Average. This is the word I would use to describe how my competitions have been going. They haven’t been going terrible, but they haven’t been going amazing either. It could be worse, but it most definitely could be much better, too. Average – I cringe as I type that word.
It gets a little discouraging. Athletes and people in any pursuit know how difficult it can be to be stagnant. When all you desire to see is improvement and change, the same result over and over again can be very disheartening and exhausting. I just finished up two back to back competitions this weekend where I had, here we go, average results. Following the completion of my competition yesterday, my boyfriend and his mother surprised me with a ticket to Cirque Du Soleil which was being held here in London that night. I was excited because like most, I’ve heard amazing things about the show. I knew I would find it entertaining, but because I’m not a very artsy person I don’t think I expected to fall in love with it quite as much as I did.
At first I was just awe-struck. I gasped in horror and wiped my clammy hands on my pants as the performers did absolutely unthinkable feats. “How are they doing that? Why are they doing that? Oh God be careful up there, ma’am. WOW SHE IS SUPER HIGH! Okay that was cool. Where did that guy come from? HE’S HANGING ON BY HIS FOOT!” These were the spastic thoughts going through my head – superficial wow-that’s-friggen-awesome types of thoughts. But a little later into the show, I wiped my face to find that I had shed a tear. “Wow, what the heck,” I thought to myself, “Why on earth am I crying”.
I envied the performers with everything in me. They were so beautifully athletic. They looked so passionate. They looked so free. Free – a sharp contrast to how I’ve felt on the runway lately. While the performers flipped, leaped and danced across the stage it appeared as though they didn’t have a care in the world – they were completely entranced in their own performance and executing it as perfectly and elegantly as they could. I thought about my own performances lately. I’m tense and restricted, chasing numbers on a measuring tape. I thought to myself, “I wonder what it must feel like to just be focused on performing the motions how they are supposed to be performed – focusing on being one with what you’re doing and not worrying about things that are seemingly out of your control – rankings or distances.” Then I realized there is nothing stopping me from focusing on those very things, too.
Although I don’t have the flexibility, fluidity or elegance (emphasis on the elegance part) of the Cirque Du Soleil performers, watching them made me realize that I can strive be more like them in the way that I approach my own performances. I can focus on the motions, on performing what I do as beautifully and as close to perfect as I can. I can focus on being free and just 100% connected to the movements. Numbers are secondary. Numbers are secondary. I tell myself that all the time, but it seems like every once in a while I just need a reminder. The numbers I am searching for are the mere result of something more important I need to strive for my performances – absolute freedom.