Me: I did a million crunches yesterday.
Dear Ballet Teacher: Truly? A million? That’s quite a lot.
Me: I’m fairly certain it was a million. I’m going for dancer abs after all.
DBT: Because I love you, I’m going to remind you of something very important about dancer abs.
Me: You love me? I love you too. You are the dear ballet teacher I never had.
Me: Never mind. Please continue.
DBT: Continue with the crunches and other core exercises, a strong core is very important. But even dancers don’t have permanently etched in stone dancer abs.
Me: I’m very certain that they do, anything less might be a sin.
DBT: Because you are special, I’m going to show you something!
Me: I think you’re very special too but this isn’t going to get all freaky and weird is it?
DBT: Dear, I have been a dancer longer than you have been alive.
Me: I’m older than you think.
DBT: I’m older than you think. Watch and behold. **With this statement, DBT, slouches and releases a beer gut. I practically fall to the sprung floor with laughter. DBT then resumes his regular danseur noble stance. ** We must zip up our tummy, dear. Imagine a zipper running from here (belly button) to here (bottom of rib cage). We do not suck it in, we zip it up, we hold ourselves together with strength. We must be ready to move, to jump, to dance with grace, yes, but with strength from our well balanced and strong core. Sucking in causes us to hold our breath. How long do you expect to dance without breathing?! No sucking in… zipping up, zipping up!
Life Lesson: Sometimes you just want to fake it by sucking it in and imaging it is different. But the reality is that strength and grace in life take more than hard work once a week, once a day. The very core of who we are still requires a maintenance and presentation that takes thought and effort. I guess I expected that there would just somehow be a point where I didn’t have to work at it any more, didn’t have to think about inner strength and inner grace, it could just be achieved and then bestowed upon me like a crown. Just having toned abs isn’t enough, you have to zip them up. And having a strong sense of self and of purpose isn’t enough either, you have to actually be engaged in your life, every moment of everyday!
In the words of my DBT: Let us dance, my lovelies, let us know dance.