Friday, October 10, 2014
31 Days of Courage: The Courage to Try Something New
The earth is filled with a million wonders. There are places, people and things that are simply bursting with the life and delight that the Creator originally intended. Some of us tend to be more pragmatic, and often miss the party. Everyone knows the world is wracked with sorrow. But there’s still and always a reason to dance
Everyone who knows Smitty and I will tell you…we love the classic movies. Those pictures from the 1940’s are my favorite. And if there’s any tap dancing in one of those films, I’m all over it.
When Fred Astaire does the firecracker dance in Holiday Inn (music and lyrics by the inimitable Irving Berlin) well, I’m done for.
I’ve wanted to learn to tap dance since I can remember. But the pragmatist in me never found the time. There are too many responsibilities; it’s too expensive, blah, blah, blah. Truth be told, I didn’t relish looking like an idiot. And having failed miserably at drill team when I was in 2nd grade, I remain quite insecure about my coordination, or should I say extreme lack there of.
But here I am, spouting about courage. And as I said in a previous post, I have no interest in being a big mouth. I’m taking this 31 day challenge because I want to practice writing, but also because I want to change.
So this evening, after work, after grocery shopping, after dinner…all those practical duties I’m famous for, I drove up Columbia Turnpike to Isabelle’s school of dance, borrowed a pair of worn out tap shoes and joined the adult beginners class.
I shuffled and heel tapped and grapevined an even tried to ball-change. I was perfectly awful. But I had fun! I overcame my 5 decades of insecurity and tapped my little feet on the floor. This body that’s birthed 3 babies, sags in all the wrong places, and will likely be sore tomorrow grabbed hold of a little of life’s pleasures.
I say all this to say all this: Go try something new! Even if you stink at it, even if you try and decide it’s not for you…there’s something so spiritually healthy about stepping out of your cotton pickin’ box! For me, I’m such a melancholy baby that it does me a world of good to dance to “Steppin’ Out With My Baby”. For you maybe it’s cooking or painting or skiing or taking pictures. Just do something you think sounds fun. Don’t worry, life’s troubles won’t go anywhere while you take a little break.
Speaking of fun, here’s a little fact about Fred Astaire that always amuses me: When RKO Pictures did a screen test on Fred Astaire the report came back as follows:
“Can’t sing. Can’t act. Balding. Can dance a little.”
Taking a few tap dancing lessons is not exactly earth shattering bravery. But these 31 days are for ordinary folks like me.
Can’t sing. Can’t dance. Sagging. Can be brave…a little.
Your friend on the pilgrim road,