Twelve days of clogging!

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Here we are, enjoying the 12 days of Christmas (December 25 - January 5). My true love gave me a new guitar, which is a nice upgrade from my starter guitar. I don't need any gifts for the other days of Christmas, but would like to show appreciation for the gifts that clogging gives to me!

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1. Clogging gives me a second family.

We learn together, perform together, laugh together, sometimes cry together. Clogging families stick together, sometimes even years after the group disbands!

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2. Clogging gives me the ability to rock the agility ladder at workout class.

Yep, other people in the class run faster, jump higher, row farther, lift heavier. That's fine. Break out the agility ladder and I suddenly become unbeatable! Give it a try! Cloggers are good at this!

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3. Clogging gives me a reason to attend cool festivals.

The Mothman Festival, Whitetail Deer Festival, Sweet Corn Festival - I end up at all sorts of cool events simply because my team is clogging there! A reader previously told me her team dances at a Cow Chip Festival every year (I need to attend that at some point in my life!) Without clogging, I would get lazy and not attend nearly so many events on the weekend!

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4. Clogging gives me a new way to listen to music.

Can I clog to this? Even a song I don't like at first can grow on me if it has a good clogging beat! After years of learning clogging routines, I hear songs in terms of "part A" and "part B" with choreography in my head!

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5. Clogging gives me endurance to keep up on hikes with that handsome gentleman I married.

I wrote part of this post from the beautiful Hocking Hills area of Ohio. Spent a couple days trekking through the mud at Old Man's Cave, Cedar Falls, Conkle's Hollow, etc. Thank you, clogging legs!

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6. Clogging gives me the ability to perform under pressure.

It happens to every clogger from time to time: you blank in the middle of a performance. Sometimes, you realize an entire 8-count or more ahead that you don't know what the next step is coming up. With a little experience, you learn to keep going until you can get back into it. This skill has helped me tremendously in the past with presentations in college and now with the occasional presentation at work. 

A teammate mentioned years ago that she nailed the practical exam for one of her paramedic classes because she told herself it was just like a clogging performance!

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7. Clogging gives me an excuse to wear interesting costumes.

Monday morning chats with coworkers typically reveal that I am the only one who has donned a crinoline, or anything covered in sequins, or light-up gloves, or a reindeer costume, or spankies. (One exception is when I work with a couple ladies who do roller derby - another cool sport!)

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8. Clogging gives me an endless supply of inside jokes.

"Give me 8 counts of death!"

"I'm out of my elephant."

Every group of cloggers ends up with a collection of inside jokes hilarious to us and puzzling to the general population. The stares only make us laugh harder...

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9. Clogging gives me pretty calf muscles.

Had a conversation with a teammate recently about buying boots. Yep, we have to find a pair that will zip comfortably over clogger calves. Totally worth it!

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10. Clogging gives me stress relief.

Feeling frustrated about something? Go clog it out on the dance floor! It won't fix the problem, but may give me a clearer head to think about it.

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11. Clogging gives me a creative outlet.

There are many ways to use creativity within clogging. This includes cutting music, creating choreography, planning transitions or formations in a routine, determining costumes, putting together a show order, promoting a show, and many more. If you want to flex your creative muscles, there's a way to do it in the clogging world!

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12. Most importantly, clogging gives me joy.

I enjoy dancing, and it shows in my performances. Most compliments I get from the audience relate to the fact that I am clearly having fun. The audience doesn't care that my skill level isn't awe-inspiring. They only care that they smiled during the show.

Enjoy your 12 days of Christmas, Cloggers!

What other gifts does clogging (or another favorite hobby) give to YOU?