Tuesday night I had my fifth ballet class. I can tell I’m getting better at it. My legs are much stronger—in my first class I had to literally pull myself up from a grand plie using the strength of my arm on the barre. Now I can rise semi-gracefully. I’m also feeling a little more coordinated, though believe me, most of my floor work is still spastic at best. We're talking blackmail video.
Because I feel I’m doing better, I’m enjoying the class more. That’s human nature—as we gain confidence, we move further into our comfort zone. I wasn’t quite so happy and comfortable during the first class; no one feels happy and comfortable when they don’t know what they’re doing.
The thing is, you can’t expect to be great at something the very first time you try it. That may seem like a no-duh, but I think people tend to forget that. My first stand-up performance was actually pretty decent (considering), but it can’t compare to the sets I do now. My first blog posts are not a great representation of what my blog is today—hell, in the beginning I was giving grammar lessons! And the first pages of what would become Bastard Husband: A Love Story, which I read back in 2004 to the kind and patient members of the Henderson Writers Group, barely resemble what ended up in print.
It’s a safe bet that anyone who’s ever achieved anything pretty much sucked at it right out of the gate. Do you think any of the actors up for an Academy Award this Sunday night gave a command performance their first time on stage? Okay, maybe Meryl Streep.
My point is, it would be a shame not to try something because you can’t be at peace with your imperfection. You could be holding yourself back from experiencing something truly wonderful.
I am so, so digging my ballet class and now I’m sampling other classes, too. I could live at The Stage—I'm a dancing fool! I loved the belly dancing and Dance Fusion (a combination of various styles) classes I took recently. Next Monday night I’m starting Showgirl 101—ha!—and I’ll probably look freakin’ ridiculous, but who the hell cares? It certainly won't be the first time.
So how about you? I asked you last month what you always wanted to do. Are you doing it yet? If not, what's holding you back?