In the weeks since I was selected to represent my organization as dancer in THON 2013, three questions continuously come up in conversation: Are you excited? Extremely. Are you nervous? A little. What are you doing to get ready?
Ah, the tough question — one I can’t really answer in one or two words, but the question dancers will probably get the most before THON weekend.
Having never danced before, I have no idea what to expect aside from the inevitable fatigue and muscle pain. Since I have no idea how my body will react, I’ve been focusing on building muscle and increasing my endurance. I know there will be a point where the weekend will take a toll on me; I’m just trying to delay that as much as possible.
Since the beginning of the semester, I’ve made a point to try to exercise for about an hour every day. So as to avoid injury, I rotate which part of my body I focus on: upper body, core, and legs. If you’re not one who typically visits the gyms on campus, the machines aren’t too difficult to figure out. I mean, it’s pretty easy to feel intimidated when you’re surrounded by bros throwing around 45-lb plates like they’re plastic frisbees, but just figure out what works for you and go with it. Also, don’t be afraid to increase an exercise by a little more weight or a few extra reps between days. It doesn’t take a fitness expert to know that if you don’t challenge yourself, you’re not going to improve at all.
I generally complete my workout with 20-40 minutes of cardio, though lately it’s been 20 since crowds make it more difficult to toe the line of the machines’ 20 minute limits. I tend to stick to the arc trainer because you can adjust the incline and resistance to make the workout as challenging as necessary.
Although I haven’t made it to the THON Prep course offered by the fitness instructors yet, I’ve heard it’s great and definitely recommend checking it out. From what I’ve heard, they offer a workout that’s both comprehensive and challenging to get you ready.
As I said before, it’s very difficult to know how your body will react under the stress of the weekend. Regardless, it’s important to prepare yourself as much as possible while trying to avoid overexertion and injury.
What works for me won’t work for everyone, so share your stories with us! If you’re dancing in THON, how are you preparing yourself for the weekend? If you’ve danced before, what tips do you have for this year’s dancers? Share them in the comments!