I bruised my calf of my right leg. This is not a large bruise, nor a very dark or weirdly-shaped bruise. BUT - this bruise is important to me.
Since losing my full time job a few years back I haven't been able to take aerial classes regularly (they're not cheap). Yes, I teach aerial arts, and have had many performance gigs since then, but at times I feel like the spark and excitement I once had for training has died out; I haven't been improving or adding to my skill set much. Often I find it's hard to feel motivated to train when I can no longer afford to have awesome instructors that push me to be my best and challenge me to try things outside of my comfort zone.
Last Saturday a student of mine (who I now regard as an equal in the aerial world - she's so good) showed me a drop on hoop from a move I already know. She then demanded that I try it. Something about the way she insisted resonated with me and I pulled myself onto the hoop to give it a go. It was simple to do, yet I ended up grabbing my foot too tightly as I rolled over my inner thigh to drop into a single knee hang, which caused the hoop to slam into my calf. It was painful! I dismounted and over-dramatized my pain a little by curling into a ball on the mat - while laughing. Yes, it had hurt, but it also felt really good. I had forgotten how satisfying it is to accomplish a new pose or trick while parts of my body scream at me for making it do something new.
And there it was. Not just the beginnings of a bruise, but also a glimmer of that spark and excitement I had lost; that desire to learn and grow as an aerialist.