Confessions of a Ninja Ballerina: Humility

First off, you must understand that I AM NOT FULL OF MYSELF. I promise.

Anyways, when you’ve been dancing in your studio since it started, you tend to become one of the better dancers there, one of the senior dancers. You get feeling pretty good about yourself.

And then you go somewhere else.

Somewhere where there are girls who have been dancing seven years longer than you.

And suddenly you’re at the bottom of the ladder when you were previously on the top.

My first experience with this was at Ballet Magnificat. There I was surrounded by two hundred girls, half of which were way more talented than I was.

I was in the lower half of the levels the first year and it was weird for me.

But there are two ways a little forced humility can affect you. You can let it destroy your self-confidence and eat away at you until you hate whatever it is you’re doing, or you can let it motivate you.

I chose to let the experience drive me towards a goal.

Over the course of the next year, I worked harder than I ever had before. And I accomplished my goal of reaching level 9 this past summer. Even then, however, I was in the bottom half of level , still dwarfed by the beautiful girls there.

But that’s ok, because I came home motivated again. I don’t really have a goal, besides to get better, but that’s ok.

Even just going to another studio in town with Golden Boy has been a sufficiently humbling experience. The girls there are soooo good.

So don’t let a little reality destroy you. It can be extremely┬áhealthy if you let it.

Confessions of a Ninja Ballerina: Strength

I’m a ballerina. My legs are super strong, so are my feet.
But, my arms? Nooooot so much.
I’m woman enough to admit that when I first started taekwan-do I could barely do ten push-ups, and that’s only going half way down.
Needless to say, I wasn’t the most impressive person there.
Over about four years of TKD, I didn’t improve much, mostly because I avoided push-ups like plague.
But there was hope.
One of my coworkers, Aaron, started making the kids in the class we teach together do push-ups. Of course, I was expected to set a good example and do the push-ups too.
So, every week, twice a week, I would grudgingly sink to my knees, straighten my legs until I was on my feet, and stretch out into a less-than-fantastic push-up position. We would then proceed to do 10, disgusting, horrific push-ups.
I still didn’t improve much. Maybe I got through the ten grueling push-ups a little easier, but I still couldn’t go down too far.
Then I realized that I didn’t actually want to improve that much. I hated push-ups, so why be good at them?
Lately I’ve been pushing myself a little bit more. Going down just a touch farther and forcing myself all the way back up, no matte how hard. I won’t pretend it’s purely self motivation that propels me through my least favorite exercise at TKD. The teasing from the guys helps a lot. Besides Aaron, we have an army dad taking classes. He likes giving me a hard time about my push-ups, all in fun, but still. Drives me to show them that I can do push-ups too.
I have most definitely been improving though. I can get almost all the way down for the first five.
I suppose the only point to this blog post is that striving to do better at something is half the battle. If you don’t want to improve, you won’t.
So go do your push-ups like a man.