Hello my friends,
Thanks for stopping by again. Here’s news!
Saturday, I took my oldest practice shoes and went to the dance studio.
It’s been four months of recovery and oddly enough, it was hard to get myself back on the dance floor. I didn’t know what I’d discover. The doctor released me on a Monday and it was Saturday before I got on the floor.
I found my ancient practice shoes, the rejects that are so worn out and loose, they live in the back of the closet for emergency use only.
Old faithful shoes, I fished them from the back of the closet. They were happy on my feet, like old friends that are still glad to see you even if years have passed.
Shoes in the dance bag, notebook, water, a soft towel and a tennis ball, I took off for the studio.
I was afraid that one wrong move would hurt my foot again. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I noticed the fear.
Fear is good! It keeps us safe from danger.
Fear is bad! It holds us prisoner in the past, projecting trauma from the past onto the canvas of this moment, right here, right now.
I put on my shoes and make a command decision to monitor my feet but not to live in fear. What is fear of pain? That is a ghost; it is worrying about something that doesn’t exist and may not come into being. What is so, in the now?
I rise up on my toes and lower down.
Slowly, lining myself up before the mirror. My warm up exercises were out of mind until I was standing on the floor. “My body will remember if I start to dance,” whispers in my ear. “Try this,” comes to me from my feet, feeling the floor. Maybe the memory is in the shoes. After so many hours and years of practice, maybe the shoes and my feet will talk to me. They do…
I like to play with the weight of my head on top of my feet. It’s a little game I made up and it’s fun. Standing tall, I release my ankles and move my body as a whole on top of my feet. It’s like stirring myself on top of my feet, sensing my head weight on different parts of my feet as finely as possible.
My feet feel frozen and odd but they don’t hurt.
I begin some basics, but my balance is off. My head isn’t fully over my foot and my body sways, fighting for stability. There is pressure on my foot. I stop and check in; does it hurt?
It does not.
I practice for some time, but I’m impatient, going so slowly.
Music is playing; Viennese Waltz, and something snaps. I dance one wall without thinking and it feels good to move. I’m not precise, my frame is off, but the music fills me with joy. There is no pain.
One more wall of dancing and it’s time to stop. 20 minutes is normally barely a warm-up; today it is the whole game.
As Charles Selzberg, my old fencing master used to say, “Retreat! Retreat! He who runs away lives to fight another day.”
I take my shoes and go home.
This time, they are resting outside the closet, waiting to dance.
Thank you to my shoes for letting me dance. They will bring me back.
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