Deflated

That is how I have been feeling the last couple days.

Since getting home from overseas, I have been working to make the most of the momentum I felt I gathered after the last competition and reset myself and get ready to prepare for the next competition in January.

Then I got an email from Boss two hours before what was supposed to be my first competition practice.  He said not only were we not going to practice that day, but that he had decided to only do 2 practices in November, one every other week, instead of every week. According to him, it was because I can’t do the complete routines on my own to the timing, and that I should essentially be grateful he was willing to do even two practices.

It was a badly worded email.  And the last thing I felt was grateful.

I was livid and angry.  I had spent most of the week looking forward to that practice and reviewing all my routines, seeing how they might go.  I was gathering tools and looking forward to putting the momentum I felt into action.  The one thing I wanted to improve before the next competition was my endurance and stamina when dancing in a couple, and having regular weekly round practice with Boss was the one thing I was looking forward to, in order to develop a way to consistently push and stretch my limits.

But it is not to be.

Among other things, I had no idea that Boss really doesn’t understand what is my main competition goal right now.  I tried to explain it, but whether it is a language thing, or he just doesn’t want to hear it, it’s fallen on deaf ears.

I even presented other options, such as doing lead/follow during the other practices until I have the routines better, or instead of doing practices every other week (which lacks consistency) waiting until the last two practices of the month.

But Boss doesn’t want to discuss it.  In fact, when I got to my lesson tonight, he told me that my goals were none of his concern, and why should he adjust himself because of what my goals are?

Basically, he told me I should just work on practicing more myself.  According to him, that is the complete solution.

But I fail to see how practicing by myself will improve my stamina in a couple.  Everything I do on my own requires twice as much effort when in a couple.  There is no way I can work at the same level on my own and push my limits to improve my endurance in a couple.

It’s like training to run by walking all the time.  I can walk all I want, but it is not going to improve my running.

Having those practices essentially taken away, and finding Boss had a complete lack of understanding of my competition goals right now literally deflated me.  I went from feeling positive and motivated back to feeling stuck like I was feeling before the last competition.

It might seem like a small thing, but at this point it is the only thing I want to focus on.

I have watched the videos from the last competition and the one thing that strikes me over and over is how much my stamina affected me.  Having to do single heats one after the other, I was done before the end of the first dance.  The multi-dances were awful.  I felt like all the work I had done while I sick was taken away from me because I didn’t have the endurance to maintain my usual level of dance. It felt terrible.

I don’t want to go through that again.

So, after a lot of thought both during my lesson and the practice after, I made a very tough decision.

I am not going to compete in January.  I don’t want to embarrass myself, or Boss by not being able to improve my stamina and endurance to allow me to dance at my best.  I have always pushed my hardest and danced my best at every competition until the last one, and I just couldn’t pull it together. I don’t want to go to that competition and again be essentially useless after 1 or 2 dances–especially in the multi-dances.  That’s not the dancer I am.

I would have less than 3 months until the next competition and with only an option of inconsistent round practice until then, I don’t see how my endurance is going to be able to get better.  Especially because I know that only doing the practices every other week will only stress and frustrate me further.

So I have also decided not to do anymore rounds practices until Boss decides I am ready to do them consistently.  And only at that point will I decide when to compete next.

I am also considering taking the month of December off of dance to give myself a break and perhaps focus on my fitness on my own.  I haven’t completely decided on that yet and will wait until closer to December and see what the holiday schedule is like.

This was an extremely hard decision for me, but given the options (or lack of them) I seem to be faced with, it is the best one for me.  I don’t want to go into another competition feeling I am less than prepared.  I could know all my routines forward backward and upsidedown, but it is not going to give me any more stamina to get through 3, 4, or 5-dance events.

I wish the issue of practices didn’t hang over me like such a black cloud.  My lessons themselves have been great lately and it seems even though I have only had 3 that they have been productive.  I started the new practice program today and I could already see some improvement in some of the steps I had been working on. But the practices are very important to me as a way to measure progress, build stamina, and put together everything from my lessons–but only when they are consistent.  I know from the past, that doing them every 2 or 3 weeks is just frustrating.

