A group of us was going out after work and I actually wanted to go. We went to Le Petit Chicago, a Latin dance bar. We got there early and I even treated myself to a fancy Cosmo. I had no intentions of dancing however.
The Multiple Sclerosis and Cerebral Palsy play havoc with my body. Often, my movements aren’t my own. I always waned to take dance lessons as a child, but couldn’t due to the CP. I’ve gone to clubs to dance, but you don’t need to have any rhythm, you just have to move to the music.
I went to Le Petit Chicago with Julie and Alexandra. When they told me I would have to dance too, I shook my head. “I can’t dance.”
“Of course you can!” Julie said.
I shook my head. I didn’t know what my body would do on the dance floor, whether my movements would be my own or not, or whether my body would take over and do what it wanted to anyway.
Really, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do it. I was afraid to try.
Alexandra led for the first little bit and I’m chagrined to say that I had a blast. Though my feet didn’t always move in the direction they were supposed to and my balance was off, but that didn’t matter.
What mattered was I was with people who loved me and I was conquering something. I was dancing even though I thought I couldn’t, even though I thought the art of dancing was lost to me. Sure, I wasn’t as graceful as Julie or Alexandra or anyone else in the bar, but I was dancing and grinning the entire time.
I ended up dancing for most of the night. I paid for it the next day with spasming muscles and soreness, but that didn’t matter. Every bit of pain was a reminder of what I’d accomplished and the fear I was able to banish.
I don’t know if Julie or Alex will ever know the full depth of the gift they gave me. They helped me see that I can do anything I want to do, no matter what the boundaries of my body are. They helped me see that anything was possible, no matter how far fetched.
I am eternally thankful for them and grateful they wouldn’t take no for an answer.