Many dancers face injury in their dancing lives, and I was no exception. As a sophomore in high school, I contracted tendonitis in my ankle, an overuse injury. It plagued me through the rest of my high school days and even through college. I remember whining to a non-dancing friend about how much it hurt to dance and how frustrated I was with everything and she asked why I didn't just quit. The answer was easy.
When most people start dancing, they're little. Dance is easy and fun and little girls dream of one day wearing those shiny pointe shoes, sparkly tutus and giant tiaras. As you get older and get better, it becomes more difficult and requires a lot more concentration, strength, endurance and perseverance, but this is when you learn to fly and twirl and become something else entirely when you dance. When you get to an advanced level, that's when it starts pushing your body to the limits and injuries generally occur. But by that time, you've developed a love, even an obsession for dancing.
I explained to my friend that by the time you reach this point, even when you know maybe it's not good for you, you can't just stop. Your entire life becomes wrapped up in and around dance. Without dance you get jittery and restless. You lay awake at night thinking about it and daydream about when you're going to get your next class. You obsess about every little detail of your body, technique and focus. Everything becomes focused on the next time you'll get the high that performing brings. Dance becomes your everything.
Mommying is not much different. Most of us receive our children when they are these sweet, tiny, squishy beings who only require an unlimited love and nurturing. As our children grow into their toddler years, they begin to share their opinions and test our limits and parenting gets harder (and for many of us, we've already committed to another squishy). As they grow even bigger, they start talking back, misbehaving and sometimes purposely trying to hurt our feelings, just to see what happens. But by that time, you've developed a love, passion, even obsession for your children.
When parenting gets hard, you might dream about what it would be like to have some time without them, but then a lot of times when you do, all you do is think about them and wonder if they're OK, obsessing over every moment of their routine while you're away. You can't get them out of your head and you count down the minutes until you're back with them, getting hugs and kisses. You plan your entire life around them and their needs. Your children become your everything.