Dancing with Fear, Part 3: Moving My Body, Walking My Edge

Truth: I am desperately afraid of hurting myself when I move.

I think this is because injuries and I have a long and not-so-proud history. From chronic Achilles tendonitis in my teens and 20s, to a periodically spasm-y back, to my knee which went PING last year, I have a history of getting hurt when I dance. (I think this has a lot to do with dancing from the outside-in and not listening to or respecting my body, but that’s a whole other blog post, and something I’m working through)

Unfortunately, my automatic reaction to this fear has been to stop dancing. I don’t just mean stop whatever I’m doing when I start to hurt (because that’s a very good idea). I mean stop dancing for weeks, months, or years—falling into stasis.

Resting is one thing, ceasing to move at all is another.

I mention this because I’m finding the process of moving, truly moving, my body again to be a challenge. First, there’s the muscle soreness and the emotional pain of realizing just how weak I’ve become. Even though I’ve been trying to move my body every day for a while now, it’s not the same. My muscles are struggling to wake up again. But that’s nothing compared to the overwhelming fear. What if I can’t move my body the way I want? What if I hurt myself? What if something snaps or pops and I can’t move at all? Wouldn’t it be safer to stay a little more still? Take a few less risks?

NO.

Today’s Delicious Body Dance-a-thon piece is my first step through that fear. I took my movement just outside of my comfort zone and walked my edge. It was hard. It was scary. It’s difficult for me to sense where my edge ends and “too much, too soon” begins for this body of mine. I know what it used to be able to do, and not what it can do now. So I’m inching forward carefully. I want to walk my edge, not smash through it (and shatter myself).

But here’s another truth: this take is a thousand times more satisfying and true to my instincts than my first attempt (which you will never see). Because I took that risk and leaned into that fear.

There is so much possibility in walking my edge…like the possibility that (with time and effort and love) I will be able to extend that edge and move again the way I remember moving (or in a way I never imagined). The way I see myself moving in my mind’s eye.

That possibility is dizzying in its sheer awesomeness.

Here it is:

 

7 thoughts on “Dancing with Fear, Part 3: Moving My Body, Walking My Edge”

  1. Your post & dance are really moving, Meg. I applaud your courage. You are ROCKIN’ it so hard, and I know your body will become more and more awake as you continue to move, to ease your way in. Quiet, slow awakenings. And the occasional walk to the edge 😉 So beautiful, you.

    xo,rachael

    1. Also, in my case, a “Holy crap, I’m about to fall over because I haven’t moved like this in so long!” assistant 😛

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