Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Backstage Blogging

Last week was my company's first show of the season.  It was called Duos and it was a collection of 5 duos to signify the 5 years my company has been running.  Nothing like an anniversary season!

Since I had my surgery on my ankle recently I wasn't able to make rehearsals for this first show.  So, my way of helping was working the back rigging of the stage.  Something I am NOT familiar with.  I had to pull the curtain, place props on stage and fly in and out arial equipment and scenery.  I pulled heavy ropes that I couldn't see (the theatre tech people gave me a head lamp!) and sat for hours watching my fellow company members perform beautifully.  I desperately wanted to be on stage and it hurt to not be out there with them.  Luckily, those days are now over but it's good to remind myself how much I love my job.

As I sat and watched waiting for cues, for hours and hours, I noticed some interesting things that as a performer you never notice as you're onstage dancing.  One dancer did a step in the wrong direction and a look of terror splashed on her face and her body lost its confidence.  Another dancer was nervous about a certain piece and there was tension in the muscles of her neck.  I've been told I can sometimes look a little tense when I'm dancing so it is always something I'm trying not to do but seeing others go through it made me realize how apparent it can be.

Which got me thinking about a little dance analogy for diabetes, I can't help myself!  Imagine yourself as the technical director of your own show.  Your body performs onstage and is relying on you backstage to have everything ready for every piece performed.  As you watch yourself perform, what do you notice?  Tension, dancing lacking in technical skills, is it sloppy, how about expression?  How do you react to seeing yourself in this "out of body experience".  What would you change about what you see?  Take a step back and took at your actions.

For me, I sat in the dark thinking about my obsession for perfection.  A low A1C, no lows, no highs and still be able to go out to dinner with my boyfriend and eat more than a lettuce leaf.  Of course, this perfection doesn't exist but I can still see myself onstage striving for it.  Is it wrong for me to strive?  No way, it gives me the strength to take care of myself.  On the other hand it makes my life very difficult with too much rigidity.  Human beings aren't rigid, we are people who are constantly moving!

With diabetes I need to remind myself that I have the technical skills perfected, the tools and the support to take good care of myself.  With dance, I have good balance, flexibility and strong technique.  In both instances the bases are what am I worrying about?  It's time to enjoy the dancing, and live with (I couldn't say enjoy) the diabetes.  Even though we don't enjoy having diabetes lurk around in our lives, we could have a little fun.  What disease requires you to eat candy when your low?  That's all the excuse I need, please hand me some sweet tarts!  Sometimes you need to let go, live through the movement, the highs and lows.

In the words of my fabulous head of the dance department at the University of Alabama, Cornelius Carter "Ya'll better LIVE!"

So what do you see on the stage with your diabetes?

-Exit stage left

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