Do It Anyway!

Do It Anyway!

My Sunday Stories will come out later now because my dance-exercise studio, Impact Fitness, added a Sunday morning class and canceled a couple of the weekday sessions I used to attend.

I began going to Dance Trance classes in 2008, and I loved it from the beginning. The choreographed, energetic routines made me sweat—a lot—and I’d much rather dance than do other forms of exercise.

But I’m not that good at it. I’m slow to learn the new routines and have difficulty remembering them once I do. I walk out the studio door and forget everything I ever knew. I don’t think I have enough room in my brain to store all the steps and nuances of some 500+ routines.

I keep going back, even though I’m old enough to be the grandmother of some of the young’uns who attend. Many of them were raised in dance studios, so they see a new routine once and know how to do it.

When newcomers ask how long I’ve been coming, I tell them but quickly add that I’m an example of persistence, not ability. As soon as the music starts, they know why I say that.

When I was a child, every year, my mom asked me, “Is this the time we’re going to start Miss Jackie’s dance class?” A resounding no followed that question as I went off to play with my Tonka trucks in the sand pile my dad brought home for me whenever he built a new house. Now, I wish I had taken all those dance lessons.

A therapist who helped me for years knew what a perfectionist I was. I wouldn’t even try anything I didn’t already know I was good at. I gave up so many things—including my dream job as a feature writer and photographer within the first month—because it didn’t come easily. This therapist suggested I take up something new and never get better at it. I wouldn’t do it.

So, this morning, I’m off to practice doing something I’m not good at, and the most amazing part to me is that I love it. I enjoy every minute of dancing, even when I turn when no one else does, go left when everyone else goes right, or stand there with a blank look, waiting for muscle memory to kick in. Thankfully, the studio’s motto is no mistakes, only solos. I do a lot of solos.

Nicky, leading our Sunday morning dance-exercise class

My therapist would be proud.

Many people feel that way about writing. They fear trying and are sure they won’t be good at it. They think they haven’t experienced anything worth writing about, but they are wrong. We are usually terrible critics and judge our attempts harshly.

So, today, lock the critic in the closet and write for ten minutes. You may impress yourself. Then, share what you’ve written in the comments section below, and we’ll cheer you on.

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Please note: All grammatical and typographical errors have been put in this article for
your enjoyment in finding them.

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Orah Zamir
Orah Zamir
9 months ago

Here’s my story.

9 months ago

Patricia, I love to dance and I applaud your keeping up with your scheduled routine even when you’re doing “solos.” I laughed at the use of the term “solo” but it’s so visual and so encouraging the way it’s being used. I totally give kudos to your instructor for making everyone feel relaxed and special in the dance environment. I love it. My husband and I work at remembering a routine and I mean we work at it. Right now we’re headed to a 70th birthday party out of town and we’ve worked at a routine for a few weeks.… Read more »

marian gardner
marian gardner
9 months ago

My “therapist” some 30 years ago told me a diary was a poor man’s therapist. I had gone to her trying to get confirmation that a divorce from my husband of 25 years was what I needed to do. I was so emotional, I could not talk, I gave her a portion of my diary to read…. The first part described the issues; then six months later, she read, “same ole, same ole, still going on; up again, down again and the downs are lasting longer…”. She told me, “You will find the answers in your writing.” Writing has been… Read more »

Monique Cobbs
Monique Cobbs
9 months ago

Trying something is not a problem for me most of the time, because I like to be able to do things. Accepting the outcome may be challenging – especially if I expect more than my innate talents permit on the first try. But then that usually prompts me to try even harder, because I KNOW I should be able to get it done – whatever IT is at the moment. I am just a stubborn puppy.

Steven Weisberg
9 months ago

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.
W. C. Fields

WC Fields Photo.jpg
9 months ago

I think I need to add that to my Christmas letter, please note all grandma Cole and typographical errors have been put in the Christmas letter for your enjoyment in finding them. I’ve often said if I’m kidnapped and I have to write a note if every word is spelled correctly they know I didn’t write it.

Kit Dwyer
9 months ago
Reply to  Holly

That’s funny, Holly! 🙂

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