Thursday, 18 November 2010

I love pain

I haven't taken such a long break since I came to NAFA and started dancing full time in 2008. It is much harder than I imagined to simply stop moving, as I'm supposed to do in this enforced time-out.

I confessed ashamedly to my physio. "I've been a good girl. I only did yoga on Saturday, very gently. Then I walked all over Orchard Road on Sunday." (It was supposed to be a book reading, not strenuous for the legs. Except that I was hopelessly lost.)

Did it hurt? Of course it did! Should I have stopped? Probably. But sitting at home drives me nuts. Lack of endorphins, sweat, rhythm, stretch, fresh air, pain...

I am beginning to see that while dancing all this time, I have developed a pretty perverted relationship to pain. I had gotten so used to it, day in day out. Pain, and fatigue. I wore it as a good girl guide's badge. I figured it was supposed to happen when you pushed hard so you could grow. Good dancing hurts. Every day. I often said that I was planning to print a T-shirt for class: I LOVE PAIN. The pain mecca was the triple row of koyok creams and plasters at Mustafa.

Now I keep thinking of that day four weeks ago. By the time Mr A bellowed "how am I supposed to know that you are injured? If you don't tell me I will still throw daggers at you as usual!", it was too late.

Was it supposed to count as 'injury'? It was just another regular day of pain waiting to be delivered only by the momentary exhilaration of dancing, which in turn would cause more pain? I suppose I should have noticed when my left knee gave way, but if I recovered I could only dance on! If my muscles began to twinge and cramp, I needed only to hold on for another five minutes and get an ice pack later...

I asked too much. My body showed me its limits. Decided to educate me that the little calf muscles are absolutely essential for balance, walking, turning, jumping. Decided to teach me that fearlessness is supposed to have bounds.

I need a new relationship to pain.