Today's topic is a little less deep than last week's, but I want to say thank you for all the positive feedback I got from all of you. I'm very grateful that it was well received. This week we're going to talk about finding a hobby. But before we do, I want to introduce to you one of the supporters of LIFE ON POINTE.
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And now, let's get into this post.
On my 19th birthday, I decided that something I wanted to make a priority was finding a hobby. I realized that when I was eighteen, I barely lived, and whenever people would ask me, "What do you like to do? And dance and sleep don't count;" I wouldn't have an answer for them. I decided that when I turned 19, I would start being who I am & find things I love to do, even if they're not for any other purpose than bringing joy to my life. Because finding things that bring you joy are just as important as working towards something in your life in a professional way.
I've also made it a priority to not allow myself to be isolated. I feel like it's even easier to be isolated when you're living on your own, when you're living by yourself, which has forced me outside of my comfort zone and required me to take initiative for my own life. I decided to start trying new things, one of which was boxing.
My friend Michelle (you might remember her) invited me to a boxing class last year, and I went, feeling reluctant and uncomfortable. I'm a ballet dancer! Boxing wasn't my thing, and I couldn't really stand to watch it. Even though it was more focused on strength and circuit training, I was still nervous, as I was training for my ABT Level VI Exam at the time. But once I was in it, I realized how freeing the sport was. Throwing 15 pound balls around, marching carrying heavy weight on my back, jumping on and off tall boxes, and exercising strength with my arms and fists was one of the hardest and most freeing things I'd ever done to that point. Afterwards, I knew boxing was something I would definitely keep doing, not only for it's strength training and fat burning qualities, but for the freedom and love of it.
I owe Michelle a thank you for introducing me to the first hobby I discovered outside of my bubble.
I kept it up, sparring easy with my friend Big Black (that's his nickname, okay, so don't come for me). He would train me a bit in sparring and we even worked out together for a little while. He would hit me hard enough to feel the pain and leave a bruise, but not hard enough to truly injure me. It was always a lot of fun, sparring a dude that was pretty much twice my size and body weight, overpowering me in strength. It was rewarding whenever my small punching would get him. It made the tiny wins mean something.
It was after I realized that boxing was a hobby that I found it freeing to have an outlet where I could mess up, be imperfect, grunt and moan, and be aggressive. Boxing is so focused on discipline and technique, yet there's a fun twist of channeling emotion and teaching you that you are in control of them and that your emotions don't control you. I love that outlet where I can let loose, where I don't have to be the ballerina bun-head I normally am, where I can let other parts of me run wild.
This summer, I started going to the beach with my friends more often than not, even going to the beach once by myself. Instead of choosing to tune out, I paid attention to everything around me. I focused on what the sand felt like, what the sensation was when the freezing cold water hit my bare legs, what the sun felt like on my skin. Oh, especially the sun on my skin. I've gotten more sunburned in three beach trips than I did the entirety of my life. I didn't realize how badly sunburns hurt, and I definitely discovered that. But somehow, even my sunburn and the fourth of July inspired me to write a short story. So, there's a silver lining with the sunburns.
For my birthday this year my friend from the ballet company bought me an aerial silks class, which is where the picture is from. He knew that it would push me out of my comfort zone. I was very wary of trying this new thing that was not something I ever imagined doing, especially knowing that my upper body strength was not amazing and also, I have an extreme fear of heights.
I was terrified when I first walked in, because of how unknown and terrifying it seemed. Even a beginner’s class felt was more daunting to me that anything else in the world. But everyone, the participants and teachers and instructors alike were so kind and so affirming. Let me tell you, it takes much trust in the instructor to be able to do such a thing for myself. In the end, I tried something new and I absolutely loved it.
Finding a hobby was crucial for me I feel because of how much freedom and fun I get from doing things I enjoy that aren’t performance based. I started to think about the different things I did for fun for no one else but myself. Those things are yoga, trying new difficult poses; silks, pushing my body in a different way; boxing, for letting out aggression and bring out the fighter in me; makeup, to make me feel beautiful and to play and be creative; I write short stories so I don’t get overwhelmed by all of my thoughts; and archery, because I absolutely love the sport, the strength, the grace, and the precision it requires.
I used to think everyone needed to see everything I was doing, which was pretty narcistic of me, but also, it caused me so much stress. And don’t get me wrong, I love sharing the things I love with people, but I also know not that it is okay to keep it close to my heart and in private. Finding a hobby is important for your mental health, for unwinding, and even self care. The thing I love about hobbies is that it creates a safe place for you to go to and unwind and take care of yourself by doing something you love.
What are things you love to do? I’d love to hear from everyone on what your hobbies are in the comment section! It was great sharing my heart with you guys. Thank you for reading!
Listen to this blogpost here: https://anchor.fm/lifeonpointeradio/episodes/Time-To-Find-A-Hobby-e4o4ri