Give me ghetto butt.
I look to the side in the mirror eyeing my dancer’s straight line, and I try to self-correct. It’s counter-intuitive for me to push myself out of top-down alignment, but we are not doing pliés in a ballet studio. We are doing arm curls at Junior’s and the right posture requires a slight sit into pushed-out glutes. Or, as Chris more pictorially describes it, ghetto butt.
More, Chris says, so I give it what I got (which let’s face it, isn’t much, and that’s one of the reasons why I am here). Thankfully it’s enough. Good, he says. Now elbows in. You are going to go all the way down to your thighs and your gonna come back up with straight wrists, no bending, all right? Straight, all the way up. All I need is eight.
And so I start a rep, carefully following the motions up and down keeping my elbows tight to my side. There is a tenseness in my triceps and shoulders and I am aware of Bertina and Chris getting excited about visuals. Do you see that? See the line? Chris asks her from behind. Yes, Yes! enthuses, Bertina.
When I finish the set, Chris immediately instructs me to put the weight down (never waste your energy between sets where it doesn’t add value). He smiles and chuckles, You’re gonna like this.
Bertina brings over the camera and they show me the footage of what I just did, filmed from behind. Frankly, it’s impossible for me to not get excited. There on camera, my muscles are working, flexing and are undeniably looking good.
Five months of planking, handstands, crab-walks, push-ups, pull-ups, hand weights, chair-dips, you name it. I’ve done it and today my triceps, my shoulders and my back look unbelievable.
Chris looks at me. You start out with See Jane Walk, See Dick Run, and then you move on to your Weekly Digest Reader. You have to go through months of this and theeeeen eventually …he pauses, you get to Shakespeare. But you don’t start out with Shakespeare.
Am I getting close to Shakespeare? This is awesome! I am over the moon! I know that I am feeling stronger and I can physically do so much more now, but actually seeing this progress on camera is thrilling (this is why I now love having everything filmed, you see your weaknesses and your strengths. Bertina was right, it’s about observing yourself with balance).
I love this process. I love the intensity and my own drive. I am so totally into my body and it is responding to me as I go. I had wanted to do something drastic for myself and I had thankfully found the people who understood how to get me where I wanted to go and why I needed to get there.
I have never been alone on this journey. I am with the best possible company anybody could dream of having along side them. I am not at the end by any means, I am only just getting started. But let me say this anyway. Thank you, Chris. Thank you, Bertina. Thank you, Ronn. I wouldn’t have done this by myself. I really needed you.
(God bless the patient teachers in this world).