Tales of an Unusual Monday

It’s Monday. I usually love Monday because it’s a new start to an awesome adventure, research has been going pretty well, weekends are regenerative… what more could you ask for? Today, I can think of a lot of things I would ask for. Like a nap. My brain has been in a fog all day, and I have a sinking suspicion that it has to do with major cross contamination at the dining hall on campus. But, you probably don’t want to hear me complain about my never ending food allergy conundrums. You’d probably be more interested in hearing about how I spent most of Friday in the operating room observing a surgery, or how I went to the Omaha Zoo on Saturday and bought a super cute penguin which I aptly named Penelope.

Yet, today is not the day for such stories, though you will hear about them soon. Today, I want to write about something that’s been on my mind for a long, long while. That something is dance. Rather, the conscious decision to not dance. This may sound ridiculous, but after 16 years of practicing, competing, improving, and making amazing memories and friends, I’ve decided to hang up my dance shoes… at least for the summer.

I actually thought about “retiring” from dance at the start of my junior year of university. I would like to say the main reason was the overwhelming amount of schoolwork, and while it’s partially true, it’s not the whole story. You see, the things that dancers hold as badges of honour were starting to take its tole on me. Sure, I can handle ripped open skin and aching muscles, but feeling bone grind on bone, tendons getting crushed between joints, and bones popping when I walked were becoming too much for my 20 year old body to handle. Although, that’s not the whole story either.

If I’m to be perfectly honest with you, the main reason I’m starting a new journey in my life is simply because I want to. I’m not making my decisions based on dance teachers or school or friends or the fact that I’ve been doing this for 16 years of my life. I’m doing it for me. I’ve come to terms with the fact that people and interests change. As long as you’re recognizing and following your passions and are happy with yourself, change is 100% okay.

So what path am I on now? Weightlifting, crossfit, and getting swole. When I started weightlifting I did it to cross train for dance. Two years later, I have discovered that I am in love with lifting heavy for its own sake. It makes me feel strong, alive, and happy. I feel like myself. I want to push myself farther than I thought was possible and I want to fall in love with this amazingly complex body that God gave me. I know that on the outside that sounds extremely vain, but coming from a girl who has had a ton of body image issues and eating disorder struggles, it’s a huge step in the right direction.

I promise that the next time I write, I’ll tell you about my exciting operating room and zoo adventures. However, I’m glad that I was finally able to get the whole dance thing off my chest.

I hope you had a lovely Monday 🙂

Ailish

P.S. I took the photo of the featured image at the gardens near the university I’m at. I guess I’ll have to share those adventures sometime too 😛

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