Sunday, October 17, 2010

Spanish Dancer

I have blogged about my son before. His efforts out on the 'pitch'. I am certainly proud of him and all his hard work at achieving his dream. Today, though, I learned something about my daughter that brings me to tears.

Emma is a dancer. It is hard to comprehend that sentence if you don't know a dancer. She is fourteen. She has been dancing since four. This year her schedule is six days a week. She has Friday night off, but Monday through Thursday she dances, and Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 6pm. Emma is a dancer.

Last March something very terrible happened to her calf muscle. It locked up. Every time she went on point, a shooting pain radiated up her leg. She struggled to complete her final performance last year, and that was the last she could go up on point. Emma is a dancer, and the tears that followed were many.

She started with a physical therapist last year. Several nights a week she would go and have the knots in her calf rolled out. I'm not sure if I even know how painful that was. Knots the size of a golf ball were almost mercilessly rolled out of her calves, over and over. Every day she would see, could she go up on point today? No. Every day I told her, it's OK love, let your body heal. Listen to your body, it's telling you to slow down, to heal. Every day she worked at it, and several times a week worked with her sports therapist. Emma is a dancer.

Slowly, and with dedication and focus she began to heal. Each day as she came home I would ask her, how did you feel today? Have you gone on point? Just today I learned she was selected for 'Spanish Dancer' in the American Repertory Ballet's Nutcracker at the McCarter Theater in Princeton. This dance is one of the most beautiful I know. I am so proud of my Emma. Did I mention she's a dancer?


At October 18, 2010 at 12:28 AM , Blogger shweta Sylvia jani said...

Loved the post. So inspiring. Faith and healing can create big wonders in our life. Way to go Emma !!

At November 8, 2010 at 7:04 AM , Blogger Eric said...

Emma, thank you for having such heart and dedication, You inspire me.
Rob, I read your post about Emma on Friday night and I am so glad I did. It was touching when I read I it, but Saturday morning I had my last run of a 6 week series. This run was supposed to be the most challenging of the series. I had heard this park was rough, so I was training differently for it during the week. And when I woke up Saturday morning my right shin and lower calf felt as if they were lifting off my bone. I was disappointed :( but really wanted to finish the series. I desided I would wrap it and put a compression sock over it also. Off to the race I went. As I started the race I thought to myself that I had made the wrong the choice. Right from the start the course was uphill for about a half mile (and it would be this way for most of the race). My leg was screaming out for me to stop...or at least slow my pace. I thought to myself "okay, keep going but slow down" then another part of my brain recalled the story of Emma and her dedication and the pain she endured having the knots rolled out of her calf and I just couldn't let myself take the easy way out. I pushed myself and I kept my pace. This was an ongoing struggle for the next 3 miles. The internal dialog was a constant battle "just slow a little" then the image of Emma would return and I would have the strength to push forward. I wanted to say "thank you" to Emma for being such a testament to dedication and countless thank you's to you Rob for everything you've helped me with and through and for being a great Dad and for being involved in your children's lives because only a great Father would not only know what is going on in there children's lives, but take the time to write and share about them. Keep up the great work, love and miss you and Tina both. <3 EJM

At November 8, 2010 at 11:35 PM , Blogger Robert Girandola said...

Thank you Shweta!

Eric - you really move me with that story. Thank you so much - I shared it with Emma today :)

At December 1, 2010 at 12:43 PM , Blogger Desert Rose said...

my heart skipped a beat here Robert! Emma is an amazing dancer who is dancing her way into my heart now..wish her all the best,after her adorable daddy! you should be proud of her! i am really touched with your post..:)
give her a big hug from me..and tell her i am looking forward to see her the number one dancer ever..:)

At December 1, 2010 at 6:45 PM , Blogger Robert Girandola said...

Thank you Desert Rose :)


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