Thursday, February 21, 2013

Reliving some childhood activities.

So a long, long time ago in a far away land, I did ballet. I was always a very active little kid in dance & cheer. I remember taking ballet, tap, baton & even was a cheerleader for a couple years. I know what you are thinking, "Her?! A Cheerleader?!" Truth was I never let my weight rule my life in those early years and my parents encouraged me to do what I liked. I was overweight, but I was very active. My most famous "role" was in a dance called the "Funny Bunnies". My mom still calls me her Funny Bunny. I'm the tallest one.

 On top of dance classes I was in T-ball every spring/summer as well. I wasn't the fastest kid on the team, my Mom would always yell at me from the stands "Run faster! There's a tiger chasing you!!" to try to get me to move my chubby little legs faster!

Fast forward to now. I've been getting more active and for some reason Ballet came back into my mind. I haven't done it in over 20 years but I knew it was something that would be great for toning and working my leg muscles especially. I found an Adult Beginner Ballet class at St. Louis Ballet School and even though I'm not your typical ballerina I signed up. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there in pink tights & a black leotard at 272lbs. I was very nervous. I was just praying that the people in the class wouldn't judge me and bring back all those horrible memories from Middle school & High school about being pointed and laughed at. However, I was doing this for me. I wanted to do something fun and enjoyable and I held my chin high as I walked into class. 

There was only 5 of us. A 65yr old lady & 3 20-somethings who were all thin as rails. The nerves went into over drive, but I kept my cool and introduced myself and proceeded to do the best that I could. Sure, there are things I just can't physically do yet at my size and lack of strength but overall I went right along with the class. I wouldn't really consider it a "beginner" class though. Someone who has no ballet experience at all would be completely lost. They expect you to know your basic ballet positions & terms for sure. It's crazy what you can remember because my feet just seemed to remember certain things! 

It's an hour & 15 minute class. I did not prepare well protein or fluid wise for it. I was just so excited about doing it that I totally forgot the most basic important things to keep myself strong and make it through class. I made it through about 50mins before I started to feel it. I started getting clammy, faint and I was pale as a ghost. I had to leave w/ 20mins left in class or I might have hit the floor. Fueling yourself for any exercise is important, but fueling yourself after weight loss surgery is even MORE important because of your limited intake. I learned a big lesson that night. EAT BEFORE CLASS!!! I will better fuel myself next Tuesday and I WILL make it the whole class time. These are my goals. 

Yes, it was hard. My leg muscles are killing me! However, it was FUN! Once I let my guard down and forgot about everyone else in the room and just followed the instructor, who is a company dancer for the ballet school by the way, I was enjoying it. I am very much looking forward to next week and hope that I can do a little better each week. Adding ballet class to my workout schedule is definitely upping the ante and is going to do wonders for tightening & toning my leg muscles and overall improving my balance & coordination. 

What have YOU done that has taken you out of your comfort zone? How did it feel?

So for now, here's a couple photos of me before my first ballet class in over 20 years. Go ahead, laugh. It IS kinda funny!

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