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Mothers Know Best?

July 28, 2010

As you can see from the video below, clearly sometimes they don’t.

Last night I was at my core kickboxing class, and at one point was partnered up with a boy during a drill. He had long, lanky limbs and was really tall. I was guessing he was a teenager based off his face and he had just began kickboxing since he was a white belt, which is the color at the lowest rank.

During the drill, we had to do round kicks against the kicking shields. I was watching him as he kicked and it was making me wonder. With the way he was kicking, it was like he hated being there. He literally looked like a limp noodle, was basically tapping his leg against the pad and not even trying. It made me wonder why he was there. Then I thought maybe his parents were making him?

Then I got to thinking about parents and their expectations on their kids. I wondered how many parents made their kids get involved in activities that they hated doing. Then my mind wandered off to parents who live vicariously through their kids and the crazy parents that force their daughters to do pageants when they hate them. Crazy that this was all going through my mind within the couple of minutes holding the shield for him…

The activity I disliked that my mom wanted me to do was ballet. I started at 3 years old and I’m sure I enjoyed it then. But I think once I hit 8 or 9 my feelings changed. Shortly after starting ballet, I got involved in tap and jazz classes as well. I’d like to think of ballet as a gateway sport (yes, it is a sport). I think it’s a given that if a girl does ballet when she’s younger, she also does tap and jazz.

So every week I would go to all three classes multiple times a week. I loved tap and jazz, but ballet on the other hand, became something I tolerated. Every year when a new session would start, my mom would ask me which classes I wanted to take and I would sometimes use this time to tell her that I only wanted to take jazz and tap. We would then get into a discussion about ballet and I would tell her I didn’t like it, and she would respond by telling me how much she wanted me to take it. So I continued.

When I was 11 in the 5th grade, I got into cheerleading. My best friend at the time, Bryna, had done it for years and I thought it would be fun.  Cheer practice was rigorous (yes I consider cheering a sport as well, and anyone who disagrees needs to do it for a year, and see what they think then) with hours of jumps, stunts, dancing, and catching flying girls in the air-we were hardcore at a young age! So combine that with the hours of all my dance classes and you get me at 11 with osgood-schlatter disease . It got so bad that at the end of football season, I ended up having to eliminate myself from all my activities so I could heal.

I was devastated. I so accustomed to dancing and performing that it had become a part of me. And after a couple of months I discovered that I actually…………missed………..ballet.  The one activity I would complain about the most became the one I missed the most. It was one of my first tastes of experiencing the whole “not knowing what you have until it’s gone” realization (the next time I would experience that would be a couple of months later when my mid back length hair was cut to my collarbone, but that’s a whole other post!)

One day I will get back to you Ballet.../

I didn’t return to my dance center because of moving out-of-state at the beginning of sixth grade, and haven’t returned to ballet ever since. But at the end of the day I am glad that my mom made me do it. Ballet ended up becoming so beneficial to me. The strength, focus, balance, muscle mass, and flexibility I gained from it  helped me to excel in all the other sports I got involved in throughout the years after. And now I wish I had continued when I was younger and may go back to it soon.

So back to my core class partner. I don’t know what the case was him. Maybe I’m making a big deal out of  nothing..maybe he was fatigued and wasn’t used to the workout since he was just beginning. Let’s believe he was only in class because of his parents’ wishes. I know one day he will look back and thank his parents for making him go. Unlike pageants or something non-beneficially equivalent for guys (I don’t condone pageants for young girls-they claim to build self-esteem and confidence, but are the very thing to tear all that down), he is doing something that will be helpful for him in the future.  If he is ever in a situation where he needs to physically defend himself, he will have the strength and technique to do it.

Hopefully he sticks it out.

What have you done that you hated, but later found out it was beneficial to you?


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