Somethings are inevitable. For me, it is the fact that I don’t have a good workout regiment and haven’t for awhile. In the dating world, in the business world, and in the world of the hip and young, I am faced with either growing gracefully and fit or being like the large part of the US population and growing lumpy. Lumpy is not an option.
So I have decided to join a new kind of gym- a workout based on the principls of dance-ballet. I meet early on a Thursday morning-7:00 AM for a class called Graceful. It is a nice way to say -Beginner’s Class. By the time I am finished with an hour’s class, every small and big muscle in my body has been worked.
Surrounded by mirrors and ballet bars, along with women much younger and fitter is a humbling experience. It seems as if everyone is petite as well. I stand in my spot on the blonde colored wood floors and the extra cushy mat, and feel totally out of place. I just hope no one else decides I am.
This is where the rubber meets the road, or shall I say the feet and legs make a deep plie` while trying to balance my arms gracefully above my head. I am very limber for my age. I can stretch and balance and even pull my leg way up behind my head. But for all the pride I take in these small abilities, the fact that the lithe instructor wants me to hold a small ball behind the back of my knee while pulsing my leg and lifting it and balancing on the other, is no small feat.
I’m thinking, ” Will I ever be able to do what she’s doing?” Then as I gaze down at my feet while I am poised high up on my toes (as if I was wearing tall stilleto heels) all I can think of is. “Whose toes are those? OMG, I have to get a pedicure.”
I’m working the back legs, the front legs, the inner thighs (try keeping a ball between your thighs while doing tiny plie’s), the back, the arms, all I can think is “If you lay off the wine, lay off the chocolates, and become a slave to this, you will have scuplted arms by summer!”
The hardest part of all of this is to look at yourself in the mirror and realize you have to love your body in whatever state of shape it is in. I have one instructor that is so tiny ( a size 0!) and petite ( 5′) that when she stands next to me, I feel like a giant! Feeling like a giant is not a good thing in a ballet, barre class. I want to feel lithe, and strong, and yes, graceful!
Which makes me wonder how it feels to a person to be in a certain kind of body. How does the body you are in form and shape your idea and feelings about yourself? If you are short, do you feel the smallness of your form next to someone like me? When you are tall like me, how does it feel to be even taller or bigger?
Even watching some of the shorter women perform their moves on the mat, they usually stay on the mat. For me, My legs are long and reach over and almost at times hit the next person on the next mat. I have to realign myself continually because I take up more space than the tiny tots I’m lying next to.
I think this is the reason I have always gravitated to working out alone. I don’t have anything to compare myself to ( and you know how us women have such difficulty in the area of comparison).
But today, at 7:00 AM in the morning, I have a whole classroom of women in their form-fitting yoga pants and little strappy camisoles to look at. But, I don’t. I refuse to make it about that; I have come here for a reason. I have a mission. I want a hot body that when the summer is here, I can wear the sleeveless dress and show off the curve of my arms.
I have a motivation that is staring me in the face everytime I enter the room with full floor to wall mirrors. I see the reality and know that if I dedicate myself to the practice, I will be stronger, lithe,and yes, graceful.
Meanwhile, I have to make an appointment for a manicure.