Thursday, May 03, 2007

Back in the saddle again....

Yesterday I went to ballet class. Not *just* to an hour-and-a-half ballet class, but I also stayed and took a half-hour pointe class afterward. Why is this a big deal, you ask?! Only because it has been SEVENTEEN MONTHS since my last ballet class. In fact, it's been seventeen months since I've done any sort of exercise whatsoever. Which wouldn't be such a big deal, except that I had been taking three or four ballet classes a week prior to that. I *was* in pretty good shape. And then my schedule got complicated, a slew of kids' birthday parties kept me from my weekend classes, and then the more classes I missed, the harder it was to go back. Time passed. My dance bag got stuck in the back of my closet. I put on 20 lbs., which is a lot on my small frame.

Finally, last week, I'd had enough. I saw pictures of me taken at a recent event, and I almost didn't recognize myself with that added weight. I'm tired all the time. I have no energy. My body aches. I just feel blah, uninspired. For months, I've thought about going back to ballet, but worried about surviving that first class; about having the stamina to get through it. About putting on a leotard and tights and having to watch myself in the floor-to-ceiling mirrors. I even worried about all my ballet class pals having moved on--what if I didn't know anyone?

But yesterday, I finally did it. I put on the leotard. I dug out my dance bag. I found my tattered old ten-class-card, with one remaining class. Drove myself to class, and, my knees knocking with nerves, walked into the studio. Lo' and behold, there were my old buddies at the barre, smiling and welcoming me back. The teacher went easy on me, knowing it had been way too long since my last class. I made it through class, only wimping out during the petit allegro--that would be the combination of small, fast, tricky jumps. I thought I was going to drop dead at the end of class from sheer exhaustion--but I did it! Not only that, I succumbed to peer pressure and dug out those pointe shoes and stayed for pointe class. No, it wasn't pretty, but it's a start. I pledged to my friends that I'd come to class every Monday and Wednesday morning--two classes a week is a good start. Maybe after that, I can add a third class. I bought a new ten-class card! I'm back in the saddle again, so to speak!

In the end, the class itself wasn't nearly as bad as the anticipation/anxiety leading up to it. Why did I take so long to get back to something that I love so much? That my body sorely needed?

Have you ever done this--quit exercise class, or yoga, or painting, or pottery...whatever your passion is? And then missed it terribly but found it difficult to go back to it? Did you finally find your way back? I'd love to hear your stories!

And for the record, yeah, I'm in AGONY today. Honestly, I can barely walk. But it's worth every ache and pain!

On a totally unrelated note, I wanted to tell you about a special contest I'm running on my web site from now till June 5th. The grand prize is this gorgeous ruby bracelet set in sterling silver, a $150 value, from Ross Simmons.

I hope you'll take a minute to check it out HERE.


Sally MacKenzie said...

Well done, Kristina! I'm planning to get back to Masters swimming in the fall. I started back to it a year ago--after about a 10 year hiatus--but then life intervened. When I considered signing up last September, I looked at my calendar and saw that high school meetings conflicted with most of the practices. Since I'll be an empty nester next year, the time will be right for "diving" back in!

Ann Christopher said...

WTG, Kristi! I'm proud of you!

I am, alas, a yoga dropout. Haven't been in ages--ever since the morning class interfered with driving-to-school duties. I REALLY miss it, but my schedule isn't much better now...