PART 1 (written four days ago)
I've signed up to take a ballet class.
Honestly, I'm not sure what I was thinking, because it was kind of one of those things where I waited until the last second, hemmed and hawed, and then plugged my nose and jumped in with both feet. I mean, ballet?
I do not have what one would call a ballerina type body. I'm not slim, nor lithe. I don't even really dance. The ballroom dancing I did (20 years ago) didn't really prepare me for this scenario.
And let's be real --large women like me don't dance ballet. We just don't. We don't because first, we aren't as flexible because there are jiggly parts in the way. Second, we aren't fans of the attire. Well, we're fans of the attire, just not on our own bodies. Third, it's really hard on our ankles! Ballet is about the feet, and when you have a large body to carry on your feet, you can't really be jumping around like the ballerinas do, at least not without some injuries. Fourth, large women aren't ballerinas because just by the act of dancing ballet makes one (I would imagine) slimmer (which, now you can see why I'm interested in doing this...).
I realize this makes me sound prejudiced against large women. Which would be silly, seeing as I'm a large woman... but I'm just speaking the truth. Me + leotard + ballet = possible endless humiliations.
And that's exactly why I signed up.
I listed all the reasons why I shouldn't or couldn't sign up for a beginner adult ballet class. I kept saying, "this is why not, Cheryl, this is why not!" Then my brain said to me, very pointedly, "why not you? Huh? Why not you?"
Yeah! Why not me? Why can't I? Who says I can't?!
I don't want my fears to stop me from doing cool things! I've been working really hard on getting healthy (in every possible way) over the past 4 years. If I want to take ballet, which will greatly add to my physical health and help with my overall exercise routines and weight loss, then gosh darn it, people, I'm gonna take ballet!
So, I am. And it starts on Tuesday. I even have a babysitter for baby girl!
And I'm terrified.
I will finish this blog post AFTER the first class and tell you how it went. Will my fears of being judged be realized? Will I be humiliated? Will I cry? Will I puke? Will I trip? Will they secretly laugh and titter, the adult women taking the class with me who are all probably super amazing dancers with dancers' bodies? We will find out!
Stay tuned.... for like, two lines...
PART 2 (written today)
Well, I did it! I went to my ballet class.
Before I get to that, did you know that people need to learn to create affordable somewhat-high-waist spanx yoga pants for women who are in transition between flabby and muscle-ly? (The key word being "affordable"). I ordered a pair of what seemed to be a good pair of tight yoga pants that would keep all my jiggly parts contained and it was a sham! A farce! Granted, I didn't look too far. But they didn't work. Luckily I had some yoga pants and I just dealt with it (and then I learned quickly I want something tighter and not as long...).
And now this is how it went:
I mean, it's kind of anticlimactic, this experience of mine, because I was so nervous and worried about things that just never happened.
I had butterflies as I drove to the dance studio. I prayed for strength to just get out of the car and go inside. I went in and... it was fine! I signed in, met the wonderful people running the place, talked with another mom (who wasn't as slim as I imagined they would all be) who had also never danced ballet, before. I bought ballet slippers, saw my neighbor walk in (how cool is that?!), and the class was awesome.
It's a small class and we're a variety of experience and size and not one of us felt perfectly comfortable to be there. The instructor is wonderful and I learned that ballet people have got to be solid muscle! (HOLY COW!) It was so difficult to do even some of the simplest forms she taught us. It looks so easy when you're watching it, but then doing it...
After working through all of those French-termed exercises (and jumps! That was hilarious...), we did Pilates. My glutes will burn forever and ever, amen.
Before I had time to question my choice of clothing, it was over and we all laughed and chatted and drove away and... it was fine!
Sure, I'm the biggest girl in the class. No, I'm not very good at posture and balance... yet. But nobody made me feel like I was crazy for going and nobody said anything but kind things. I'm genuinely looking forward to going back!
Do hard things, friends. And don't talk yourself out of conquering your fears. If you want to learn something --learn it! If you want to try something --try it! We can't let what others think determine what we will do with our lives. All that matters is how you feel and think about something. Even if you end up being the worst at whatever it is you try, at least you tried, and at least you're doing it. And, honestly, it won't be any worse than never trying.