In My Brain Today: Stepping out the Alphabet

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As I was huffing and puffing and stepping away in my step-circuit class at the gym today, it dawned on me just how similar step aerobics is to phonological awareness.  What??!  Okay, it’s a stretch (ha!) but bear with me. 

You see, as a child learning the alphabet, the shapes of the letters and the sounds those letters make (phonological awareness), it can be downright confusing.  As an adult participating in step aerobics, well that can be confusing, too.   You see, step aerobics often uses step sequences that are named after the letters of the alphabet….”A-step!” calls out my instructor.  I have to mentally think, “Oh, what’s an A-step, again?  Yes…I remember, now body–do your thing!” 

In fact, just today our instructor was having us do a series of lunges starting on the left side our bodies.  “The left side isn’t as smart as the right,” she kept chirping.  I knew that!  Even though I was cognitively trying, I was still having trouble leading with my left leg and then quickly making the mental and phyisical shift to the right.  (This has a lot to do with muscle memory, in case you are curious.)  

Then back to the step routine…”A-step,” “V-step,” “L-step,” really the list could go on and on the types of “steps” presented in a typical 60-minute cardio routine (there is even an X and Z-step, but I’m not sure about a B-step).  Basically, the idea is one makes the shape of the letter on or around the step.  Pretty simple in theory, but trying to get ones’ body is cooperate is a whole other story!

And that’s when it dawned on me just how challenging it must be for a young child to learn–rememeber–and then “draw” those letters correctly. 

Next time my 4-year old stops in frustration at handwriting time and whines, “What’s a P look like again?!”  I will just have to remember how much I was huffing and puffing today as I was “writing”  my letters on the step. 

And that is what is in my brain today, Thursday May 26th 2011. 

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