In December when every muscle in my body ached even while lying perfectly still, the return to ballet class seemed a pipe dream. As the achiness persisted, I feared the possibility that dancing had been relegated once and for all to the back closet of my life, along with playing the Chopin Barcarolle and using the Russian genitive plural case. I threw out my Colburn dance card, even with a few classes left on it, rather than be frustrated by the reminder each time I opened my wallet.
After the beginning of the year, I willed myself into movement. Going back to the gym was the hardest, but best thing, for me, and I gradually ramped back up to my normal routine. In February I did try a tai chi class, which curiously turned out to be more a form of Korean meditation and isometrics. I wondered what was going to happen after the March treatment, but I skated through it. My doctor thinks maybe I had some weird virus in December, holding the Rituxan innocent.
None the worse for wear last week after one hour and 15 minutes of a Zumba class with women literally half my age, I dared to think I might be sufficiently rehabilitated to tackle ballet class again. Driving the familiar road to Colburn, I remembered how I couldn’t finish the last class I went to there several months ago. Stamina to get through the 90 minutes, alertness to follow the combinations, core strength to remain upright, muscle control for the grace – was I kidding myself?
For all of the stretching I have been doing, it takes looking in the mirror alongside real dancers to see how much range of motion I still need to regain. But I was not embarrassingly bad, and I made it through the entire class.
If I have achy muscles tomorrow, I needn’t fear the reason. In fact, I’ll consider them badges of honor. And I’ve got a new dance card in my wallet as motivation to be back on a regular basis.