Can I do this again?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and for good reason.

I thought I’d given up ballet for good. Not long after I retried to get back into ballet, I was promoted to publisher of the small town newspaper that I was editor of.

The long drive and added duties pretty much led to that decision.

Well, something else happened that has rocked my world a little bit. My daughter and I had both been battling weight problems, so we finally decided to find a family doctor in this small New Mexico town.

I was feeling good about where I was at 50. My heart rate is good. My blood pressure was fine. My lungs checked out as I expected as a non-smoker. But because I was overweight (really, I was shocked I weight only 218, which I thought was OK for a man my age), the doctor suggested I do fasting labs.

Maybe doing that right after Thanksgiving wasn’t a great idea. I’m not going to say I’m a border-line diabetic. You either are, or you aren’t. My sugar is too high. My cholesterol is a little high, too.

It’s really not surprising. Too many sodas and too much fried food finally caught up to me.

Changing my diet was the first order of business.

The second? The doc wants me to exercise 4-to-5 days a week.

I started walking. And my cousin and I have set a goal to run in a 10K.

My daughter suggested I get back in dance.

Yeah, at 50.

But it was the only form of exercise I’ve consistently stuck with most of my adult life.

I thought about going back to one of the couple of places I’ve tried since moving to New Mexico.

They’d probably say “you again? how long before you quit again?”

Another dance studio kept popping up in my Facebook feed that encouraged people to give their classes a try after the holidays — including adults.

So I sent an email about the lone adult class listed I could take because of my schedule. I mentioned I took open classes back at my old school in Alabama, and that I had mainly character role performing experience.

Rather than receiving an email giving a little information on the class, the school director asked that I give her a call.

She was curious about my performing experience. A company was not listed on the website or Facebook page. But it turns out the school is attached to a company.

She is encouraging not only to take the class that I sought, but a couple of regular classes she teaches of which adults are allowed to take … and that includes a partnering class that includes adults. She said I could take them at my own pace.

“We also have a choreographer who needs another man for a character role for a ballet this spring about ancient Greece,” she said. “Look at me, I’m already trying to cast you and you haven’t taken a class.”

Really, even at my age, the thought of a partnering class and a performance opportunity does excite me.

And I’m looking forward to taking class tomorrow night.

But some of my doubts have already creeping in about how my skills have already eroded. Seriously, it’s been really two years since I was seriously taking class (not counting the false starts).

What if I’m too fat? What if she says, sorry, you’re not what I thought you were?

I’ve decided to try to have fun tomorrow night.

But I have to wonder … Can I do this again?


4 responses to “Can I do this again?

  • bushballerinablog

    I loved reading this post and feel very excited for you but my more practical side thought of saying this: 1) Yes, you can do it. 2) You will find out in time if you enjoy doing it.

    I think if it peaks your interest at all then you should follow it for as long as you enjoy it.

    Considering you now NEED to excerise for your health, you might as well give this a go. It would be lovely if you found happiness in it again.

    And we all know we do tend to workout harder when we have music and things like choreography to focus on. So you may find it’s an easier one to get to your target weight/health with?

    I know sixty year olds who have started late and gone en pointe. The age is only a barrier in your mind.

    And yes, you have been two years without it, so it will take a while to gain that skill level back, but just start and see how you go.

    For fun and health — everything else comes after that.


  • asher

    Yes! If there’s anything that I think I’ve learned from watching D catch fire with aerials (he’s also 50, by the way, and had no proof experience, so you’re one I on him there), it’s that the best way forward is to do the things that motivate you.

    Having a performance lined up might help you keep going when it gets though (and, honestly, I envy the heck out of that opportunity; even though I’m forging a path as a performer and choreographer in the broader sense, ballet is my true love, and ops are thin on the ground here even for guys).

  • asher

    *no prior experience; *ballet* ops are thin… Ack, sorry. Didn’t proof-read my comment at all 😛

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