Endurance, issues?

I had a social dance last night and competitive practice today.

Both actually went pretty good.  I did a lot of dancing last night at the social dance, but the biggest surprise was that I was able to do a full-on jive with one of more advanced leaders in the community and I made it through the whole song.  It was early in the night, but I did the jive, cha cha and a rumba back to back and that felt great.

Unfortunately, I started tiring out pretty quickly after that and by the end of the night my back and shoulders were so tired and aching I could barely hold a standard frame.  But overall, it was definitely an improvement from previous weeks.

competitive practice today actually went pretty well.  Boss is working on getting me to relax my frame some in standard to allow myself to do and follow the swing and sway he is leading and somewhere after the first foxtrot it ‘clicked’ together.  Because I wasn’t so focused on holding my frame tight I was able to notice when he was leading sway and once I noticed I was able to react to it.  I started taking the opportunity to move through the sway and stretch myself into the movement.  Basically I told myself if I am going to do it, then I should try to do as much as I can.

I didn’t tell Boss what I was doing, but he commented about seeing a difference, especially in foxtrot, so that’s a small win for me :).

He also told me my fallaway position in tango was much improved and that I should try to do the same thing in some of my other promenade moves where I am not doing the same thing.  I have no idea when I sorted out my fallaway position since I hadn’t actively worked on it, but it seems to be one of those things that stuck from one of my coaching lessons back in July I have been trying to do since.  That happens sometimes.  Once I tried adding it to the other steps, they all made more sense.

He also got me to add ‘swing’ to my natural turns in Viennese Waltz, and to think of opening up my steps leading into lock steps in quick step, whether forward or backwards.  Both of these are going to need to take some processing, but I will let my subconscious work on them.

The one thing that did upset me was my endurance.  While better than previous weeks in some dances, other dances it was not so much.  The most difficult thing was that I literally went from 100% to 0 in the space of two steps and had to stop or risk falling down.  I got dizzy really easy today.  That said, I could also tell I was working harder today than I have been able to do at previous practices.  Endurance issues aside, today was the first time in a long time I could see a glimmer of the physically strong dancer I used to be, and that is encouraging.

Latin also went really well today.  For some reason it surprises me that Boss is so enthusiastic and excited about my latin right now.  He has some definite ideas about how he wants to make small changes to my routines to make them ‘open silver’ and he mentioned some of them today.  I could tell he has been giving it some serious thought.  As long as the ideas stay mostly in his head, it is hard for me to get as excited, but I am looking forward to seeing what he has in mind.

Today may have been my last practice before my surgery because there won’t be competitive practice next week due to hall conflicts.  There are some other options for practice we might use, so I will have to see what Boss comes up with for suggestions.

I am a little sad that in the last 2 practices some things have really ‘clicked’ together in standard that is giving it some momentum it was lacking previously and I don’t want to lose that.  It’s been a while since I have felt good about standard and like I am doing something other than maintaining the status quo.

I have adjusted to the idea of being in menopause and that the symptoms aren’t likely to go away any time soon.  I think that is what I was mostly upset about–I was hoping the bloodwork might show an ‘end’ to the hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, weakness, achiness, and insomnia.  It’s been a while since I have slept through a full night without waking up with severe night sweats.  I am hoping when I restart the hormone therapy in January that might help regulate things and let my body adjust.  The activity helps a lot, so in case I needed another reason to dance, I have one 🙂

I have a busy week ahead.  Tomorrow is my pre-surgery mammogram to just make sure there are no ‘surprises’ when I have my surgery requiring them to do more than they expect.  Hard to imagine the surgery is less than two weeks now.  I am starting to get to a point where I am asking myself ‘Am I really going to do this?’

Yep, I am and it is getting more real every day.  Thankfully I have some good friends who are helping to keep me distracted and 4 dance lessons 🙂


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