It felt like starting over. Just one class missed left me a lot of time to mull over things. A lot of time to let the inner mean girl have her words. A lot of time to fret over what I knew we'd be working on in the next class. I pretty much spent most of Thursday at Canopy. It helped in some ways and hurt in others. Being at Canopy is peaceful, centering even when I'm not on the bar. I especially love being there in the inbetween moments when there are no classes or just a one on one session. But on Thursday while the girls did their conditioning class, I watched a Beginner II class, and everyone was so good. I couldn't imagine ever being able to do the things these women were doing and they were only class ahead of me. I went home real low.
Still when 7:30 rolled around, I put on my sneakers, started Baroness up on Spotify, and hit the pavement. It's a quick 20 minute walk to Canopy. I love it. I wrote about it in my novel. The darkness hangs over you like velvet, and it's crisp but not so cold it's painful. The bustle of the hospital smoking and buzzing, the old white mansions with their pillared porches across the road from repurposed Victorians. Turning from the nosier main artery onto the quiet of a neighborhood before crossing the train track to magic. And today even with the fear of failure, I felt that stirring. Here I could fly even if my own muscles made me acutely aware of gravity.
Gravity. She exists right there beside Grace. Mirror opposite perhaps. Or maybe it's that Gravity is the guardian making you work to take a spin with Grace.
Inside, I just fought hard against the fear. It sucked the joy out of me, and I just couldn't fully put it behind me. I missed one class. That's it, and here I stood maybe even more terrified than I had felt the first class. We lowered the bars to around our knees so we could practice getting into standing moves. And I fell. Right away. Damn it. The mortification made me flush. Ashley though wouldn't let me crawl away. She pointed out that I was holding my hips wrong, and sure enough with my hips shifted just a bit more to the front, I got up. I struggled with the bow split which seemed an easy move from the bleachers but way different when on the bar. I could do it with one hand off but didn't quite manage with two hands. In fact, I borrowed a page from my five year old, R, and close my eyes as if letting go was an act of faith. Hell maybe it was. I did better with skater, and I was pleased that it didn't hurt my feet to roost on the bar with my toes. I even managed a little bit of grace with these moves or so I imagined.
But all too soon, we had to lift the bar and I knew what was coming. Fear curled around my stomach like smoke. Ashley and Jo showed us a variety of ways to get up. I couldn't do any of them. I tried though. Jo showed us a move that involved holding onto the rope on one side and jumping up. I could kind of do although I used one hand on the rope and one hand on the bar but I got up. I spun for a bit which I enjoyed and then I did a very ungraceful move to sit on the bar from my sideways landing. Totally forgot how to do a sitting star. But I filed it away so that I could think of it later. Then we had to get down. I wanted to weep.
We learned a new way up. This one involved holding our arms palms down under the bar followed by reaching up and grasping the ropes. Next we had to use kind of magic to propel our bodies up and over: legs first which pulled the rest of us up. I couldn't even lift my leg anywhere near the rope. This time I noticed as my class mates flipped up with ease. I genuinely meant all the kudos I gave them but oh I envied their ease and strength. I couldn't do it. Finally with some help from Ashley I got up. I flipped off almost right away the first time, and the second time in my attempt to do a dolphin, I stayed up for a bit longer. I was so happy I actually hugged Ashley. I'm not a hugger.
Looking back, I had two problems with the move. One I just can't kick my leg that high. I've been practicing kicks today (although I'm pretty sore and beat up). Two I having a huge mental block. I just can't see myself doing this. Ever. And when I do get up with help, I can't picture the way I'm supposed to look. I keep running it in my head so I can see myself in this position.
Everyone in class was super positive and didn't let me beat up on myself. But it was hard to be the only student who didnt't do it on her own. I'm trying to not dwell on this as failure. I did get up even with help, and that's something. More importantly this class sealed my trust of Ashley and Jo. Jo was so open with me after class, and I felt a lot better after talking with her. Ashley freakin' held my legs when I went over that bar, and I'm a big girl. I realized they'll be able to handle the modifications I need to do this class. That's a good feeling. But really the fact that they made every little thing I did a victory makes me feel like I can come back.
I ache tonight. I haven't felt this sore in a long time. I still went to the Y. It hurt but it also felt good to loosen up my muscles on the elliptical. Gravity is a killer but I'm trying to remember that Grace isn't too far behind.