It’s been ten years and there have been some things medical science has been able to “fix”, and some that it cannot. I arm myself with knowledge and a regime to keep me mobile and self reliant. It isn’t my nature to forever grieve and there are things bigger and better in life than unencumbered walking. (Yeah, I said it!) If I have learned anything from life, it’s adapt and move on. Given the opportunity, I knew it was my chance to “dance anyway”. A year later, the title “professional” dancer is, by definition, correct, but I have much to learn to reached the skill level I see in the Company. Another day of mastering “tilts” in rehearsal today kicked up a familiar demon in me.
My orthopedist calls it the “fear/pain response”. Fear causes the body to hesitate, pain cause the body to “lean” away from the cause. Though it is “normal”, one has to constantly be aware that hesitation can lead to panic, leaning to inappropriate compensating and BOTH can lead to a heap of body on the floor. Falling has its consequences beyond bruises, but that is true for everyone. Seated dancers don’t statistically injure themselves more often than standees. We’ve all taken out each other’s toes and delivered a limb to an eye. I knew I wasn’t really afraid of the drop or even pain. I know falling is just a means to the end of gaining experience and confidence of what I CAN train my body to do. But….
“What if I never measure up, what if I can’t be as poised, as quick, as precise, as strong, as…..
ah, there it was……. Failure.
“Never giving up” doesn't always mean success, and practice doesn't always make perfect. These are hard truths in an optimistic heart. But beyond “try try again” is something our director often says, ADAPT! We are all pushed to the standards of the most accomplished around us, and we judge ourselves accordingly sometimes. Yet, if the boss sees it isn’t working, it doesn’t mean one is “out”. Like any artist, the laws of physics can be an inconvenient truth, but it is also a sign that he never thinks of us inside a box, off in a corner or “confined to a chair”. Sometimes adaptation is the mother of invention, and a close kin to imagination too. Now that is the kind of “inspiration” I can seriously get behind. So, setting up this evening on icepacks, I can at least know that today I didn’t give in to fear, took the fall, and have the proud bruise to prove it.