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Item 14 is “Get my frontal splits back,”so today I have some “before” pictures for you. Before you see them though, I must warn you; I am not ballerina-sized. In fact, if we were to put this in an equation, it would look something like 2b = E (2 ballerinas = 1 Elle), or on a really bad day b = 1t/E (1 ballerina = 1 thigh of Elle).

Here’s a visual aid:

Okay, so now that you’ve been warned, here is the current state of my splits.

Left split

Right split

As you can see, I have a good bit left to go, especially on the left) which of course frustrates me since as recently as two years ago, I could do my splits without even needing to warm up.

Incidentally, this year’s ballet classes include the Doom Stretch. Why do I call it that? Well, it just may bring about my demise.

It begins simply enough, facing the bar, with one leg up on the bar (on the low bar for now, but we’ve been warned that such largesse from our teacher won’t last).

Once in position, you bend and stretch the standing leg, then rise to relevé (rise to the ball of your foot) and lower. Next, bend at the waist toward your leg and then away from your leg. After that, slide across the bar and recover. Each item is done twice, and then you rotate to face forward (in the direction of your leg). Then you repeat the previous steps in this position. Next, you rotate to arabesque (leg is still on the barre) and repeat. Next, you lift your leg off the barre and (attempt to) do a penché, then recover. It still isn’t over. Once you have done everything twice, you slide into a split, then bend forward at the waist and back. The whole thing is done to painfully slow music, and then of course, you have to do it all again with the other leg.

I will be doing this twice a week in ballet class, so I have a feeling I will either meet an untimely end, or I’ll have my splits back much sooner than I expected.

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