Finding pleasure in pain

No one wants their hobby to cause physical pain, but it is a sacrifice some people make when pursuing something they enjoy. No pain, no gain – that’s what they say, don’t they?

Dancers often carry items such as ACE bandages, ice packs, icy-hot creams and pain relievers in addition to their dance shoes, ballet skirts and bobby pins.

Dancers say injuries come with their hobby, whether it is blistered toes from point class or chronic back pain from years of dance. Freshman Rachel Miller has been dancing for 13 years and has trained in classical ballet. She said she suffered a knee injury in high school.

“I kept dancing, though,” Miller said. “I just went to physical therapy for a few months as treatment.”

Although Miller said she only considers dance a hobby, other GW students are pursing dance as a career.

Sophomore Catherine Paine is majoring in dance. She has been dancing for 17 years but never had any unexpected injuries, she said.

“I just have some chronic injuries, such as tendinitis,” Paine said.
The choice to study dance in college has its perks because it is so different from taking classes at a studio back home, she said.

“In college you study anatomy, dance history and learn how your muscles perform dance movements,” she said. “It is an intellectual study of dance.”

But dancers aren’t the only ones prone to pain.

Some members of the GW Parliament Debate Society said the high cost of weekend debate tournaments give them another type of pain.

Junior Carissa Monfalcone said it is often painful to pay between $500 and $1,000 a year attending debate tournaments across the East Coast.
“I rationalize it by knowing some people are willing to spend $400 to join a sorority, but I spend my money on debate,” she said.

Monfalcone said she sometimes questions if all the time and effort she puts into debate is worth it.

“But then I’ll debate in a fabulous round at a tournament which reconfirms why I do this,” she said.

Senior Danielle Wilkerson has been on the GW parliamentary debate team for the past four years. She understands the high cost of participation but also looks at its positive traits.

“At debate tournaments everyone wears professional business attire, so all the clothes I have for debate I can wear during the week at my internship,” Wilkerson said.

Sometimes a person finds a hobby by turning on the television. Sophomore Laura Moiseev’s interest in Japanese animation developed after watching the cartoon “Sailor Moon.” She now enjoys anime by drawing figures, writing stories and running a Web site.

She does not think her hobby has any extremes, although she has spent time and money making costumes and attending conventions.

“I know my limits, economical and otherwise,” Moiseev said.

But Moiseev said she still thinks her hobby is worth her time.

“I enjoy the challenge the costumes present me with. I like to exercise my creative abilities,” she said. “Attending the conventions is also a way to meet new people interested in the same things that I am.”

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