As you already know, I was a dancer for most of my life before I hurt my knee and my world came crashing to a halt. My identity has always been “Stormi-the dancer”, but I would never dance again. Who was I now? Well, I had always been a teacher off and on, and they say those that can’t….teach. So I started teaching. Even when I moved back home I still looked around until I found a studio that would take me. You see, it gets harder to find a studio to call home when you’ve been “out of the field” for so long, but I found a place that I thought would do. However, I was wrong. Working at a studio that didn’t put children’s safety first wasn’t a place for me. I sent out my resume looking for another studio to call home, but got no bites.
Four years later, after several moves and no responses, I came to the determination that this was yet another chapter of my life that I needed to close. So I gave away my dance shoes and buried the desire as much as I could. Then just recently I received an email from a dance studio. They wanted me to teach! Seriously?!! It’s been five years now! I had no shoes! I had also just started a job that didn’t let me have a lot of flexibility. When I informed the studio of this I thought surely this would be the end. That this opportunity was sent as a torture of my inability to once again do something that I had loved so much to do. But the studio redid their schedule just so I could teach! That’s when I realized that this was shocking new destiny. Fate if you would have it. Proof that this was what I was supposed to be doing right now whether I knew it or not.
I was full of anxiety and excitement when I went to teach my first class. Did I still have it? Could I still captivate their attention and teach them stuff they didn’t know? Knowing that I had experienced the best training possible from White Oak Dance Academy I decided to stick to the techniques that had proven to turn many young bodies into professionals that loved their jobs. And even though it’s only been a couple of weeks, the kids are having a blast and show signs of improvement each week! I guess I still had it after all! Nothing is cooler than witnessing change that you caused and encouraged. It fills your heart with pride to the point of almost bursting! And even though I know when I go back to school next semester it will get a lot more crazy, I’m loving that I’m making a difference in these girls and boys lives. I hope to keep it up!
When I saw the Groupon® for Learning 2 Fly, I knew I had to try this out. I had seen it done in Vegas. I knew that ribbons required a lot of upper body strength. I also knew I didn’t have upper body strength. However, I wanted to try the ribbons all the same.
Once I entered the building, I was in awe of my surroundings. The walls were covered in vibrant colors, and brightly colored silk ribbons hung from the ceiling. Underneath were thick, blue mats. It was so warm and inviting.
The #1 rule at Learning 2 Fly is that you are not allowed to say the word “can’t,” or any other negative words describing your inability to perform. You must always use positive statements about your ability to improve with practice. The price for negativity was 10 push-ups. My kind of class!
I broke the first rule right off the bat. I said the word “can’t” as I tried to figure out how to do the first exercise.
Everyone else had taken the class for a while now. They were able to climb the silk ribbons with very little effort. I couldn’t, I mean I struggled to get off the ground for more than 5 seconds. This was going to be a very long hour….
The instructor took pity on me, and my lack of upper body strength. She gave me exercises that I could actually do. I managed to pull myself up and stand within the ribbons. GO ME! I was so excited and proud. I could fly like everyone else after all.
The instructor also taught me how to hang upside down, ha! After finding about 3-4 positions that I could actually do, I could see how people loved this. Who doesn’t want to fly?
I was nowhere near climbing to the ceiling. I wasn’t able to do many of the other positions either. However, my body did manage to get a really good stretch without breaking any bones in the process. I was glad I gave it a try.
At Learning 2 Fly, you have the option of taking two classes. Someone had mentioned trying the Yoga class on Sunday afternoons. Intrigued to see this new view of yoga, I signed up for my second class the following Sunday. Once again, I found myself in the brightly colored room. It was fun just standing in such a happy place.
Having a new found love of yoga, I will admit that I enjoyed the freedom the silk ribbons gave me while performing the poses. My spine truly felt longer as I sat upside down, safely and securely wrapped in the ribbons.
The poses were familiar for the most part, but we also did poses specifically designed with the use of the silk ribbons. Some felt good. Some I struggled with. However, I was able to do much more in this class. The yoga class definitely proved to be easier on my body and my self-esteem.
When my friend, Shannon, invited me to go with her and her daughter, Kelsie, to a gun safety class, excitement shot through me. You don’t need training or a license to carry a concealed weapon in Kansas. However, safety must always come first. We signed up together with her friend, Joy.
It was a two class course at She’s a Pistol. Our instructor was Ryan. He made the Power Point presentation educational and fun. I learned so much about guns in general. We were told that we would be practicing at The Bullet Hole Gun Range on Thursday.
When I arrived, there was a thrill of enthusiasm and uneasiness. I wasn’t sure that I was ready to shoot a live gun. I struggled with darts and archery!
It turns out that I am a lefty with right eye dominance. This makes it more difficult for me to make a successful aim. First we learned to load a magazine. My shaking was going to make this a bigger struggle than normal. I have grown accustom to my shaking. However, it sets me back a bit when other people notice it. Shannon asked me if I was nervous. I responded quickly and honestly with a “No.” This was just going to be another challenge I was going to face squarely and walk through.
We started with a 22. It fit nicely in my hand, even if it was a right-handed gun. I was going to need a lot more practice to master any kind of aim. This was proving to be more difficult for me than archery was.
Next was the 9 mil. The gun was heavy and felt awkward. It made shooting the gun even more difficult. The heavier the gun, the harder it was to hold steady. The instructor tried holding my hand steady to help me out. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t make it work for me this time. I was frustrated and defeated. I graciously left and headed home to find my peace again.
Even though the evening didn’t feel like a success, my target sheet revealed that I could hit the tape holding the target in place. I just could not hit the actual target. I determined not to give up. As my dad pointed out that night, this was just another obstacle that could be conquered. It would just take some time and practice.
I am not a gun owner yet. I’m no Annie Oakley either. However, I do plan on trying again. I also know how to handle a gun safely now.
A girl just trying to find her way, stepping outside of her comfort zone, trying new things, and making new friends along the way!