Day 1…Rhinos and Friends

Posted on June 26, 2012

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Day one was interesting. It was a “James in the Giant Peach” sort of day.

Rhinos in thunderclouds threatening to destroy my resolve came in the form of  doubts and fears about having made this semi-public and feeling a bit exposed. A few times last night I woke up and berated myself at the same time I was telling myself , “Be quiet, this is important! Have some faith.”

But when I woke up and read a few notes from friends I was encouraged and strengthened. Thank goodness for friends who know how important it is to reach out!

So, on with what happened….

The sky was grey and the barometric pressure was dropping. The kids were antsy to get the day going, so I cleaned up the kitchen, threw one of 5 loads of laundry in, and asked, “Who wants to stretch with me?”

James and Kenny got the giggles and Kenny asked, “Where’d you learn THAT? Yoga?” more giggles.

I don’t like talking when exercising or stretching, but went with it and answered, “No. Ballet.”

You’d think I was a stand-up comedian with the response I got!

“You mean you wore TUTU’S?!!” I wish I could have heard their thoughts. They acted as if I was a brand new person to them. It got even better when we moved on to sit-ups and push-ups. You know how hard it is to stay focused with those two buggers laughing? And then I started laughing because they were trying copy me, and they looked so silly!

When we finally got to the Knob, Madeleine, Kenny and James piled out and headed into the woods. As we followed behind I thought about posture and poise. How long had I been slumping? As I straightened up I remembered the visual I was taught and then used on all of my students. You have to imagine a string that comes through the top of your head that is connected to your center, your core. When pulled upwards you become aligned. You spine straightens, shoulders open and relax down, your stomach tightens to support your back, etc., all the way down to your feet. When I pulled that string I felt better, lighter.

Madeleine was horrified when I started doing lunges and stretching squats on the beach. “Mommy! What are you DOING? ” followed with, ” I can’t do that. My muscles break.”

I told her about being her age and feeling the same pain when I stretched, but I did more every day until I could do a split. She wanted to believe me, but the pain was a huge roadblock for her.

I said to her, “You don’t think this hurts me?” What a thought. She assumed that because I was doing something that she found painful, there must be something special about me. An extra amount of resolve or determination, or in this case, more pliable muscles, ligaments, and tendons? What else was she not doing or going to do in her life because the work was too painful?

While thunder and rain started we were already in the car and a thought came to me to visit the Cape Cod Conservatory up the road. I had taken millions of classes there and wanted to go inside to feel what I used to feel. An older gentleman met us at the door and welcomed us in. The kids and I walked tentatively into the expansive studio with the mirror-lined wall with double barres lining the three other walls.  I was so happy.

He said to me, “No time to dance anymore?” You’ve got your hands full now.”

“Nah,” I replied. “I’ll dance again.”

The kids were mesmerized. A whole new world had opened up to them A world they could have known about had I not abandoned it. But there it sat. Waiting.

But it was time to go home.

Summer vacation throws a wrench among the screwdrivers of my wanna-be ordered and structured home. But life and commitments call, so I did the dishes again, threw more laundry in and answered the nagging reminder of the barre exercises that needed to be addressed. Everyone was in the living room, so I used the bar in the kitchen as a ballet barre and did about 10 minutes of exercises while ignoring calls from the bathroom nearby where James was struggling and need me NOW!

This morning I’m dealing with feeling happy and calm…and that not being enough for me. So, I can’t sit here much longer or I’ll run for the caffeine. I wonder if it’s going to be hard to get used to the calm?

Today there’s a lot of driving to do, and the chores need to be done. That giant peach feels like it’s getting away from me already, rolling away while I try to catch it.

In less than an hour the family will get up and they will own me until I leave at 6 for the work at the Family History Center. I’m wracking my brain trying to think how I can get in shape faster by using my time better.

Today I’ll just have to pay attention to promptings that say, “Do it now.” instead of planning it all out and waiting for the time to come.

I think you need a lot of support to live (change) a life!

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