Style and position

Interesting lesson again tonight.

It wasn’t more lead follow, but actually just a combination of things, but two things stood out.

First, I want to take a moment to give an update on the hormone therapy. It’s been almost a week now on the half dose, and so far not too bad.  Is it unnoticeable? Unfortunately no.  The main thing I am noticing are muscle and bone aches.  It is like my muscles are tired all the time.  It is similar to the feeling when you have the flu or a fever–the ache is deep inside and seems almost all over.  My shoulders and upper back are the worst feeling.  I have also had shooting headaches every day.  Thankfully, they don’t last long, but when they come they are intense like blinding white light.  I also noticed that my sleep has been more difficult, with more vivid dreams and the last few nights I have woken up often, some times with a hot flash.  This morning I decided to try taking the HT in the morning to see if the sleep is better.  Doing so meant more muscle aches during the day though.  For now, activity and ibuprofen seems to be keeping them under control, but I am already tired of feeling achy and having to manage it.

I am truly struggling with myself trying to decide if the side effects are tolerable, and if I will be able to endure going to full dose next week.  It’s really on the edge right now–it’s tolerable, but just barely.  I am apprehensive of what the full dose might bring.

With that out of the way, back to my lesson.

The first interesting thing was that Boss asked me to have a look at various Latin ladies and figure out who I like and who I don’t but also why.  He said he wants me to start figuring out what is my style.  It was interesting of him to bring up because I have been thinking a lot about that lately as I have some definite ideas of what it is.  The challenge from Boss though is that he wants me to give him some examples of it.  Since Boss is a visual person I can understand why he would want that.  Also, a word like ‘intense’ can have several different interpretations from one person to the next.  Needless to say, I will be watching the ladies closely during the pro latin tomorrow at Blackpool to see if I can pick out some with qualities I like for myself.  I can tell already from previous conversations that Boss and I have similar ideas about dance, but it will be interesting to see what he thinks of what I consider my ‘style’.

The second interesting thing was almost an accident.  I was showing Boss one of my standard exercises so he could check it, and he had an idea to get me to try to see how it affects my full open standard position.  The biggest surprise was that it worked!  It has to do with balancing on my toes and bringing my knees forward to send my head back to counterbalance as much as I can without losing my balance and still be able to support myself, and keep my core engaged.  Once I did it a couple times, Boss tried it with me to see how it works in the couple–and it just clicked together.  It’s a tricky position to hold because I can tell I need to develop some more strength in my core to support it without completely relying on my back muscles, but it gives me a very definite position, a definite method for getting into it, and a position to hold while doing my standard exercises.  For the first time, I could tell the position I was in was stretched through my front and back–instead of one or the other as I experienced previously.  Previously, if I engaged my core, then my back wasn’t stretched.  If I stretched my back my core wasn’t engaged.  This now puts the two together–finally.

Just finding this today makes me optimistic and certainly gives me a very big focus moving forward in standard.  For the first time in a long time I feel like I have something solid and concrete to work on that can produce measurable progress–beyond learning steps.  The biggest challenge is now to learn how to balance in that position.

The final thing that came out of my lesson today was that Boss has much more faith and trust in my abilities than I do.  I have a lot of doubt right now because I feel like I am dealing with a completely different body.  I feel like I have lost a lot in the last two years and I am not sure if I will ever get it back.  Boss told me today that he is not worried about me–he knows I will keep working on things like cardio and strength and the usual things I work on and that because I will, it will all come back.  I feel like I am still trying to put all the pieces back–but I guess Boss knows I will get it all together.  Even in our conversation today, I don’t really have exercises or a plan to follow right now because I am still building from my surgery–but since I have had gym time, I have put together a small program from the pieces we were working on.  It’s something I did automatically just for myself.  but what I put together was almost exactly what Boss would have given me.

My lessons Friday and Monday will be focused on putting together exercises for me to do ahead of Boss going on vacation and to get me back into a normal practice routine.  My plan is to add the practices to the regular strength training I will start next week so that when he is back I will be ready to add lessons into the mix.  That will have me almost back to full capacity, with only increasing my work hours left to bring it all together.  As long as the HT doesn’t throw too much of a wrench in the works, I am looking to be back to myself by the end of the summer.  It’s a great goal to have and to be able to see.



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