A woman dancing in a black dress

Dancing with My Daughter

I used to thrive on working out. I ran races, learned to box, and even completed a sprint triathlon. There was a thrill challenging my limits.

Since then, I was diagnosed with MS but became a mom at 42 years old. Now, my joy is in joining my daughter in dance class. It’s become so healing for me not only physically but mentally and emotionally, too.

Redefining strength and success

When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), the physical workouts that once defined me didn’t fit into my plan for healing and managing my diagnosis longterm. They were too intense and created this constant state of striving.

The truth is, I really didn’t want to let go of these workouts initially, because in doing them I felt strong and healthy. But the more honest I was with myself, the more I realized that the intensity wasn’t good for me, MS or not.

I needed to be strong in a different way now.

My strength was no longer defined in a number – the number of pushups or pull-ups I could do or the time that I could shave off my run. My strength was defined by how I could show up today and in the future. I wanted to be strong for my family and for my future.

Our weekly dance class

Now one of my favorite moments of the week is joining my daughter in her dance class. I see the joy that she gets in learning new songs, new dances and just having a playful spirit. Watching these girls dance, I feel a sense of freedom and liberation from all of the striving that I’ve put on myself all these years. There is so much laughter and joy, it’s contagious.

It ignited a fire within me to start creating joy in movement throughout my day and sometimes in the most unexpected places. Exercise is no longer about pushing my body to its limits, but about nourishing my soul and creating special memories with my family. It's a reminder that true strength doesn’t come from the size of our muscles but in the joy of being in our body, moving to the best of our ability, and connecting with others in the process.

I guess you could say that I’m dancing to a different beat during this season in life – literally and figuratively.

Do you have a dance?

I know in our recent forum on movement, many of you have shared your experience and joy of dancing as a form of movement as well.

I’m curious, what’s your favorite way to dance? Is it a slow song with a loved one? Is it in a tutu with a little one? Or is it in a place of worship with music that feeds your soul?

There are so many ways to find our own dance, so I encourage you if you haven’t done so already to try to give yourself the joy of dancing. As the saying goes, dance like nobody is watching!

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