chords and cadence

Another runner's writ

Pancakes, balletone, and boundaries

One day a couple weeks ago, I woke up and really wanted pancakes. Like, bad. So, I took myself on a date to Cracker Barrel who, as we all know, has superb buttermilk pancakes. What, you don’t know this? …Go. This’ll be here when you get back. Did I mention bottomless coffee? Bacon? Go.


I’m as comfortable going somewhere and eating by myself as I am pretending I’m Carrie Underwood while driving around Nashville. That is, to say, very comfortable. (Jesus, take the wheel!) I hardly think twice when I answer “Nope, just me” when the host asks if someone will be joining me. I ride solo, y’all.

So there I am throwing guilt of gluttony to the wind, writing down some thoughts and making a “to-do” list when the girl who sat me timidly walks up.

“Are you here all by yourself?”

“Yup. Just me. Just wanted some pancakes.”

“What are you writing in…a journal?” …Regular nosy Sherlock Holmes over here.

“Yup. Just writing stuff.”

“Wow. Do you go eat by yourself a lot? I would be so scared. I always need someone with me.”

“Yeah well, I do it all the time. I take myself on dates, you know? It’s pretty awesome.”

“Maybe I should get a journal!”

“Yeah girl, do it! Do it up! Treat yourself.”

“Maybe I should go take myself on a date!”

“Go! It’s really nice not arguing over who wants what appetizer, really. And it’s cheap.”

She was so excited to think about taking herself on a date. She walked away without another word, and a smile on her face. Boom! Life. Changed.

Taking myself out for pancakes isn’t a big deal. I take myself on dates all the time because that is what you do when you’re single. But for this girl, sitting somewhere by herself was something she only did in the bathroom. Maybe. So I’d like to give myself a little credit for at least making her think about leaving her comfort zone.

Moving to Nashville on my own was a big deal, sure. But now I’m here. That part of putting myself out of my comfort zone has happened. Never one to sit still, I have to keep going out of my comfort zone.

In an effort to keep pushing my own boundaries, I decided to try a new class at the Y called “Balletone.” It’s like a ballet class that’s supposed to tone your muscles. I do not, and will never, have a stick-thin ballet body. I haven’t taken a dance class in years. I was hesitant to go, but once I realized I was hesitant, that’s when I knew: Go. Do it. Gotta ‘Balletone’ it up.

I discovered very quickly (as I’m sure the other girls did, too) I wasn’t as graceful as I (thought I) used to be. I was the most awkward-looking girl in class. I was wearing shorts when the rest were wearing yoga pants. Ugh. But I did it. I didn’t leave early. I stayed and felt awkward the WHOLE time, in my Soffe shorts and they in their hip yoga pants. And today, I’m sore. So, it was good. I probably won’t go again, but it was good.

Hesitation is one strong indicator of something that will push yourself out of your comfort zone. I mean, always consider your own safety (physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, blahblahblah). But ask yourself if you have anything to lose. If the answer rhymes with ‘snow’ you need to look at the man in the mirror. Ask him/herself to change their ways.

More good things will come out pushing your own boundaries. I can promise you that. And if not, at least you know now to not wear shorts to a ‘Balletone’ class. You’re welcome.


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