in the center of the mat. 

 While I lie down on my yoga mat, doing my exercises, Dea is right there by my side, as if she were spotting me and egging me on to do more. When I do stomach exercises, she gives me encouragement by sneaking in some wet slurpy kisses on my cheek and inside my ear. And when I do pushups, she lies down right next to me as she stares at my moves. What a little gym helper she has become.

My Saturday Night Fever is the most helpful remedy for my sad and anxious mood during this pandemic and I know that I will not be getting over this “fever” for a while. So, who’s laughing now?  I am as I desperately try to stay in shape during these most difficult of times.

Alison Rand

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