Two years ago, I performed a dance that changed my outlook on life. It took me 14 years, but now, whenever someone asks me my all time favorite dance, I don't hesitate. I take a minute to reminisce on the moments it brought to me, to thank those who were a part of the moment, and respond confidently, "500 miles."
I vividly remember back to September 2015, when it began. Gathered around in a circle around the small laptop in the corner, we were presented with the song that would change everything. Watching the video on the tiny laptop, "500 Miles" by Sleeping At Last chimed softly through the speakers as we all gasped in admiration, knowing that this was it: this was going to be our dream dance. Dedicated to our graduating seniors, we all walked that 500 mile journey together to master the piece.
And a journey it was. Through injuries and tears, we as a team overcame every challenge thrown at us, in a way we had never achieved before. We became closer than I ever knew a team would be. We shared the joys, and we shared the pains. We struggled together, and we won together. We practiced until it was perfect.
We shared more than just dance. We spent time developing ourselves. We took time to learn from our past. We took time to write. We took time to connect. Somehow, our choreographer gave us more than just a dance, she gave us an altered outlook on life. She challenged us and not just physically. She challenged us emotionally to connect to the music, the audience, and to each other. We all danced for different reasons, but we performed as one.
After that year, I know now that "when I wake up," well I know that I could call or text any single one of those girls, and they could make me smile. "When I go out," they are the ladies who I love to have by my side. "When I come home," yeah, I know that every one of them will be waiting with opened arms to welcome me. "When I'm dreamin'," well they can all bet that I'll be dreaming about all of our priceless moments together. "When I'm workin'," yeah I know that I 'm working hard to come back to all of them. "And when I'm lonely," well I know that any one of them would be willing to come spend time with me. "And if I grow old," well I know I will always keep our memories close to my heart.
Watching the piece back, it never fails to bring tears to my eyes. The execution, the sheer emotion behind every movement, behind every performance, it's inexplainable. It is unprecedented for us as a team, and it can truly never be replicated. No matter where our journeys take us, the memories will always keep us connected at heart.
And after the journey we completed together, as a team, as a family, I would walk 500 miles for any single one of these girls.