Praise and Progress

Praise and Progress

First, here is the promised picture of my (almost) finished bookcases and desk. I need to find a solution for all the power cords, they are ugly. And I need some sort of chair. The beautiful Louis Ghost chair I want will not become a reality for another few months I am afraid.

All the boxes gone

All the boxes gone

This is my 100th post, and I want it to be positive. It isn’t going to be hard to come up with positive things, because this past week has been very successful, ballet-wise. Franca said she noticed improvements and praised me several times. It really means much to me, because she only praises if we do something very correctly, not like Mandy, who is more generous with praise (and also with corrections). But Franca also corrected me a lot more, which means she now thinks I can apply the corrections and make progress. I am no longer a ‘lost cause’. She really seems to be taking pleasure in my weight loss and improved technique and strength. My relevé, which has always been a problem no matter how much I strengthened, has improved dramatically. On two feet, I am now as high up as anatomically possible, and it is coming on one foot, too. Franca noticed it and was happy about it; she used to say it was such a shame I couldn’t relevé better. With the relevé, pirouettes are generally more consistent, even en dedans ones. My extensions are higher, especially to the side (less fat in the way) and also to the back. In grands battements, my legs feel light and free, and I have kicked my arm several times. Strangely, the flexibility in my back has improved a lot, and I don’t really know why. It is by no means bendy, but when I’m warmed up, I now have a decent cambré and much improved arabesque. And my feet! Suddenly, they are much more flexible. There is a bump on my instep when I point, and their line has improved. Franca asked me whether I had been doing any exercises, but I hadn’t, not consistently anyway. It must be the amount of classes and trying to use my feet really well, always working against the floor, and maybe the improved relevé. I don’t really know and don’t care, as long as they are improved. Pointe is looking more and more like a definite possibility!

It is not just the weight loss, of course, but the constant hard work in class, which is now paying off. Mandy corrects our placement and our use of muscles and dynamics mercilessly, and I have discovered a whole new level of working. Pushing down into the floor to make the body long and stable; feeling a pull in the legs and feet, instead of just lifting the leg and pointing the foot; using the back and upper chest, which I never was  able to feel, or never paid much attention to. My body feels tidier, less chaotic and spread out, because I am learning to feel into it in greater and greater detail (and because there is less of it). The nicest thing, however, is feeling the line of a pose or step through my whole body, from the toes up the legs, through the back and neck and out of the fingers, and beyond, extending into space. Feeling the space around me, and myself moving through it. I can’t adequately describe it. It is just such a DELICIOUS feeling, you know? Better than any food.

Not only Franca was praising me, but also other students in class. I’m writing this down so I’ll never forget it, or for moments of doubt and despair that will certainly come. And also because I’m proud of myself, to be honest. Two older ladies with still wonderful bodies both told me I had beautiful flowing movements, and one said I had talent. It was nice, but very hard to accept such public praise. I’m sure I blushed, and I didn’t know what to say. But that’s not all. Belinda praised me too on Saturday, saying I was looking good and improving, and that she admired me for being able to lose so much weight. She touched my cheek in a sweet, motherly gesture as she praised me. I was really touched, and almost soared home.

What should I say when people make such comments on my weight loss, as they have been more often? That it’s acutally easy? Because it is, it’s pretty easy now. I am in a nice routine, I’m not fighting constantly against temptations and cravings, I’m too busy. I’m ready, I’m inspired and the rewards far outweigh the price I have to pay. I am pretty much at peace with myself, not trying to cover up feelings with food. There are issues, but I can deal with them or postpone them, mostly. Yet, less than a year ago, all this would have seemed utterly impossible and much too hard for me. So I can’t say “Oh, it’s easy, just eat less and move more.” I knew that all along, but I was never able to do it. But I also feel foolish saying “Oh, you just need to be ready and then it will work”. So I just say (and it is true) “I’m amazed myself at how well this is working for me at the moment”, and I readily share all I do to lose weight if they ask. There was a time a few months ago when – I have to admit – I was sort of judging others for being fat, but I have come to realise that you can only lose weight and keep it off if you are ready for it. How could I judge anybody now who isn’t ready if I was in their place for years and years?

About annalienor

Lover of beauty, adult ballet student, deliberate creator wannabe.
This entry was posted in Ballet, Health, Interior Design, Milestone, Moment, My Flat and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Praise and Progress

  1. antoinetta13 says:

    Love your descriptions of how ballet feels!

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