If you don't take a risk, you'll never know what you can do.


I am a strong believer in the idea that you should do things that scare you, otherwise you'll only live a portion of your potential life. Risk taking is the only way to know your true limits, yet it is so hard to do! Everything is scary the first time you do it--try to think of something that isn't. Growing up, everything is new and exciting, but also so terribly overwhelming--they don't call it growing pains for nothing. As adults, we often shy away from taking risks or trying new things because it puts us out of our comfort zones, and God forbid we do something that might be hard or embarassing. Sadly, we end up in the same patterns again and again, not knowing what amazing adventures are out there waiting for us!

Last night, I took a risk. I went to my first dance class in somewhere around 5 years.

I almost didn't, though! After my sad day (which continued to be sad--everything made me cry and the book I am reading now isn't exactly light summer fare), I went home, napped, and made a big dinner. Fuzzy came home, and I suggested going for a walk to the Deluxe Diner for an ice cream sundae instead of my going to class. We ate, and Fuzzy worked his magic. He told me that if I could take this class while feeling a little off and after having a sad day, it would make every class from here on out a breeze. It would be a great accomplishment. He had a good point, and one I couldn't argue with.

I suited up--it was a hip hop class I was taking--and he walked the 4 blocks down to Joel Hall with me, holding my hand and encouraging me the whole way. I was terrified, but also excited. I went in, signed in at the desk, and hit the studio for some pre-class stretching.

Hooooboy, that shit was hard! The class didn't have any level listed with it, only "Hip Hop" on the schedule, so I knew it might not be a beginner class. The teacher was a tall, muscular, and dreadlocked man who is exactly who you would expect to be an amazing hip hop dancer. The warmups were great--I kept up with almost all of them, the across the floor work was good--a lot harder, and the floor routine--my God, the floor routine. It was so fast and intricate and it really made me appreciate the dancers I work with when I teach a new routine. He would dance it full out and fast, then shrug and say "See? Easy." Easy, indeed. I floundered a lot, and laughed a lot, and was no where near getting the routine by the end of the class. I was able to keep up with the counts, and I was proud of that, even if the moves themselves didn't make it out of my body. I thought about leaving in order to save face, but figured walking out would be more shameful that sticking with it and trying. And I would hate to give up on my first attempt. After the class, I thanked him for kicking my ass on my first class back in years, therefore acknowleding that I was out of my league. He was a great sport about it.

Walking home those 4 blocks was one of the hardest walks of my life. I was drenched with sweat, out of breath, and unbelievably thirsty. When I got home, Fuzzy was my biggest cheerleader--he was so supportive and excited for me. I chugged 3 glasses of Gatorade, which took me back to my teenage days of keeping the fridge stocked with Gatorade for post-class hydration. And then I noticed something on the counter--as if Fuzzy wasn't wonderful enough, he had gone to the store while I was gone and gotten waffle bowls, hot fudge, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, nuts, and maraschino cherries, so that he could make me a celibritory ice cream sundae!!

Seriously--my wonderful husband, who got me the gift certificate to the dance classes I have wanted to take also made me an ice cream sundae after class because he knew I was craving one. I know how lucky I am.

Today I am super sore, but I am so glad that I went. I am proud of myself for doing something I was nervous about and for getting active again. Next, I am going to try a Modern I class and a Jazz I class, and hopefully even ballet soon, too. Now that I've taken that first step, I am not afraid of anything. In fact, I am really excited about it.


This is what you call a "feel good" story.
I know, because it made me feel good to read it.

Rock on, mamacita.

That is awesome Erica! I'm proud of you. That must have felt delicious.

That sounds good. I am proud of you very much. That sounds incorrect! I am very proud of you, very much so.