In today’s post, Kristin Goodrich shares what God taught her about living in his freedom through her experiences being brave in ballet.
Being Brave in Ballet
by Kristin Goodrich
I got promoted!!
Despite taking off my military uniform decades ago and my husband retiring from the military years ago, I just earned a promotion last month. DRUM ROLL, please! I was promoted in classical ballet.
Okaaayyy… Let me back-up a bit!
In 2018, our theme for Planting Roots was “Free to Be Brave,” based on Galatians 5:1 (ESV):
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore,
and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Early in 2018, I felt called to step out and be brave. I needed to stand resolute, try something new and overcome the temptation to submit to fear and embarrassment. At age fifty (then), I told myself I had pretty much completed most of my “bucket list” in life.
Bucket List Bravery
I posted on social media that I had gone to a barre class at an Air Force base gym. The comments on my post quickly took on the rather “dark humor” we often find in our military culture. Plenty of LOL emojis accompanied comments about me someday wearing a tutu. They based their humor on the fact that no one has ever seen me as the “quintessential classical ballet” body shape or manner. To me, the teasing was like being dared to do “real ballet!”
Because I can’t ignore a dare, I decided to Go Big or Go Home!
I marched myself down to the local ballet studio and enrolled in beginner ballet. As I waited in the hallway for my first class, every horrible feeling coursed through my body and brain.
Insecurities flooded my mind. Overweight, old, and inflexible to name a few. I have always been inflexible. I was so inflexible that my biggest challenge of the Navy fitness test was the sitting reach component–and that was back when I was fit. Plus, I am physically older than the other students the instructors. Yet mentally I am a novice, a baby dancer. As the weeks then months passed, I began to embrace the bravery I experienced each time I stepped into the studio. Class by class, I saw myself more clearly as the Lord sees me: as fearfully and wonderfully made as the author of Psalm 139 so clearly states. More broadly, the lessons I was learning in the studio were also applicable to seemingly disparate lanes of my life.
The Continuous Pursuit of Freedom in Christ
Whether in military life, Christian life, or ballet life, the challenge set before us is always the pursuit of godly principles, including the 2018 principle in Galatians 5:1 that Christ calls us to be free—free from doubt and free to stand firm!
Freedom, like bravery, is not a “one-and-done” proposition. Rather, such words require an ongoing pursuit of a yet-to-be met end state. My next ballet challenge was to participate in the annual ballet studio performance as a novice. I nearly fell off the stage during the stage rehearsal. Family and friends showed up to cheer me on at the live performance.
Whether you’re concerned with being brave in ballet or any other aspect of life, these two great Planting Roots Publications will inspire you:
Beyond Brave: Faith to Stand Firm in Military Life