Two weeks ago my daughter's dance studio held their early registration day for returning students. I freely admit, I was rather harried that day. I was late getting on the road for a trip, and just about everything that could go wrong already had. By the time we got to the studio, I was in a pretty foul mood, and was NOT happy about the fact that I had to go in to that blasted place to sign my daughter up. If you'd seen me coming towards you on the street, you probably would have turned around and run away. Nevertheless, it had to be done. The kid loves dancing, and while she has no intention of taking it to the competition or professional level we are happy to support her.
While I was there, something curious happened. My ugly mood faded away as the studio manager and I looked up the notes from last year's teachers so that we could place Gillian this fall. While we were doing that, I found myself picking up the schedule and looking at it again and again. It didn't take too long to pay the enrollment fee, but even with Gillian taken care of, we didn't just walk out the door and head on our merry way.
I lingered. I asked a few questions. My heart called. A wistful need filled up my chest. I found I couldn't go just yet. Hesitation and desire started a small whirlwind. I was caught.
So I did it.
Friends, I signed myself up for the adult tap class....and not just the beginner class. I signed up for the full-on, grown-up performance class. After speaking to the manager for a bit, we agreed that even though it'd been 20 years my body would remember.
I'm tearing up right now just thinking about it.
In September, I'll start taking tap lessons again...something that's been in the back of my mind for at least the last five years. I've thought and thought and thought about it, going so far as to look up the schedules for two different studios in town...but never quite making the step to actually call because I was simply too afraid.
Or I felt I didn't deserve it.
Or I felt I was too fat.
Or I thought I was too old.
Or I was too worried about finances.
Or I didn't want to put myself out there.
Or I was doing the mom thing and was putting myself last.
Pick the excuse. There were many.
I don't know what pushed me beyond the fear. Perhaps it was the shear delight and joy I felt watching those women perform at the recitals in the spring...tears running down my face for how beautiful they were, in all of their diversity of age and size...tears for the fact that they all looked like they were having the time of their life....tears for the fact that they brought down the house, that they were so fully supported by everyone there. Perhaps I'd just hit the point where the contemplation had to become action before the desire withered and died. Perhaps I just didn't let myself think. Who knows. The point is, I stepped beyond the fear for just a wee moment and took the leap.
And signed up for those classes.
One of the greatest regrets I have in life is that I stopped dancing when I went to college. Truly, that was an instance where my introverted nature ruined things for me. I was just too shy to seek out a dance studio on my own. I've spent 20 years tapping rhythms with my feet under the table and going over my last solo step by step in private.
The might have beens are gone, though, and now I'm looking forward to the what still could be's.
On another level - and certainly the thought that's been the most prevalent when I consider what I've done - is the fact that damn it, I've been forced to give up so much pleasure because of my stupid food allergies, and I'm someone who had precious little pleasure to begin with. Life needs balance. If you're going to take something away, you darn well better add something back in if you have any hope of succeeding. (The risk being if you don't balance it out, you will eventually go back to the old pleasures, no matter how harmful they are.) For me, this is going to be a pleasure. This is a big, fat replacement - one that is healthful to body and soul, let's me live out some creativity, and won't leave me feeling sick, guilty and depressed. I say that's a big, fat win.
I'm mindful of the fact that this wouldn't be possible if I hadn't been working so hard for the last six weeks to improve my health. I've been completely compliant with my allergy/autoimmune for 37 days, and have been hitting my exercise goals perfectly this entire time. I was in such horrible shape before that I never would have been able to make it through a tap class. I know it will physically still be a challenge, but by the point I start I'll be capable of running a 5K, and will have 2+ months of greatly improved daily activity and dietary compliance under my belt. All good.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go pull out my old tap shoes and see if they still fit. Probably not, but that's ok....I know where to get new ones!