Sunday, April 7, 2019

E is for Endurance


I've persevered with my resin experiments over the last few weeks. Also been exclaiming in exasperation quite often. I switched to white resin. It's great for hiding bubbles and imperfections, but it comes with a new set of challenges. Still, I managed to make quite a few embellishments and they're ready to be sanded and painted.

Here's a bit of biographical chat.

endurance
1.
 Denoting or relating to a race or other sporting event that takes place over a long distance or otherwise demands great physical stamina.
2. The capacity of something to last or to withstand wear and tear.
 
Very often when we use the word endure, we mean that we're suffering. I know, because in pity-party conversations with myself I regularly ask why I'm forced to endure this or that. However, endurance also has powerful affirmative connotations.
There’s something about an item or activity which has stood the test of time that grounds us and helps to make sense of life. To me, it's ballet.
Geared up for class.
Ha, I bet you didn’t know that I’m a secret ballerina! This month marks my fourth anniversary at the Dance Hub adult ballet studio. I started dancing for the first time after a prolonged illness. My life was in tatters; my body was weak and scarred, and my mind dwelled in dark places.
When I enrolled in ballet classes, I promised myself that I would not give up until three months passed, no matter what. I hated the first weeks; I was excruciatingly self-conscious, I was so tired all the time, and I couldn’t do the simplest things such as balance on my toes. I endured those classes with a capital E.
My favourite ballet shirt.
Gradually, I started understanding ballet terminology, I learned which muscles to use, and I became a bit stronger. While I was doing battle with the physical aspects of mastering the most difficult form of dance, something else was happening in the background. Every slight conquest boosted my self-confidence and  I learned to relax. 
Our beautiful teacher, Louina.
That's me against the window on the left, balancing on my toes :-)

One day I burst out of class and exclaimed, I love ballet! I realized then that I’d found the other kind of endurance; the kind that lets you push your body until you become hot and sweaty and it feels great.
Practice, practice, practice.
Don’t imagine that I’m any good at it. No matter how much I practice, I will always be the clumsiest ballerina in class but ballet has become a part of my life, one of those enduring things that give meaning to everything else. There are such lovely people in the class, the teachers are fantastic, and working on my body, mind, and attitude has had a tremendous spill-over benefit to other areas of my life.
Jump for joy! That's me in the centre.
May you find joy in everything you do this week.

17 comments:

  1. How wonderful.... to find something which challenges you in body and mind and which you enjoy so much! :)

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    1. Isn't it, Sandra. Enjoying exercise sounds like something that shouldn't be possible.

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  2. I love learning this about you, Megan! It tells me that you not only have endurance, but the heart of a warrior! Coming back from an illness can be a really tough and lonely road, but you're making decisions about your self care that show you're determined to live the best version of you possible! Dance and music are such soul healing things, and I am so happy you stuck with it and now love it! Your tutu is absolutely adorable, as are you!
    I am also happy to hear that that same determination is helping you to master the art of casting! I can't wait to hear more about the whole process!

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    1. Jodi, you understand perfectly!
      Castings are coming along nicely. There's a man at the resin shop who wants to hide under the counter by now when he sees me coming in with yet more questions, but slowly I'm getting the hang of it.

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  3. How wonderful that you're a ballerina, Megan!
    Thank you for sharing the lovely pictures and your story.
    Hugs, Ilona

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  4. Absolutely beyond beautiful to see this side of your life. I can actually sense the grace and weightlessness in the photos of you. Ballet is really a unique art and you embody it in these pics.

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    1. Thank you, Emily! Actually, whenever I see myself in a tutu I think of the dancing hippos in Disney's Fantasia but I'm not letting that stop me.

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  5. I have an old ABBA song in my ears now… "Megan, pretty ballerina… yes, she is the queen of the dancing floor…" Okay... the girl's name in the song was in fact Nina but she was a secret ballerina too… ;O) It was so lovely to learn about this part of your life and the way you've told it tells well how important and fulfilling this is to you. And I think you've set the hurdle extra high back then when you started - starting ballet after a serious illness is really courageous and even more difficult. And keeping up with this and now loving it is winning your personal award for best performance in endurance! And who knows, maybe one day you'll love making resin embellishments too! They already look lovely to me - but not as lovely as you in your tutu. And I can't leave without saying that your group photo is stunning - although this makes the music in my ears switch to Van Halen's "Jump"... ;O)

    Hugs
    Birgit

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    1. Birgit, I had a good laugh at your comments. And now I have those songs going through my head too!

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  6. When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a ballerina but was far too lazy to pursue it. Nevertheless, in my dreams I WAS a dancer and my interest in ballet continues to this day.
    So I am SO IMPRESSED not only with your obvious perseverance and enjoyment, but also that you decided to pursue it in the the first place!
    Dance your dreams Megan and thank you for allowing us to cheer you from the balcony. :D

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    1. Elizabeth, when I was little my mother made me take ballet lessons for a few months but I hated it so much that she let me stop. Only as an adult did I learn to appreciate the grace and beauty of dance and I yearned to try ballet again for absolutely years before I gathered the courage to try.

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  7. Hi Megan. I really loved reading this post. I have great admiration for you - for doing something positive for your health, for persevering when maybe you didn’t feel like it, for putting yourself out there in an environment you didn’t know. It speaks of your character. I would love to take some dance lessons again but for now I will live vicariously through you!

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  8. Cheers for your endurance Megan! Thanks for sharing your experiences. Keep dancing and keep positive. You are an inspiration. After reading this I'll think about taking piano lessons. By the way, you are lovely in your tutu.
    Hugs, Drora

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