I also had a really interesting meeting with the rehabilitative specialist today, but I will post more about that tomorrow.  Long story short, my strength training and fitness program is going to have a significant change to better support dance.

I am feeling disappointed, but at the same time, it is like there is a bit of a load off. Perhaps I am just understanding what Boss has been trying to tell me all summer.  I am not ready for competitive practices.  And if I am not ready for practices, I am definitely not ready to compete.

It’s a hard lesson, but a necessary one.

My stamina and endurance are the biggest things that cancer took from me.  I want them back.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

Giving it all

As I mentioned yesterday I have some thoughts to add.

One of the things I have realized recently is that somewhere within my journey I stopped giving 110% in every movement I did.

The reasons for that in retrospect, are easy–I didn’t have 110% to give.  Most days I was lucky to give 80%.  Now that I am recovering though, what I am discovering is that somewhere along the way I developed a bit of a fear of going all out and losing control and exhausting myself.

One of the things I saw watching the videos of my last competitions is that everything I did seemed ‘small’.  As I watched, I could feel myself just wanting to say ‘come on girl, just push just a little bit more…’ You could actually see when I tired and that I was trying to conserve my energy.

That was only one of the issues, but certainly it was one of the biggest.  I have given it a lot of thought though since then, and one of the things I have realized is that I have to remember and figure out how to always give that much again.  To get over the fear I have developed and just ‘go for it’.

It sounds very simple, but at the same time, I find I am fearful of sending myself (and Boss) off balance, or falling, of failing. I am holding back, and it is now becoming more and more obvious as I regain my strength, and (I hope) my stamina.

Sometimes the first step in finding a solution is recognizing the problem.  I recognize the problem, but I haven’t yet figured out the solution.

That said, I have slowly begun trying to challenge myself to do more and not hold back in my lessons.  I tried to apply it today, but I can’t say I was fully successful. I don’t want to hurt myself, and most especially Boss in trying to push myself.  But push myself is something that is necessary for me to do right now, and in many ways it is something I need to relearn to do.

Mainly, it is a mind-set.  Once upon a time, I used to attack everything I did with everything I had.  But at the same time, I wasn’t able to control the power I had and the momentum that came with it.  Now, I am just not sure, and honestly lack the confidence I need to just get to that extra step.

It is like I am almost on the verge of a breakthrough, but I just can’t seem to find where that last step is.  I am on the edge…of something but I am not sure what yet.

What I do know, is that I have to figure out what 110% is again and fight through the fear to be able to put that into everything I do.  I am just not me otherwise, and that is what I saw in the videos.  I could see someone holding back, and that is not something I do.  In previous videos, the problem would actually be that I was ‘overdoing’ things and losing control.There has to be a happy medium somewhere, and I need to find it.

My journey to resetting is continuing though.  Today after my lesson I began to formulate a plan for practices and I hope that Boss agrees with, or at least provides some guidance to what I have put together.  It’s very important to me right now to get back on track and be focused in what I need to do, and slowly the steps are coming together.

I know the next two weeks will be tiring, I will be hungry, and likely quite fuzzy-headed.  But once the first two weeks are done, things will start to adjust and become more like ‘normal’.  I am feeling very motivated and committed now and all I can do is capitalize on that.

On a slightly different note, after a week of medication reduction and inconsistent dosing schedule, my body is slowly starting to adjust to the new levels and I am getting back on schedule.  I am reaching the point in my medication where I am ‘almost there’ in getting off of the one I want to get off of, and reduced to minimal levels on the other.  Eventually, I hope that the hormone therapy will be the only medication I will take regularly, with the exception of supplements like vitamin D and calcium (which are needed to help prevent osteoporosis with the hormone therapy).  I am still at least a month away from that goal, but it is getting more and more in sight as I adjust to my current doses.

Getting off those medications is almost another sign of recovery and it gives me something to focus on health-wise (other than diet and fitness at least).

I can feel a lot of pieces coming together for me, and my goals coming into focus.  I am on a cusp of moving forward and I am slowly gathering what I need to do so.

Reset

And so it begins.

