No Retreat, No Surrender

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Just to give some credit, the inspiration for this post came from someone else. I’m intentionally being vague about where it came from but I wanted to acknowledge the source.

I spent some time in my last post going over some of my physical limitations. Now, to be fair, I know there are lots of people in far worse shape than I am so I’m not trying to sound like I have all these things to overcome. But it is also true that when JoNY or another instructor tells me to do “x” and then I find that “x” causes some pain and they have to adjust that it brings me down a bit. I mean I can still do “y” but it always feels inside like I’d be a much better dancer if I could just do “x”. Hope you could follow all that.

And then I just have to wonder what my dance life would have been like if I had been born with joints that didn’t self destruct over time. Despite my lack of confidence, I do know that I have a certain skill level when it comes to ballroom. Not great but pretty good. How different would it have been if my knees actually functioned properly. And, yes, it makes me a little sad and angry at times.

On the other hand, maybe I do spend too much time thinking about the dancer I could have been and not enough appreciating the dancer I am. People enjoy dancing with me – they tell me that and they tell others as well. I know there are dancers in the studio who want to be able to dance like me (and its very weird sometimes to think about that). While I’m in my head thinking about my knees betraying me, they are just looking and liking what they see.

Now, this is my own opinion which you may or may not share but I have come to believe that ballroom is both a natural and an acquired skill. In my many years in the studio, I can testify that trained instructors can teach anyone to dance. And I do mean ANYONE!. But what I’ve also noticed is that there is separation between people. You can watch people dance and you can recognize what they are doing but the movements are still jerky and not really connected. I think some of the natural ability comes through when you can smooth things out and make things look easy and sort of effortless. And also maybe when certain things just “click” for you faster than they do for others.

No, I’m certainly no Derek Hough. And I’m never going to be. I am what I am. And what I am is a ballroom dancer. And I’m pretty good at it despite the arthritic knees. And I love it! So I keep doing it. D*** the knees, full speed ahead!

On to a completely random topic shift, I’m thinking I’m going to have to leave my rings at home when I go to the gym. Yes, I said rings. I have my wedding ring of course but I’ve also purchased a copper and silver ring. We have a museum in town that brings in Native American artists once a year and I love the metal work so I’ve purchased rings the last couple of years. But now I have these tiny little calluses just at the base of both ring fingers. I actually looked this up online and its a real thing. So guess the bling stays home.

The tittle above can also refer to my exercise journey. One thing I love about the gym I go to (it might be the same everywhere, I just don’t have the experience) is the variety of bodies. You’ve certainly got the total fitness people but it ranges down to absolute beginners. But there’s something nice about that. Like we’re all in this together. Everyone doing what they can to get stronger or more fit. Not that I talk to anyone but I just get that feeling.

Well, speaking of fitness, Rocco the wonder dog is intently staring at me and my wife has a break between meetings so we are off to the park. Have a good day wherever you are!

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