I’m an over achiever. I hate giving up. I hate acknowledging that I can’t. Anything at all.
Y’day I made my way back to dance class after 2 months of health scares – one month of me nursing a continuous migraine, 10 days of a chicken pox scare for the kid, followed by 2 weeks of the kid being down with a fever, intermingled with a bad fall, burst chin and stitches (for the kid). Over the last 2 weeks, I’ve seen him bawl his heart out and beg and plead with me, the nurses and the docs each time they stuck a needle into his scrawny arm. Pleading, negotiating, trying to talk them out of it; telling them they were “bad people”, interspersed with “please stop”. It hurt. Me. Couldn’t bare to see him cry like that. And all through the pain – still try to talk the nurses out of it!
Level 3 started. And I just had to go. The kid’s recovering. I like dance class. It’s been the only form of exercise that worked for me. It’s my only “me” time. So 7:30 pm, I hand him off to the husband and make my way over.
Strangely, this time it feels less fun and more like 3rd degree torture. My body just cant keep up. 10 min into the class and I’m sweating and panting like a horse. The instructor is relentless. She makes us do step after step without a second’s pause. I don’t know how she does it. She’s already taken 2 back to back classes this evening, and our class is her third.
I look at the other girls in the class. They’re keeping up with the instructor. They’re so much more graceful. How the hell do they manage to move like that?! I feel like an elephant in comparison. Misery. Woe. So out of my element. And try as I may, I just cant keep up. I struggle through the class and just about manage to drive back home.
I give myself a pep talk – so what if they can dance better, I’ve still got the most gorgeous smile in the room! I’m probably better at geeky tech stuff, SoCs, bring up plans and xls. So there!
I remember all the other dance classes over the years. And I’m forced to grudgingly accept – it’s always been this way. As much as I love to dance, I have very little sense of rhythm or grace. My body’s not fluid. I don’t get the steps. I have to think through them. I treat them like exercise. I count myself through them – move finger this way, bend arm, bend knee, stretch out. I’ve always been the oldest in dance class – I started Shiamak’s when I was 27 and the class was full of 18-20 yr olds. I’ve always had less stamina. I’ve always puffed and panted through it. I pushed myself to the limit. But I did it – coz I loved it.
I still love it. But I’m slowly accepting that it’s time to move on. I’ve proved to myself that I still can – if I prioritise it. But now, at 34, my priorities are different. I’m a mother, a housekeeper, a manager – and those roles take priority on my time. Whatever energy’s left – I’d rather just chill. My bones ache. My head is full of TODO lists. My body can no longer keep up with 20 somethings. And I’m coming to terms with that. That it’s ok. It’s time to move on. I don’t have to. If the negatives out weigh the positives – it’s ok to stop. It’s ok to say I cant do it. Or maybe – I no longer want to.