By Tony Attwood
If you read my ramblings on a fairly regular basis the is a chance that you may have picked up the fact that
a) when I did play football in my younger days I was utterly useless at the game
b) when I played the indoor five a side game in later life I was still utterly useless at the game
c) I have however for many a long year, and still now even though am at an age when many people have packed up exercise (if they ever started it), I do have a form of exercise that I engage in, and which I think has kept me moderately fit: modern jive – a form of dancing.
Now I mention this because I do occasionally talk with people of the older variety, and encourage them to do some sort of exercise. Football if they are young enough and can get a game, dance if not (because in modern jive clubs you don’t need a partner – there’s usually a roughly equal number of men and women there, and the code of conduct is that one swaps partners all through the evening).
My message is simple: it really isn’t that hard to keep fit, and the benefits are overwhelming. Football is great if you are able to play with some skill and can find a team, but if not, try dance.
Untold is not about telling people what to do, it is about supporting Arsenal and being interested in football. So I’ve not particularly written before about trying to stay fit as one gets older; it’s not part of the remit I’ve set myself.
But then I came across this poster, and I thought, since when I am asked, I do go around boring everyone silly with the fact that they ought to try and get regular exercise as they get older, and if they can’t find a sport that they enjoy then maybe dance might do it, I thought I would reproduce it. It, as they say, “sums it all up.”
These days finding clubs to play is a much easier activity than ever before. But really, if you have any thought about trying to get fit, even if you have never done it before, and if you feel that football isn’t going to be right for you, then I would suggest you might take a look at modern jive. Not just because it happens to be one of the things I am good at, but because I have seen so many people have their lives utterly turned around through it.
Dance is a perfect way to meet people and have a good time, while staying fit. It is sociable, it is not alcohol based (although most of the clubs we dance in do have bars) and it is easy to learn, even for the 95% of the non-dancing male population who claim that they are congenitally unable to dance because they have two left feet.
Every week lots of people start dancing, and if you fancy modern jive go to www.uk-jive.co.uk and scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find a list of all the clubs that teach jive that are on tonight. And the same throughout the week.
This is not an advert anyone has paid me to put on. Basically I am just saying, when younger I enjoyed five a side football even though I was utterly useless at it, and it added to my fitness. Now that playing five a side is not such a clever idea (in that it can take so much longer to recover from an inadvertent kick on the knee or slip on the floor) modern jive does it for me.
Strangely the benefits of dance are even greater than those of playing football, but maybe I’ll leave that for another day.
Untold Arsenal: on things other than staying fit
New from the Arsenal History Society –
The index of all the major articles on the site about Arsenal players is now complete. It comes in two parts:
We have around 1500 articles on this site, and a fair number are specifically about individual players who played for Arsenal. However this is the first time they have been fully indexed.
Of course there are many other sources of articles on Arsenal players but I do like to think that the articles here add a lot more detail, and have often found stories and issues that have been missed in other reports. I do hope you will give us a try.