Before the end of ‘22 I’d like to start learning Aerial Hoop aka Lyra. This new, artistic journey has been in my heart for years and on the calendar for weeks. It was supposed to begin today. I woke up at an ungodly hour for a Sunday and braved the NYC subway system which defied me with delays and re-routed trains. Typical weekend shit. I ended up arriving too late for them to admit me into class. Understood. So I spent the next hour commuting back to Brooklyn feeling defeated; to which I drowned my disappointment in gluten free banana pancakes smothered in strawberries and Vermont maple syrup.
Something I’ve been consistent at this year is Pilates. Yes, I’m a bonafide Contrology Freak™️ but, when life feels overwhelming, I tend to make up random excuses and neglect my workouts. And let’s just say, life has felt a bit overwhelming this year. #realtalk
Despite my passion for Pilates, left to my own devices, I might squander my time ruminating on any and every stressor I can lament over. But, instead, I’ve leaned into my practice as a grounding ritual that boosts my mood and reminds me that I’m capable of transformation and growth.
My favorite mood enhancer is – hands down- movement. I’ve always been active and welcoming endorphin rushes since I was a kid. Back then I was a tree climbing, kick-balling, bun-headed ballerina. As an adult, I became a professional dancer, aerial artist and Pilates teacher. But I don’t move for the feel-good hormone hits alone. I do it for the confidence boost too. Any movement practice that requires progressive skill-building through repetition, dedication and time creates an “I can” mentality. And nothing fuels my mood more than feeling like a badass.
I am committed to a lifetime of fitness for function, fun, and adventure! I wanna pole dance when I’m sixty… jump out of a plane when I’m seventy… and zip-line through the jungles of Costa Rica when I’m eighty. #claimingit So before the weight of gravity continues to humble my ambitions any further, I’m fighting back with movement!
I respond to criticism about my body by internalizing it. I wish I had a more evolved way to deflect the sucker punches to my ego. But since I was a young dancer, I’ve absorbed people’s words and accompanying body language like a sponge as they commented on my thighs, my complexion or whether or not I could ever become a dancer – because of my body. That whole “sticks & stones” concept is false. Words hurt. And the pain of them lingers in my subconscious, no matter how many times I rattle off “I’m rubber, you’re glue!”.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m most comfortable in my skin when I’m at my performing weight. What can I say? I’m a product of a culture and a career that celebrates specific beauty ideals. I’ve been conditioned to believe that my appearance determines my worth. That my skills and talents can be overshadowed by an appearance that doesn’t match society’s standard. That lives in my subconscious but the critical voices are loud and on auto-loop. I’m not proud of it but, yes, I’d be much more comfortable in my skin if I were at