Namine was tired after dance class, but happy.
Last week, Namine discovered the difficulty inherent in going from a sitting position to standing (and vice-versa) repeatedly in the middle of a dance. Without the seat attached to her walker, she had to lift herself all way up and down every time.
This week, Namine tried leaving her seat attached to her walker. When she needed to stand up, she only had to lift herself halfway up (which is still a bit of work, but it’s less demanding and time-consuming). It worked out nicely. Namine was able to spend more time standing longer, but as a result, she was more tired when dance was over.
Tired or not, Namine stood up and danced as much as she could. Despite how tired she was, though, she never lost her enthusiasm or energy. And something happened — something that both cheers my heart and breaks it.
It was near the end of the second half hour. In dance, your arms and legs are always moving. Since Namine can’t stand on her own, she has to alternate, forced to choose between sitting to move her arms and standing to kick her legs.
Namine was so into the dance that she either forgot about that or she decided to go for broke. In the middle of a kick, she raised her hands — and promptly fell. The seat caught her fall (good thing, because that floor is hard), wounding only her pride. She called me over.
Kneeling down next to her, I asked if she was okay. Tears in her eyes, she nodded. “I’m not hurt.”
“What happened? Did you slip?”
“I tried standing and moving my arms. But I’m not strong enough.”
I felt as though my heart shattered. “Do you want to stop?” She nodded. “Stand up for a moment, so I can lift you out.” She stood, and I put my arms around her.
“Wait!” Namine put her hands up. “I think I want to keep dancing.” So I let go of her and sat back down against the wall.
When I looked at her across the room, she had a look of determination on her face. She was focused once more, and she stuck to it until the end of the class.