Before I had to decide between grass-stained jerseys and life on the soccer field versus poised feet and a bun in my hair, my world consisted of dance and sport. I took lessons in tap, jazz and ballet during those formative years, and loved every minute of it. Of course, choosing the life of an athlete over a dancer seemed easy – the tomboy in me had nothing to mull over, no second thoughts.
The choice stands; if I could only have running and nothing else, I would take it.
Continuing an annual tradition, we saw the Nutcracker right before Christmas. I always sit there in complete awe – the art of true ballet, the leg muscles it takes to stand on your toes like that (also, ouch), the flexibility of every joint, and the complete poise they maintain through and through.
The soccer player and marathon-runner in me totally cringes. The dancer in me has flashbacks. The yoga lover mind of mine finally realized why that practice is fun for me – it’s a small taste of dance, stretching, and following a sequence.
On Christmas morning, I had two very thoughtful gifts from D – a class pass, and a pair of brand new shoes (that stand out in class – these need to broken in!).
I finally made it to the adult “Advanced Beginner” class on Monday night, and was immediately thankful that I at least do yoga! Flexibility is essential, and without the weekly stretch and pose I give these muscles, I would’ve been so much worse off.
But the hips don’t lie – plies are much more difficult than my young legs remember, and staying in third position is insanely unforgiving. The teacher picked me out of the crowd of at least 40 within minutes – You’re a new face. Oh, hello, good sir…
It came back right away; my posture stiffened, my arms went right into position, and my feet knew what they were supposed to do. My muscles are obviously taking their sweet time getting ‘back in the game’, reminding me that I haven’t done anything of the sort in well over 10 years. Remember all those miles we’ve given you? The finish lines you’ve crossed? Yup. You’re welcome.
After class, he commended me for keeping up and said “I can tell that your brain knows what to do, and your legs are trying to catching up.”
I’ll try not to get too far ahead of them. I’d prefer these legs stick around, doing what they do best, and putting up with the adventures I take on outside of their norm.
Maybe at our next class I’ll even wear tights….
What sport, or activity/hobby, took hold of you at a young age? Have you ever gone back to it?