Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon.”~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

I am a dancer. I have a BFA in Dance.  Ok, I graduated in 1991 but still, I have one.  I had a successful career for 25 years. I don’t dance anymore.  I don’t exercise. I’m 30 lbs. heavier than I was when I was working. It’s all good, I’m ok.  I have body dis-morphia.  I look in the mirror and I see the woman I was at 28 years old.  No Problem!

My dog Henri and I like to watch yoga, cardio dance and exercise programs on TV.  We actually feel like we did the class afterward. We’re sweaty and thirsty?  Can anyone relate to that… I think I’d call it exercise osmosis. I eat junk food, a lot of it.  I don’t sleep much. My Spiritual life has become watching “OPRAH’S MASTER’S” show once in a blue moon while lying on the couch. Once in a while I do my own thing on the beach, a mix between dance stretches and yoga. I JUST TURNED 48.  

We stumbled upon these two beauties, Betty’s, on YouTube.  They have a video called “Sweaty Betty’s Boot Camp” for dancers.  We watched a few minutes of their video and decided, we can do that.  Now, could I keep up? No. Three minutes into the video, during the warm up, when they got to the four jumps in first position section, Henri quit and I was dragging.  I do have excuses and I will use them.

I have arthritis in my metatarsal joint in my left foot.  You don’t know what that means?  I have arthritis in my big toe.  All those years of releve… standing on tippy toe, caught up to me.  I can’t wear high heals anymore, the irony. Jumping is something I don’t do but I tried.  My twelve-year-old bounced down the steps and started jumping next to me for inspiration, thanks James!  

These Betty’s do multiple series of arm positions and swings. TRUTH:  I have a right shoulder injury that I will have for life.  It “flares” up when I try to exercise, as in doing this video.  I’m sitting here now with a bag of frozen peas on it as I write.


There was a time when I would have pushed through these exercises full-out in pain, ego saying go, go, go, which is why I’m all busted up now.  Today I’m older, I’m wiser, and I admit defeat easily.  Did I quit? No way (I have dancer ego PTSD) I modified the exercises to suit my body.  One of my favorite words… Modify.  Say it, it feels good.

So I can’t jump with my feet in first position like a penguin anymore, I jumped with my feet parallel.  I couldn’t stay, body hoisted up on one elbow allowing my shoulder to take my hefty weight while I did leg raises, I laid that arm out, head resting right on it guilt free.  I did them, modified.

I’m stiff right now, 20 minutes later and my butt hurts, that is a very good sign.  In two days I’ll be a cripple, even better!  In this moment, I plan to do it again, exercise. When, soon.  The point is I did it. Will I ever be the athletic lean woman of my past?  Of course not.  Do I wish I was? Of course yes but it won’t happen. Martha Graham said “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” I don’t need to be great. I do have passion. I am who I am and my name is Mary, not Betty.




I am a writer, poet, humorist, screenwriter, blogger. I am not a label. Out of tragedy comes comedy. I see hysterical in the simple. This is my head. I live an extraordinary ordinary life. I am inspired, creative, passionate and fiery. I have been through and will continue. I will put it down and hope you pick it up. I am exposed, vulnerable, honest and authentic. I am sarcastic and witty. My favorite thing to do is watch life and laugh and cry and start over again. I invite you to laugh, release and lighten up with me. When life has kicked your butt, it's all about the comedy! Comedy fuels me, poetry soothes me, and dancing ignites...

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