I had a weird thought the other day, while in my stretch and flex class at CH. During the class, you obviously do a ton of stretching, but each class focuses a little more on one thing or the other, depending on what the instructor plans for the day. This week, we worked a lot on our splits and backs. Now, I am not terribly flexible. I have *some* flexibility in doing a seated splay on the floor and folding over it, to try to get my chest to the floor. But, in most respects, I am not flexible. My back, shoulders, legs, hips…not flexy. I have strength, I have a reasonable amount of grace (or so I am told – I point my toes most of the time!), but flexibility is not my strong suit.
Anyway, we were doing a stretch on our backs, pulling one straightened leg up and as close to our chests/faces as we could, and I caught myself just staring at my foot. Really staring at it. Moving it this way and that, looking at the tendons move, etc.
And – even if this makes me sound like a lunatic – I kind of fell in love with it.
Here’s the thing: to be an artist is to learn how to express through a given instrument. I don’t care what kind of art you do – it’s a form of expression. For some folks, their instrument is a pen, or a paint brush; for others, it’s a computer; others, it’s a guitar or an oboe; for some, it’s their voice, through song or spoken words; writers of all kinds, actors, dancers…whatever type of artist you are, there is some kind of instrument that allows you to release your expression into the world.
I think that the best way to tap into that is to fall in love with whatever your instrument might be – and to connect with it, and yourself, in such a way that the expression is fluid.
For a pole dancer, falling in love with your body is a pretty important thing. And, it might be daunting. You might hate your thighs. Or your skin. Or something that nobody else notices but you. I know I have things about myself I’m less than thrilled with…
But, in that moment, I was totally in love with my foot. I went through the rest of the class amazed by all of the things our bodies could do, but most of all, what my body did. I was surprised and challenged and thrilled by all of it.
I think that will be one of my things to keep in mind, from here on forward: take the chance to be present and fall in love with my body every time I am in a class, even if it’s piece by piece. Sometimes, pole can be so challenging that it feels antagonistic, so a little love could go a long way.