Monday, 22 April 2013

Stepping back

In my life I have been fortunate to have had no limitations. As a kid I was allowed and encouraged to try everything. I started dancing when I was five: tap, jazz and ballet... At 7 it was swimming... When I was 11, I picked up gymnastics... When I was 13 it was Irish dance and synchronized swimming... Then in highschool it was modern dance and various ballroom dance styles, vocal lessons, saxophone and guitar lessons. I taught Irish dance while continuing with my staples: tap, jazz and ballet in my highschool program... Danced on my university dance team... Dabbled in mountain bike riding and finally hopped on a proper road bike when I was 26.

The bike was a gift from my dad, an avid and skilled cyclist himself. A pearl white trek set-up with drop handle bars. My helmet, jerseys and shoes were of course all appropriately coloured: white, lime green and gray, to match. One day while riding my usual route from one of my favourite places on earth, the Toronto beaches, I was cruising down a rec trail and a car didn't see me.............. There is this brief moment of clarity when you face your mortality... I, of course, didn't lose my life that day but for a brief second I accepted that I might. That was enough to have a profound effect on me.

I am a different person now, today, than I was on that day. I have struggled physically which has forced me to face my demons. I don't even feel right complaining about my struggles because I know that there are people who suffer worse than I do every day... But the struggles are there. I have had to learn to cope with (minor) chronic pain and physical limitations for the first time in my life. There are days when I can't do the things I want to do and days I probably shouldn't do some of the things I struggle through anyway and it's changed me. It's put into perspective what's actually important in life, because, for a split second I thought that my life was over and now I am so grateful for every day.

In the end, the journey that started following that accident was a very positive one. I have met really amazing people and learned so much about life and become much more body aware. I've learned not to sweat the small stuff. I still whine and exercise my ferocious sarcastic sass on the regular, but I don't worry about things the way I used to... And that is a blessing!

Seriously though don't sweat the small stuff because everything can change in a split second. Love freely, dance like no one is watching and sing like no one is listening.

Most of all, have a happy day!!

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