I was not know for my athletic ability as a child. You know the stories of the baseball players that were put out in left field because they were really bad at playing? Yeah, I watched them when I wasn’t picking dandelions. I’m pretty sure there were a few times my team switched from playing the field to batting and I didn’t realize it.
There was one year I ended up in the instacare because my arm kept swelling up after practice. And, the time I bruised my pancreas and was throwing up blood. Or there was the one time I played basketball and actually scored — for the other team.
In junior high, there was a full on fist fight over who had to take me on their kickball team. I was all for sitting the game out and reading. Unfortunately, my teacher didn’t agree. She had me play all the sports, even after I got a concussion in volleyball, and the soccer ball imprinted on my face.
But . . .
Put me on a marley or hardwood floor, and the story changes. I danced! My senior year in high school, I was recognized as one of the top fifteen dancers in the state of Utah. I choreographed for a special needs group, performed for events for friends, and danced every year at our church’s talent show. Not to mention, the impromptu dancing in the hallways at school or in the kitchen at home.
Why is this important? Because it comes back to my why for fitness. Why am I determined to get up every morning to put myself through a form of torture? Because there is a muscle memory in my body that aches to be used.
In high school, dancing was a big part of who I was. It sounds a bit cliche even as I write it, but it is true. Ask people who went to school with me, and I’m sure most of them would mention my dancing. Few would remember I was a member of the drama performances, or an active member of FFA, or president of the Model United Nations Club. I was also a Student Body Officer, played the violin in the orchestra, and volunteered at the library in the summer. People don’t mention those things.
It is the dancing they remember, and the dancing I miss.
Not that I don’t still dance. I danced with every one of my kids as babies in the living room. Spinning and dipping them just to hear their little squeals of laughter. I go up on my toes in the kitchen to reach things on a high shelf. While cooking, I’m known to practice plies and tendus. My body is in a different shape now. Not that I’m complaining — years and five kids change things. I want to get back to feeling strong.
This is part of why I get up at dark-thirty in the morning to plug in a pilates video. My old me longs to move again; the new me wants to remember.