No 7 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, February 17, 2017
“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” – Jack Dempsey (1895 – 1983) American professional boxer
Sometimes in my life, I just can’t seem to get up, but I do. After dancing 41+ years, having run 19 marathons, having taught many, many dance lessons, my legs get tired. I’m the last one to leave a movie. Just don’t want anyone to see me get up. For the other side, I can still teach all day, dance a full dance party at Arthur Murray Santa Monica at night, and also perform in the show with energy to burn. I feel on fire, alive, and ready to conquer the world with dance!
There have been times that after surgery, I’m up that very day walking. After back surgery, they were rolling me down the hall with I.V. in toe, and I taught one of the nurses Waltz and danced with her in the hallway. It was amazing, astounding, and fun. The dancing just took hold of me and off I went dancing at the hospital.
After having my shoulder rebuilt, I came back to choreograph a professional staff Quickstep formation, that I danced in, and tapped, skipped, jumped and chassed with all the 20-year old’s with my arm in a sling. By the time of the performance, I danced with my arm held high without any aid, and Quickstepped my little heart out.
After my Mom’s death, I remember dancing in a competition that following weekend. I had many entries with a lot of wonderful students. There I was, dancing, laughing, competing, and performing, even though my heart was aching. I went on and know that my Mom would have wanted that from me. I did what I knew I had to do and I did it with all my heart.
The hardest time was just after losing my partner, who died in my arms at home. I thought I could not go on. I remember putting together the funeral, calling the caterer for the reception, handling all the calls and scheduling the service for everyone. I had to get up. I had to move forward. I had to take care of others. I could not get up, but I did. I continue to get up today because I know I can, I must, and I shall get up.
Am I a champion? I don’t really know. But I know that my dad, Troy Woodbury, was a true champion. He lived to help others. He was selfless and lived a life guiding others every day. I am surrounded by champions. Joel Rieck is a true champion. He is always there in a giving and uplifting way and always takes the best path in life. I am surrounded by real champions and I am blessed to know them all and to be able to call them friends, family, and mentors.
“Be comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of the world.” – Paul Harding
Yes, there is still a bit of heartache going on, but I know the champion’s way and the life of a champion. We are knocked down, but we get up over and over.
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – W. Clement Stone (1902 – 2002) Businessman, Philanthropist and New Thought self-help book author
This is what I conceive in my life. I am not afraid of the future. In fact, I’m interested in what the future will bring and how I will live in that future. Now, I just want to give encouragement to others and to help others grow. This does not always make one popular, but it makes one true. Helping others means you are a coach and sometimes have to use tough love. In the end, I think that to help others become the champions they are meant to be is my soul calling in my life.
Think you can’t get up. You can, you must, you will. You will get up over and over. You will then find that others around you watch you rise up over and over and they will begin to rise with you. Then you will stand with a group of champions and stand strong, together, united. Don’t give up. It will get better!
Thank you for reading!
David Earl Woodbury
Keep on Dancing!