Pirouettes v. PRs
Even though I took a little hiatus from blogging this past month, I still kept up with reading all of my favorite healthy living blogs. (Yes, I am proudly up to date on all of the relays, mud runs, nut butters, and delicious summer recipes you have posted about!)
One of the things that I love about the healthy living community is that there is a true sense of connectedness between bloggers. We each come to the “blogosphere” with our own unique story, yet we manage to share so many of the same goals, passions, and fears.
Speaking of connectedness and shared interests, I have realized that we often blog about similar things at similar times. Has anyone else noticed these unintentional themes of the week? (Maybe it’s just the over-analytical, once english major in me once again over-analyzing.)
A theme I have noticed in many blog posts lately is guilt– guilt caused by everything, ranging from food choices to binge eating to skipping workouts. Caitlin of Cait Plus Ate wrote a very honest post about feeling “guilty about doing a workout that was ‘less intense’” than her usual workout. Her post could not have come at a better time for me.
Without further ado, here’s my story:
I started dancing when I was 7 and continued training through my sophomore year of college. Dancing was a huge part of my life and some of my happiest moments took place in the studio or on the stage. A change of career path combined with a change of heart eventually led me to hang up my pointe shoes. This was over 6 years ago, and until recently, I rarely looked back.
Enter running. About a year after I graduated and moved to NYC, I ran my first lap in Central Park. It was challenging, sweat-inducing, and I loved every minute of it. I continued to dedicate my time and energy towards training for races, including many half-marathons and eventually, the NYC Marathon. The hard work and high weekly mileage paid off; I was in the best shape of my life.
A few months back, I received my daily email from Groupon with an offer for 10 classes at Ballet Academy East. I had toyed with the idea of going back to dance class before, but never had the courage follow through with it. This time, however, I felt ready. (Besides, I knew this Groupon opportunity was just too good of a deal to pass up.) Before I could talk myself out of it, I clicked the “purchase” button.
The first ballet class back was hard. My hips were tight from running and my feet kept cramping every time I pointed them. Now, 17 classes in, I feel that I have regained so much of my technique and style. More importantly, I feel that I have found a piece of myself that I had left behind. I guess you never really forget your first love.
Now back to the theme of the week: guilt. Ever since I have started attending ballet class 3 times a week, running has definitely been put on the back burner. I didn’t mind this trade-off at first, but after a few weekly reports from dailymile congratulating me for running 5 miles the entire week (aka”stellar training” in dailymile language), I started to feel bad about myself. I started to question my return to dance.
All sorts of irrational thoughts and fears entered my mind. “Is ballet less intense than running?” “Am I going to become an out-of-shape blob?” “Will I never run another marathon?” Fortunately, common sense kicked in. I realized I had no right to feel guilty for doing something that makes me feel strong, graceful, and beautiful.
Will American Ballet Theatre be calling me anytime soon? Nope. Is anyone calling from Eugene to find out why I am not at the Olympic Trials for Track and Field? Nope. And that’s fine by me. I am lucky to have a pair of legs versatile enough to help me grande jete across the dance floor and carry me through the finish line.
What have you felt guilty about? How did you deal with your feelings?