|Ahh, the '80s...|
I took my last ballet class nearly 10 years ago.
Until Monday night.
Ten years ago, I was 18. I was in college and I was a ballet dancer. Granted I wasn't as good as I could've been and heaven knows I didn't have the right body type by a long shot, but I loved it. Then, in the middle of class - ironically the first time where I actually felt like I was excelling in my small jumps (I'm not a jumper!), and it wasn't just me, the instructor had even just told me I was doing better than before - I landed a jump, felt a pop and a tear and was in some of the most excruciating pain I could imagine.
I had dislocated my knee. It realigned itself on it's own, but the ligaments & tendons were trashed.
On top of the physical pain, I was an emotional wreck because I had just gotten back my full strength from some sprained ankles the previous semester.
It was hard that year, I changed majors and had to deal with the fact that I wasn't ever going to be the dancer that the 4, 8, and 12 year old versions of me dreamed of.
In my one attempt to do some light dancing for a friend's project my senior year I repeated the injury and had to have surgery to relocate my kneecap. Fun, fun!
I went to physical therapy until my insurance ran out. Then I'd work it on occasion when I went to the gym. It has never been as strong as I would have liked, but I didn't want to think about the injury, so once my knee was functional I just stopped working.
All of this explanation is to tell you what a big deal it was Monday night when I went with a friend to the first full class I've been to since the original injury.
While I was horrified at the lack of discipline in the classroom, it was nice to be back at a barre. My body remembered what to do much better than I expected, however, I was surprised at how much strength I have lost and it was pretty frustrating not to have my body respond in the way I wanted.
And I'm sore. Gloriously sore. So sore I almost can't walk tonight. But the right muscles are sore. I can feel the defined stripes on rotator and flexor muscles that have essentially gone unused and forgotten for the past decade.
I'm insane, I know. But pain is bliss.
I don't know that I'll stay with this studio after the summer classes are over, but now that I've tasted dancing again and I know what level class I need, I'm sure that I'll find a class somewhere. I thought I'd lost that part of my heart...but maybe it was just on a break.
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