After finding a place to rest my head at night and an income to bring home the baked-challah, it was time to tend to more important matters, like my body.

Over the past six months, I have been taking sporadic dance classes, trying out new styles such as tap and heels, and practicing weekly Pilates. As I continuously auditioned I was noticing I wasn’t my best; I could still move very well, but there was something missing. I felt like I was holding it together, rather than showing off, and when in an audition room, you’d better be doing the latter.

Somewhere between the showing up for fewer auditions, and constantly moving houses over the past two months, I stopped taking dance classes. In one of my recent auditions, I nearly tore a muscle while performing an impressive jump. For a physical performer who’s been out of a job for over six months, I was now in need of a whole lot more body maintenance.

Luckily, the local gym was right around the corner of where I moved to, and so I walked over, got an annual membership and showed up for my first workout the next morning. The first and most immediate temptation I had was to try out all the different machines. I had to stop myself and focus only on a few so as to get a better quality of workout. No rush, I thought, I was going to be there quite a lot.

The other temptation was the desire to see immediate results. Not that there was much to be done to actually achieve anything in one workout, but that desire could definitely make me overwork too quickly. Sometimes it feels like if you “kill it” in the gym – you’ll wake up the next morning and be ready to model for Speedo. This temptation is always an important one to resist.

Rather than going through an easy come (easy go) process of body building, it was a better idea to build a sturdy foundation of strength, length, shape and stamina. The gym is always full of bodybuilders who’ve been going there for months, and some who use steroids to bolster up their muscles. These desirable attributes could lead to an destructive attitude towards fitness and the body, which might result in harmful injuries.

With a fresh stream of body awareness from the Physiotherapist’s clinic I was now working for, I took the time to understand every exercise I  performed, and even gave myself a relatively small amount of sets and repetitions to complete. After all, I was there to get back into shape, not to “give it all I got” on the spot: this was no audition.

They say appetite comes with eating, and so after a few days of gym, I finally felt like going back to dance classes. I also found out that working out for an extensive amount of hours a week actually increased my appetite, but I’m not sure yet how I’m going to deal with that.

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