My body story (Dance ll/lll)

My body is a beautiful entity. Its self-sufficiency and ability to heal itself amazes me everyday. Each and every system working together to support such a large and high maintenance creature is astounding. And the heart by far, is my most favorite organ, with the brain as a close second. It selflessly runs every minute of every second of every hour with one purpose and one purpose only; to pump blood throughout my body. I love the way the muscles and bones work together to allow movement, or the way the digestive system extracts every last nutrient from the food that enters to fuel the giant powerhouse, my body. I find the integumentary system extremely fascinating in that it takes merely seconds for something to regenerate cells to replenish the injured ones, or how messages get sent so quickly that more blood is needed here, and vice versa. Another favorite being the five (or six) senses especially, allow people to enjoy the wonderful tastes of food, the complexity of a Mozart composition, the fragrance of lavender in the spring, and the warm feeling of a hug. The human body in general is my absolute favorite thing. Its beauty is incomparable, and dance is one way that showcases the body’s beauty. In dance, the shapes and capabilities of the limbs/appendages are far much more appreciated for their elegance than in any other sport.

            My earliest movement memory occurred in 1999, when my dad was cutting a hole in the wall to create a doorway. I was a little 2 year old, mostly oblivious to my surroundings and yet somehow, this memory has been lodged in my brain for many years. I was wobbling in a corner with my miniature Teletubie figurines, reenacting the most recent episode, with my black lab, Toby, close by, ensuring my safety by catching my almost imminent falls. I remember the vibrant colors of my Teletubies and how their cold plastic felt in my fingers. I wanted to know how to give them life and make them speak on their own like on the television show. They were my role models because I found them so relatable. When my dad began to use a saw to chisel at the dense sheetrock, I put my beloved Teletubies down to stare at my dad in awe at such a strange contraption. I walked/wobbled forward to further my knowledge of this loud thing. My dog wouldn’t let me advance any further than a 6-inch diameter from my play space, and I felt upset about that, but then my mom came in and pulled me away to eat some lunch. Toby happily trotted behind us at an eager pace, with aspirations of some dropped food from yours truly.

            I have never broken a bone, torn a muscle, twisted an ankle or experience any devastating physical trauma to my extremities throughout my life. (Knock on wood) Though, when I spin left consecutives on my rifle, I feel a twinge of pain in my left thumb between the first metacarpal and the Proximal Phalanx. I believe this pain originates from many incorrectly caught tosses, but also my internal struggle to nail each toss and improve my technique. I believe that the mental aspect is crucial here because I only envision one thing when I feel something in that area of my thumb, and that is, catching my rifle. For the rest of my life, that physical memory will remain imprinted in my fingers and remind me of the journey I’ve made throughout colorguard. This memory (which I do not perceive to be an injury) does not really impact my approach to movement, other than I am a little more cautious of my left thumb when grabbing things, with hopes of not disturbing the current homeostasis in my hand.

            I use my body in colorguard, chorale, band, camps, doing homework, reading, cooking. I feel very privileged and sometimes undeserving of how well my body functions and allows me to do so many things because so many people are denied those opportunities if they have been given a hurdle to deal with, such as paralysis of the legs as a more obvious physical challenge, or a mental disease such as autism, which has plagued my brother. My legs are my everything, they take me places, let me run, help me balance, and keep me standing tall (physically and emotionally.) There are many people in the world who have been dealt obstacles pertaining to the functionality or even absence of some parts of their bodies that could probably utilize their missing, malformed, or malfunctioning body part in a more efficient way. People who sit at home all day eating junk food with perfectly healthy and capable bodies are wasting so many precious opportunities that many would kill to have. It’s a shame when people hurt their bodies with toxic foods, dugs, chemicals, alcohol, etc and hurt such a selfless machine that works so hard just for one to function properly and live a happy life.

            I feel that areas of strength in my body reside in leg muscles, stomach, and skin. I feel that the areas of weakness in my body reside in my arm muscles, eyes, and lower back. I consider my leg muscles, stomach, and skin to be the strongest parts because I believe that they endure the most harmful or concentrated effects of my everyday life. For example, the skin absorbs so many detrimental chemicals and toxins from the air all day long, plus maintains a balance of oils, and regenerate cells to fix any injuries accumulated throughout the day. My stomach digests so many bad and unhealthy foods, so I give it 2 thumbs up for dealing with my selfish teenager diet. And lastly, my legs are also stronger because I run, dance, walk, jump, and stretch a ton everyday. It appears that over the years, my legs have just accumulated stronger muscles than anywhere else in my body. I feel that my arm muscles, eyes, and lower back are the weaker aspects of my body because they do not perform as well as other parts of me do. My eyes do not have pristine vision, my arm muscles are naturally on the weaker side because I am a female, and my lower back has been supporting me my whole life and just needs a break. I have utilized glasses to help my eyes, taken to pushups to increase the strength in my arms, and stretched with more attention to my lower back to prevent injury.

            The two largest environmental factors that impact my body are activities in relation to colorguard (running, dancing, spinning, catching, etc.) and doing my homework on my bed with atrocious posture. These both put much strain on all of muscles and bones. I compensate for the terrible posture by sitting up straight at school which forces me to pay closer attention, and stay awake, and I stretch many times throughout the week to avoid injury to my muscles before, during, and after practices.

            I love the human body very much. Not for just the things it allows me to do, but for how it never stops working, even if a conflict (disease/injury/infection) arises. I try to take care of my body by stretching and getting adequate sleep, but I have not been very successful with the sleep because of so much homework. I appreciate every single thing my body does for me, and try to think about how I can use my abilities to help others who have not been as lucky as I to be blessed with a healthy, happy, body. 


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