Thursday, August 5, 2010


A few days ago, I was shocked to discover that my left foot sickles. Look closely at the picture. The left foot turns in slightly.

Every day. I warm up my muscles and dance to stirring, exciting symphonic music. It's not hugely strenuous choreography but the movements fit the music. It's fun! It's what keeps me vital, and gives me joy, pep -- energy to tackle everything else in my life.

My choreography requires the left foot and right foot to be un-sickled.

Turn off your pity. Toss away your questions. A sickled foot's a foolish, unimportant minor thing.

Over my left shoulder, my list of blog ideas is clipped to my clipboard -- I need to work on ten new rules for Wall Street, or the horrendous oil spills in Nigeria. But under my chair -- oh dear, my left foot is turned over, toes bent, instep bulging as it's being stretched. It's a lousy stretch. It hurts and reminds me that the sickled, turned-in-ness of the foot was solvable twenty years ago -- there's nothing I can do to fix the foot, unless I do what I did when I was first learning to dance, stretching-stretching all day long.

Why didn't I notice the sickle? Okay, I did, sort of vaguely notice it. Why did I let so much time pass without stretching it?

Other work, other projects that took physical effort were more important. There's no way to maintain a professional dancer's technique without rehearsing at least four hours a day. I maintained overall body flexibility, and didn't want to bother about the foot.

So -- forget the sickle! Do what you can do! This big deal of a turned-in foot is the same as a woman dieting to fit the clothes she wore at age 16 -- it's stupid, time-wasting vanity.

Okay, my dancing "hobby" requires the left and the right foot to be turned out, NOT sickled. The reason I noticed the poor left foot was my turns -- they were wobbly -- I've simplified the choreography, but I can't do a smooth double turn any anymore.

Who cares? I care! If I'm wobbling I am not going to do my dance any more. I'll just do some exercises like an average "older woman."

Yuck -- I hate exercise -- hate calisthenics -- I love dancing.

What would Lance Armstrong do? He'd exercise and keep working on the foot. He'd ignore the fact that it's not possible for me spend time in the studio exercising for more than 40 to 50 minutes a day.

I'm not a Lance Armstrong -- a super athlete -- who defied his doctors, beat cancer, who has a huge motivation to win and win again. I'm a writer -- retired dancer who refuses to give up dancing -- who's been writing about be yourself, admiring Hillary, telling people in India be what you are.

So? Well ...?

Damn hell son-of-a-bitch dammit -- I'm going to stretch that dumb, sickled, turned-in, stupid, stiff old foot and keep dancing!
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