This week has been a particularly rough one health-wise.
Nothing extreme, but I over did it early in the week and have been dragging since Monday morning. I’m still getting used to the fact that being chronically fatigued is my reality and figuring out where my boundaries lie, but even in that every day is different from the next. You’re never quite sure what you’re gonna get. Still, you can be wise and stick to your limits. I’m still trying to find mine, and thought that I could add in a short walk once a week before the day gets really hot, but it turned out to be too much for me. I’m sad about this, since walking is where I see the most and best results overall, but I’m trying to accept it and be grateful for all the things I can still do.
I have added in water aerobics twice a week with my friend Krista, which had been absolutely wonderful. We’re the youngest be at least 30 years, but we’re in with a pretty good group this summer. The instructor we have right now is in high school still (or just graduated? Something like that) and is from Krista’s Church. She is such a sweet heart and really makes the class feel comfortable.
I quickly made friends with the 85-year-old in the class, Charlene, as we compared rheumatologist experiences and which canes we liked and why. Another lady also chimed in advice on my back, which I was grateful for. It’s nice to be around “my people,” even if they are grandparents and great grandparents. Being able to talk with someone about all of this who legitimately gets it because they’re going through the same thing, and also doesn’t talk to me like I’m a dainty youngin’ but rather an equal, it’s been really nice. I’m also super grateful to have Krista along for this ride. We’re CFS-ers together!
Although it’s been difficult to deal my butt to the studio some days, I love it. It’s more than worth it, and I know it’s not taking anything from me to teach, but rather helping me not just melt I to my bed and disappear there. I want to stay as active as I can for as long as I can, and being in an environment where I actually like to go every day is really wonderful. Not to mention the kids.
This summer I have really lucked out with some wonderful kids. I only have one class (out of 8 a week) that is a challenging, but even then they’re great if I have my assistants to help me out. (They’re life savers, I tell ya.) my 3-5 year olds are absolutely precious, having random bursts where they run up to me and hug my leg before they take their turn across the floor, faces beaming.
One of them today had missed a class or two. She came in a little late, so she missed the beginning where we all say our names. As she’s standing in line she asks, “what’s your name?” To which I say, “I’m Miss Emilee.” She replies, “Oh. Miss Emilee? This class is really fun. I like it a lot and I’m glad I’m here.” This is about the moment I became a liquid state and melted right there on the floor. She’s one of the older ones, and I’m always a bit concerned in the Summer dynamic that my 5 year olds will get bored being with so many 3 year olds. I was so glad to know that she was having a great time and it didn’t feel too “baby-ish” for her.
I have two sisters that I teach on Tuesday’s, one in my 3-5 and one in my 6-8. It’s their first time in Ballet, but they fell in love with the move Leap and asked to join Ballet. Their mom is a classics pianist and decided to sign them up. They are absolutely precious and have been soaking up everything I show them, which warms my heart as a teacher. This past Tuesday, the oldest was giving me a million hugs after class, asked her mom if she could take a picture of us, told me she wanted to print it out and frame it, and asked if I could come over to her house and dance ballet with her. I absolutely love kids and their unapologetic love that just spills out of them.
Another mom was in the foyer, watching her daughter dance in the class after mine. As I went to walk back to the office, she stopped me and thanked me for being such a positive influence on these kids. She told me how much it meant to her to see all the kids love me so much and how important it is for them to have someone like that in their lives and how rare it seems to be. She told me how she wished she had it growing up and hopes her daughter can have that. I asked if I teach her daughter and she said no and pointed her out to me in class. I thanked her so much for her words and told her how I didn’t really have that growing up either, and when I’d see flashes of it I clung to it. How I remember how it felt having it in those moments, and if I can be that to any one of these girls than that is success to me.
But really, as much as I’m told I inspire these kids and mean so much to them, they inspire me and mean so much to me. They’re my grounding. Knowing that I matter, even to these tiny humans, is the greatest honor in my life. It makes the days where I don’t want to get out of bed because I’ve found myself too far in the “dark place” worth trying just one more time. To have the opportunity to get to be surrounded by these little ones 5 days a week gives my life so much meaning. I’m beyond grateful, there aren’t even words.
Ballet has given me more than I ever could have hoped or expected. To think that I almost didn’t take that first class absolutely blows my mind. My life would be nothing like what it is. I don’t know what I would be doing now that I’ve gotten sick and had to quit my full time job. I wouldn’t have most of the friends I have, I wouldn’t know so many of the incredible people I know. I wouldn’t have gained the perspectives I have gained from meeting so many wonderful people from so many different places all over the world. I hate to even imagine my life without Ballet.
I am so grateful, I can’t say it enough. And every day I still get to step foot Into that studio is a day I cherish.
Also, side note, that Mom definitely didn’t have to say these nice things to me. She could have just kept it to herself. But she said them, and I can’t tell you what it means to hear them. If you think something nice about someone, even if they’re a stranger, say them. You may never know what it means to them to hear it.