Make me a promise

Catherine Andrews
5 min readDec 17, 2019
Photo by Taylor Ann Wright on Unsplash

This article is cross-posted from my weekly newsletter, The Sunday Soother, a newsletter about clarity, intention, and useful tips for creating more meaning in your life that goes out every Sunday morning. Subscribe here. I am also a personal development strategist and coach working to help people with self-acceptance, self-trust, and self-compassion. You can learn more about working with me here.

In an effort to drag my body over the line into my 5th decade while retaining some form of muscle tone and cardiovascular ability, I’ve recently reconnected with working out. In particular, dance. There’s this one hip-hop cardio dance studio I started going to about a year ago. I wanted the workout, for sure, but at the time, I was looking for something more, too: a way to reconnect with my body.

I went regularly for a few months then, as it does, life got in the way. I had the craziest year I’ve had in decades; as I wrote on Instagram here, “2019 was a frigging crazy year full of whiplash contradictions. I left my job; I started a business. I buckled under the depressing weight of the state of the world; I felt deeply into the beauty of this experience of life and nature. I dated without success; I took a risk and started a sweet, beautiful romantic relationship where I feel more authentically myself than I have in years.⁣⁣ ⁣It was… a lot.

But things are settling, and as I now dictate my own schedule and don’t have to cram workouts into the dawn or evening hours, I made my way back to the dance studio. I’m less self-conscious than I used to be, but there is something about taking your rapidly-middle-aging body into a room of mirrors and lithe 25-year-olds that is still slightly unsettling. But I shake it off now, or at least, try.

At a class I went to right before Thanksgiving, I was stationed behind two aforementioned lithe youths, and as I was a little rusty on the routines, I was keeping my eyes on them throughout the class to try to keep up. And as we danced through the hour, I kept feeling utterly mesmerized by these two young women. They moved fluidly. They tossed their hair. They drank up their own images in the dance room mirror, smiling at themselves, jutting hips out, posing, lost in the movements. They… they loved looking at themselves in the mirror. They were proud and vibrant and happy at what they saw.

Catherine Andrews

Teaching awakening + healing through vulnerability + self-compassion. Finding hope in a messy world. Author of the Sunday Soother.