Friday, February 17, 2012

Oh hey, it's Friday!

This morning, I treated myself with this:

A grande vanilla latte with skim milk, and a pumpkin spice cookie (okay, two pumpkin spice cookies) from my favorite neighborhood coffee shop.

I pulled over on the side of the road to park my car a little before 10. I felt a twinge of envy for all the people who were getting to enjoy their coffee while relaxing inside, or strolling down the street. It really is a beautiful morning. The sun is shining, you can feel the warmth in the air, and a little green is peeking out here and there. Just more proof that there are always brighter days, especially given the cold, rainy weather we had yesterday.

So last night, I went to my regular ballet class at 6:30 at my gym. I'm starting to feel a little more sense of friendship and belonging with the other people who come to class, even though I don't know their names. I started speaking up, helping others who were having trouble with steps, even after the teacher's demonstration. Then, when class ended, a few of the others in the class encouraged me to come to Zumba with I did! Saying "yes" and going with something new, rather than being nervous about the unknown, has always been a challenge for me. But I joined everyone in the large gym, walked out to a spot on the floor between strangers, and danced my ass off for the next hour. It. Was. So. Fun!

Earlier in the night, when we were doing a choreographed ballet step that took us across the entire floor, my teacher stopped me and said "you have the step right, but I want to see you dance it!" It wasn't the first time an instructor has told me to loosen up. In my 13 years of dancing, I'd definitely heard that one before. So that's what I tried to do during Zumba - loosen up, go with the music, not concentrate so hard on accurately executing every step. Just watch, and dance!

Now...where does all this go? In the end, it's all going to come back to my training work with Charlie, that beautiful beast of a 17-hand Holsteiner. In classical dressage, there is a very important part of riding and training called "let." You can really teach "let," you just have to do "let." It sounds simple - just relax - but it's more than that. It's allowing your hips to open up while your seat and legs melt onto your horse, maintaining a straight yet comfortable back, allowing your shoulders to drop (but don't you dare compromise that posture!) and your elbows to loosely hang at your side. Imagine weights on strings strategically attached to different points of your body, adjusting it into shape. That, is "let."

So, friends, here's to hoping we can all mentally "let" and cruise through Friday onto the weekend!

Oh yeah...and I didn't blow all of last night's hard work with this so-called breakfast...I have a hearty salad for lunch ;)

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