Toughen up.

I’ve been having issues with my pointe shoes, which has turned into quite the process. So when I couldn’t take it anymore, I found the first Saturday I had open, text my friend Sarah from class, and planned a road trip to San Antonio to see about a remedy.
I liked the shoes I have, but I couldn’t do a darn thing on my right foot because the pain in the big toe was immense. It’s kinda obvious that if you’re going to be dancing on your toes, they’re probably going to hurt, but this was unavoidable. It wasn’t something you could ignore and get through, not without more severe injury. So Sarah and I trekked up to Dorothy’s, to have the pointe shoe fitter man help me out. I ended up keeping the same shoe, so that’s good. I really do like them, I just didn’t know what was causing this. I did get the next size up, though, which is minuscule, but makes a big difference. I wanted to ask him what he thought since he was concerned about the left toe last time I went in. This time he told me, “Just get over it.” Which could have made me really mad, since it made me sound like I’m a wuss. I’m not a wuss. I actually have a really high pain tolerance, but since I’ve been sick I’ve had to make myself stop and look into things I would normally trudge through, even though that is frustrating beyond reason for me. I just brushed it off and knew when Monday came that I would just need to fight through it and know that the pro told me not to worry about it, so it wasn’t something I needed to worry about.
Monday’s class was great, although I’m rather behind since I’m just now able to do things the way they’re supposed to be done. I have to re-train myself and learn all the little details I could never attain before. Yesterday’s class was even better. Still have some things to work through, but each class I learn a little more and am able to press my limits further.

Apparently I’m not putting my weight in the right place, because I kept falling backwards in releve passe when that right foot was on releve. Jilissa pointed it out and showed me where I’m supposed to be. I think I stand a little arched, so this throws off my balance when it comes to dance. I need to straighten out, taking me forward a little more which in turn makes all the difference. As we discussed it, I mentioned my right toe being the one that gives me issues, and that I’m still trying to work through it. The was Jilissa worded it was similar to the pointe shoe fitter man: “You’re gonna have to get over it.” I wanted to explain that I was aware of this, that I’m not a wuss, that I’m actually very determined which gets me in trouble so I have to make myself be more cautious. That it’s like my hyper extension–I can have perfect ballet leg lines, but if I go too far, it hurts my knees, so I almost have to err on the side of caution until I find the balance. (I also pushed my extension too far yesterday and ended up hurting my knees. Side note, I think I’m starting to get some feeling back where the nerve damage was. Not sure why. It’s a really weird feeling.)

Jilissa made a point; no matter where we go in life, what kind of a role ballet plays in our story, we will be better women for it. It’ll make you stronger, not just physically, but mentally, too. You’ll find yourself enduring pain that most people would find debilitating, and most doctors find alarming.

It’s already made me toughen up. For one, I’m not letting myself get upset for people making comments that could easily be interpreted as calling me weak or a wuss or whatever. But you know what, instead of getting upset about it, I’m gonna take it as a challenge. I’m gonna push myself so hard that they have to notice the improvement. Even if they never say a word, if she corrects me in class, I’ll know I’m doing something. She sees something in me to make it worth offering me improvements.

I will be stronger.
I will fight.
I will endure.
I will be tough.

No more of the labels placed on me as a kid that I am weak emotionally, physically, mentally, etc. If people only knew what I’d been through, they’d change their tune. Does that mean I stop trying to be better? Not at all. It means I push harder. Do people have to understand for it to be worth it? Nope. If they don’t want to see my full story, that’s not my fault and shouldn’t affect me. I should just keep going and keep pressing on. I should find my inspiration where I do and use it to fuel the fire.

I will be tough.


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