Tag Archives: healthier lifestyle

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?


The need to live a healthier lifestyle

I am healthier because I take ballet.

That’s a fact that I realize both physically and mentally.

When I returned to ballet at 39, I lost 45 pounds in a year. It was the first form of exercise I was able to consistently do in my adult life.

My sugar, my heart rate, my cholesterol are all at pretty good levels for man my age.

Being a non-smoker also contributes.

But I’ve also come to realize another important fact: Ballet is not enough.

I eventually gained about 15-20 of the pounds back. And even at my lowest weight, I was still a few pounds heavier than I wanted to be, and just couldn’t go any further.

There are a couple of reasons for that.

I may dance anywhere from 3 to 6 days a week, but I don’t eat like a dancer.

I don’t mean the anorexic, I only eat grass kind of dancer.

I eat like the sports writer I once was. I eat like the stressed-out single parent I’ve been most of my adult life. I eat like the late-night copy editor-page designer I’ve become. And the once-again college student pursuing a second degree in me hasn’t helped.

Fast-food, restaurant food, sports bar food, sodas, snack machines, microwave food, they have been the comfort foods, the convenience foods in my life that have been hard to give up.

I have friends who are into all of those “miracle” lose weight plans: ACE, Advocare …ect. I know that works for them. But that’s not me.

I need someone with nutritional knowledge who can help me plan affordable, healthier meals to help me live a more healthier life.

I also need an exercise routine to complement the ballet. I’ll be honest, I am not a self-motivator. Group exercise has always been something easier for me to do. That’s why ballet has worked when other things haven’t. I have someone who leads me, and others who are working toward the same things with me.

And a gym membership probably isn’t the answer. When your schedule revolves around kids, work, school and ballet, I feel I’ll get in a habit of paying for a gym membership I don’t really use. If I can find a place that allows you to pay as you go, that would be ideal.

Trying to come up with that healthier meal plan and coming up with that second form of exercise right now are two of my goals. Neither are that easy.

And they are just as tangible of goals as my dance goals: Being more consistent with my double pirouettes that I move on to triples, dance in a more complicated piece, perform another pas de deux and be a much technically cleaner, more fundamentally sound dancer than I am.