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Self-Defense Class
Wednesday. 6.19.19 1:13 am
I go to barre for the therapy.

It's a new spot; my old place, near my old apartment, had so many long-time barre students that it was sometimes intimidating to try to fit into class. They were always welcoming and kind, it was never the vibe they gave off...they could just do so much more, and that chunk of me that still compares would feel just slightly lesser as a result.

This new place has attracted all the people new to barre, and you can see it when they look around, stare for too long at a move, smile awkwardly when I turn and look... It's a lesson in retrospect: If you're comparing, you're too busy watching everyone else to get deep into the rhythm of the class.

What I like about barre is...everything. I like that they dim the lights, I like that we follow the rhythm of the music when we move, I like that the instructors remind you throughout:

These next deep breaths are for you!
Thank yourself for making the choice to come here tonight, for making the choice every time you come and put everything you have into this!
These 20 seconds are for you, so you're not going to leave this position until it's over! You've come too far today to give up on this now! Ten seconds and you're done!

What I learned from years with R is that I am definitively not my own knight in shining armor. I make choices that hurt me and pass them off as acceptable decisions based on x, y, and z, and then I don't sleep, and I don't eat well, and I cry a lot, and I miss work. As such, I need to be reminded often that I'm supposed to be thinking about my own heart and my own needs.

"What's on the platter?" one instructor likes to ask, while we're sitting there with mini kettlebells propped up on our hands like platters. "Money? A promotion? A vacation? New jewelry?"

"Me," I have to keep thinking. "Me, me, me, me, me, me, me."

And when my arms hang loosely by my sides, afterward, under directed cooldown, I really do thank myself.

She doesn't have that strong of arms, yet, after all.

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