Originally Published January 4th, 2017
While we make and for some of us, already broke our New Year's Resolutions, I couldn't help but make one on January 4th this year, when I found myself the last one standing.
I go to dance classes several times a week. Some people prefer yoga studios, Crossfit boxes or running each day, but I grew up a ballet dancer and as an adult living in Los Angeles, I'm surrounded by great dance studios that teach hip hop classes.
In my Wednesday night class, there is a fellow classmate that is obviously well trained and a very good, expressive dancer. She is one of the best dancers in the class except she often walks off the floor. When she does this in class, I'm really too busy focusing on my own workout, and for all I know she may need water, have an injury, or pulled a muscle, but when the hollow window between me and the next dancer becomes clear, I know she walked off.
At the end of the class, we film all the 8 counts we learned and the instructor posts it on their social media pages. But this dancer is almost always is chosen for front and center, and today she had a solo. Once the instructor started filming, her graceful arms and perfectly timed counts turned into stiff and rigid movement, so she panicked and she ran off the stage by the 3rd count of 8.
She knows the moves. She dances them beautifully but once she has it in her mind that people are watching, she chokes and runs off.
As a dancer, you finish the song. You stay until the end, you never run off the stage. You could have fallen flat on your face, had a wardrobe malfunction, even Mariah Carey stayed on stage for 6 minutes when her ear piece malfunctioned in Times Square on New Years Eve, but you always stay on stage until the end.
So when the instructor called all of us to do the dance one last time before class was dismissed, I made it a point to make it until the end. While the instructor filmed, I saw people run off, become lost and stop, but I kept going as much as I could, and I was the last one still moving and hit that last count with energy and a fierceness that you get when you lose yourself in the music.
When I walked out of the studio sweaty, pulling the knotted tie out of my hair, I threw out all my resolutions and added this one last key factor to all the goals I set for myself in 2017: Be The Last One Standing.
Many people will give up. You'll hear all the excuses.
"It's too hard."
"I didn't have time."
"Life Got in the way. Something came up."
"I got busy. Work. School. Kids. Family. My partner."
"I don't have money."
They're all mental excuses. I've made them before. And just like this dancer who had the potential, at some points in life I panicked and ran off stage too.
And for all the women reading this--stay on stage! If you can be the last one standing on stage, you will make it to the next performance. Be the last one standing, have that courage and resilience to keep going no matter what happens and see how far you go in 2017!