I generally loathe missing class.
Even if I pretend like it’s good to take a break, 9.8 times out of 10 I really wish I could be in class and have to make myself be okay with the fact that I had to miss.
I made the decision to forgo class today. For a few frustrating reasons. My stomach has felt pretty terrible and I know using the core so much would make things worse, the weekend left me a little sleep deprived (not enough to phase most, but it doesn’t take much to phase me nowadays) and the drive is long, and I was a bit afraid I’d zone out and fall asleep with my eyes open on the way there. (Yeah, this is a thing that happens.)
I really wanted to be in class. I wanted to move and express and work hard on something I care about. I wanted to grow and learn and strive. I wanted to do something that makes my heart forget it’s trouble and remember why I’m glad to wake up every morning.
That sounds dark.
But, whatever, I guess honesty is a good chunk of me is dark and if you spend enough time around me it comes out and becomes evident.
Mix that with having to fight some unknown sickness every day, uncertain how bad you’ll feel or which ways your body will decide to react or how you’ll handle food. It’s subtle, and I can generally play it off, but I’d be lying if I told you it wasn’t there every day. I just don’t know what to do about it so I largely ignore it. I can’t afford to see my doctor and see about more tests to try and convince them that it’s more than IBS and I suck at explaining how I feel with it since it’s been my normal for a good part of my life. I get depressed, I get anxious. I worry over how it affecting me affects others and if I talk about it too much or make other people uncomfortable because I know it’s hard to understand, especially if I can’t explain it.
I wanted to be in class, but instead I came home and have been in bed for the last three hours, making myself not get up and do things I know I need to do because I’ll just feel worse if I do them.
Yesterday I pushed my body farther than I have in a while. (Probably contributing to the heightened issues today.) One of my longest-standing dear friends and I decided to road trip to Lost Maples (about an hour from San Antonio, TX in the hill country.) And hike around a bit. My friend is super hard core, especially with hiking, and this is something she absolutely loves to do and used to do with another friend of hers before she moved. We both had been having a rough time and needed to get away, but our bank accounts wouldn’t let us go far, so we decided we would get in the car Sunday and drive.
I was actually semi-shocked at how well I kept up. I didn’t feel that she was really hanging back for me or that I was holding up the progress much. There was a point on a steep incline that I had to stop more than I wanted, but it was because of my stomach. The core usage was pushing it past it’s limits and when it started weakening, my legs started feeling shaky and I felt every last pound I’m carrying, haha.
But I made it. I kept going. I pushed myself. I saw beautiful parts of my state I had never seen, smelled the fresh air, engaged in deep and sometimes cheesy conversations, and made a great memory with a cherished friend. Getting out into nature does wonders for one’s soul, and sadly I don’t get to do enough of it around here.
Five years ago, that hike would have been impossible. In fact, five years ago hiking was near impossible. I was really overcome by whatever illness this is and couldn’t even finish the easiest hike. I was weak and lightheaded and afraid I’d pass out every few minutes.
Since I started dancing, I’ve noticed an increase in stamina. I may not be able to scale mountains or even jump rope for a solid two minutes without stopping, but I can baby sit and actually go out and play with the kids without feeling like I’m gonna fall over at any moment. My brain may lag a bit, but it’s sharper than it’s ever been. I’m able to go hiking with my friend and do the “rough and strenuous” mile and a half section of the trail and not feel like I’m just anxiously hoping the end is near, but instead actually enjoying what I’m doing and the work my body is putting in to do it.
There was a point when we crossed a little creek on these exposed stones. My friend went first and I followed behind, all casual. She turned around and glanced at me as we continued on and told me dance is really working for me. She said before that would have been a real struggle for me and I just took it like it was nothing and didn’t have stability struggles. She said my ankles were clearly stronger and not too long ago I wouldn’t have been able to do that. It was cool coming from this friend. She’s the hard core, boxing, hiking and rock climbing, 60-plus mile bike riding friend. I’ve been the weak, slow, lacking friend for as long as I can remember. And I do ballet, which isn’t all that hard core with our tutus and toe shoes. But now I’m starting to get muscle tone, and my ankles can handle wobbly rocks with ease, and I’m keeping up on hikes. In spite of being sick, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.
And sometimes dance can make me feel terrible. Some classes I leave wondering how I even get through with how many things I’m fighting against. Sometimes my body hurts so much in so many places that all I can think about is all the pain I’m in and all the things I seemingly can never achieve.
But then I get into class. And I feel that sense of euphoria doing what you love the most makes you feel. And it acts as a sort of balm over all the pain and discomfort I feel. It gives me something to work towards and feel good about. It gets my blood pumping and makes me stronger, which in turn helps me fight whatever this is even if it hurts many days.
It sucks missing a class. But I know there are more classes ahead. I know I have this one body that I have to take care of and if I’m not feeling quite up to par and I have the option to sit it out, I need to sit it out so I can push through when the time comes.
My friend got some dance pictures of me at Lost Maples, but I don’t have them yet. I’ll post them when I do. Until then, here are some pictures I got of our trip 🙂