So, what now?
A year later now and I’m asking myself what I have gained from this giant stride outside my comfort zone.
Certainly, I’ve discovered I’m a stronger, more capable person than I ever thought a 69-year-old version of my puny self could ever be. I always assumed that once over 60, the body would decline as well as the mind. I’ve proven to myself this isn’t necessarily true. In some respects, I am even better than I was 40 years ago. For example, I can do the splits and stand on my hands. But that's another story.
The effort I spent on the cardio machines this last year at the gym has really paid off, though not as completely as I thought. I Imagined the work I put in would get me through the dance routines with hardly a huff or a puff. Wrong. Although I don’t feel like I’m going to piss my tights for lack of control, I’m still heaving when the curtain comes down. But the time it takes to recuperate has lessened remarkably. In less than three minutes, I’m sitting in front of my makeup mirror craving a cigarette. 😉
With the newfound stamina, I was even able to put an extra movement or two in the routines. Last year at this time I was thankful not to hear the sirens of an ambulance during the last number.
Which means I’ve finally been able to drop the fear that my drawn-out dancing career will end in cardiac arrest.
Another plus point: now, when I inadvertently refer to myself as an old man, it comes out like a joke and not an excuse for my declining energy level. ;-)
And finally: that I survived and improved both physically and mentally has given me the courage to bite off new projects. Granted, none of them are as harsh as this one, but still a lot more prodigious than getting up off the couch and going for a pee.
On the other side, I’m still wondering how I’ll feel when the music dies out after the last performance this year when I will be that much closer to 70. At the moment the outlook is good.
Granted, unsurfaced fears are still standing in line waiting for my attention, but their voices are subtler than they were last year; as different as Charlie Brown’s phobias to Edgar Allen Poe’s.