It has been 6 years, to the day, since I published my first post on this blog!
As is tradition at times like this I am going to look back on things that have happened in the last year and as, this is technically a new year post (woohoo happy new year everyone) I am going to look forward to the next year and think about what it might hold for me.
Since I started this blog as a means of keeping myself accountable for a spur of the moment 365 days of fitness plan, I have done far more things than I originally anticipated.
I have got fit, lost weight, gained some weight back, lost it again (repeat ad infinitum) got injured (plantar faciitis, broken ankle, shoulder injuries…the list goes on), lost fitness, gained it back (repeat etc) but that is all par for the course because fitness and weight loss (or size loss or whatever) are not linear processes.
I tried a plethora of different fitness classes, I ran hundreds of miles, I lifted thousands of kgs, I danced millions of dances. I did insanity, Insanity max 30, and more! I trampolined, did adults gymnastics, I even tried zumba!
I did all of that and more, with the single goal running through the whole thing, the goal of being fit enough to dance in a mask.
Through everything I did, the goal was always to dance better. I wanted to feel better about myself so I wasn’t embarrassed to dance. I wanted to change myself so I wasn’t an embarrassment to dance with. At the end of the day I just wanted to dance and dance well.
However, some things have happened recently that have made me doubt the whole thing. (I am editing this post as we speak, I attempted to write it as a scrupulously fair, balanced account with caveats so as not to offend anyone, but it didn’t work as a post. I am, instead going to write about my reactions and feelings which were as they were whatever anyone else thinks about them.)
There was an incident involving a misunderstanding and some aggressive behaviour at a dancing weekend which shook me considerably, so much in fact that it, in combination with some peoples reactions to it, made me leave without dancing in order to protect my mental health. I had to remove myself from the situation at that moment if I was to stand a chance of coming out of it without considerable anxiety.
Shortly after this incident, a well meaning member of the side chose the worst time ever to suggest that I may be doing myself damage by dancing, that I may not be fully capable on my ankle . It was suggested to me that I was in a lot of pain dancing (I wasn’t even in a little bit of pain most of the time),it was making people uncomfortable and that I was too heavy to dance comfortably.
These two issues were completely separate. They have unfortunately become combined in the minds of some members of the side. It became apparent, after some further communication from different people, that my decision to leave the dancing weekend was not universally supported or understood, and that my fitness to dance was so in question (in some quarters) that I was compromising the quality of the performance. It was suggested to me that I owed the whole side an apology, and must stop dancing until I was judged fit/good enough. I felt like I was being treated as a problem that needed to be solved!
All of these things, came as successive hits one after the other and left me with such a strong fight of flight reaction that I was looking into moving to Canada, then Ireland, then Northampton (as the reaction subsided). I felt as if I had fallen on the floor and (some of) my friends instead of helping, had come over and kicked me. I feel shamed and judged by some (not all) of the people I considered a wierd sort of extension of my family. I feel saddened that my commitment to the dancing and to the side was called into question.
I am not saying I behaved perfectly during this, or at any time. I am not writing this to engender sympathy from anyone, I am just trying to set down in writing how I am feeling about all of this now. Over the past 6 years, this blog has become a place for me to write myself into a better mental place and that is what I am attempting to do.
The problem with this is the way my brain works means I will take a long time to forget this. The situations and the words and the conversations will play and replay and replay in my head over and over again until I have gone through every possible connotation, everything I could have done differently. I have second, third and fifty fifth guessed everything that has happened since that day. I know I made the right decision for me at the time, but that doesn’t stop the train of thought.
As a consequence of all of this I have removed myself from dancing for a little while. I am having a break from it all in order to collect my self together and work out how to reconcile this in my head.
Despite receiving support and absolutely fair treatment from some people, I feel completely let down by others.It has left me feeling more than a little lost and unsure about what to do next and who to trust. I feel drained by it all.
So, what does this mean for the next 365 days…
Well, on so many fronts I don’t know.
I know I haven’t abandoned dancing. I still love to dance so there will be some of that!
I know that in the short term I am using the time I would have spent dancing to explore some other things I have been neglecting like my photography and my writing.
I know without a doubt that I am going to continue on with project fit enough to do what ever I like! I am going to continue to exercise and run, and lift and do Transform 20 and all of those other things I have been doing. The main difference is that I am going to do them for me. I am going to do them because I enjoy them and I like the way I feel when I have done them.
Project Fit Enough to be Me?
I think the title needs work… and possibly the goals…but this is a start!