I've been bouncing around the globe so much that it's been a challenge to keep up the strength and endurance required for the dancing I am about to dive back into. Recently, I wanted to check my form while going through my 'travel workout' routine (warmup, modified center barre, jumps, sit-ups, stretch) in a hotel gym in Taipei. Upon seeing the photo, my first reaction was of dismay; my shoulders are quite inflexible, and so is my upper back. I am reminded by this visual check just how much my body does not echo the ideal. While I may never achieve that beautiful, rounded bridge shape - one can push one's natural limits only so far - if I can gain just a little more flexibility, it's a start.
It can be discouraging to see myself, whether in photos or in videos (the latter of which are indescribably more painful to watch) because all I see are faults, things I could have done better. Many fellow dancers have expressed that they share this experience. We constantly assess and reassess, with a highly critical eye, our bodies and the shapes - the "lines" - we make with them.
And just as suddenly I'll realize: Wait a moment! A year ago I didn't have the strength to hold my leg up while in a standing bridge, but at least I can do it, now! Progress is a wonderful thing. All the more motivation to get back into shape, now that I'm home, and work towards these little victories.