My lesson tonight was good.  We started looking at some steps Boss wants to add to the open routines as well as sequences for me to start doing as exercises.  We also took some time to review the videos from the competition and look at good and bad points.  We seem to agree on the same points and Boss had a few things to add, such as use of my foot in standard, to set the stage for the next few weeks.

Bending my knees when I need to is another issue I need to work on.  My knees are feeling better after the break I have had and I hope they stay that way.  I am not allowed to run for now, so cardio is going to be elliptical for the next little while at least.

One of the things I was able to figure out this week was some new motivation for fitness and my weight.  I developed some new goal ‘rewards’ for myself and they are more enticing than those I had for myself before.  I think this will be a better plan for me and it is similar to what worked for me before but updated.

I also bought a new fitbit today, the updated version of what I had before.  I am already enjoying the updates and hope it will also be effective as the last.

One of the other things I discussed with Boss was some small changes to my dresses, although mainly about adding stoning.  He agrees with what I have suggested, and I hope the dressmaker does too.  We have to start working on the smooth dress too.

Speaking of smooth, hopefully in the next couple weeks we will start working on it again.  I am going to do some extra lessons since I have some ‘banked’ from being away.  In a way, it is like learning 4 solos and that is how I plan to approach them.

I can feel myself starting to build momentum and I am glad for it.  I have some other thoughts but I will save them for a post after my lesson tomorrow.

Until then, happy dancing!

I’m Back

Well at least in Canada again.

Haven’t hit the dance floor yet, but still working on jet leg.  I worked today, but I am taking the rest of the week off in recognition that my body just needs a little more time than usual.

I was sick on the way home.  I will tell you there is nothing worse than being sick on a plane as you are stuck in your seat with an audience.  The good news is at least the plane wasn’t too full, and I had 3 seats to myself and could sleep between bumps of turbulence that just didn’t end well.

I am not too sure why I was sick, but there are several possibilities, all of which could contribute.  I have been going pretty hard for two weeks, I was dehydrated thanks to my bank card not working in China, and my medication schedule was screwed up from the jet lag.  Guess that made almost a perfect storm.

I slept more than 16 hours straight once I got home and honestly I can’t remember ever doing that since I was a teenager.  Unfortunately doing so meant missing another dose of medication, so I am still feeling the effects of that.  I am also reducing medication again, so like last time I am a little dizzy, nauseous, light-headed and fuzzy-headed.  I feel better sleep-wise today, but hope my body will adjust to regular dosing by the weekend.

It seems like nothing is easy anymore, but all I can do is adjust as I go and remember that my body has been through a lot and give it a bit of a break.

The problem is that I am a little tired of giving my body a break.

In some ways, it is harder to not be reminded I had cancer now than it was while I was being treated.  At least while I was being treated I expected to feel weak and sick.  Now, I am just over it and want to get on with my life.  Get back to normal.  Medically, I probably have another year before my body fully recovers from everything.

But despite the difficulty in recovering, I am truly proud of what I accomplished over the last two weeks.  I worked erratic hours, produced a lot of quality work and was able to get the job done.  That is an achievement and a milestone in itself and I remind myself of that.  I will take the time to recover and look forward to the next project.

I did have some time to reflect while I was away (11 hours on a plane has that effect!), and it was good to get some time away in that respect.

I have been feeling a little unmotivated lately.  Not so much with dance, but in general.  I came to realize that although I constantly adjusted my dance goals throughout this entire process, a part of me somehow figured that when all was said and done I could just pick up my life where I left off and resume those goals.  What I have realized is that is not the case and I do have to adjust those bigger goals as well–I have to recognize that the things that once motivated me are no longer what motivates me now.

One of the biggest area of my life I am struggling with right now is fitness and weight.  I am still carrying the 30 lbs I gained with chemo and I think part of me has been almost expecting it to just start to fall off at some point once I got back to things.  That part of me has forgotten how much work it was to lose weight the first time and how it took a lot of discipline, patience and hard work.  It’s not that I am not working hard now, I am just working different, and I haven’t adjusted to that.

I can feel myself resetting though, in a good way.  I see the rehab specialist on Monday and I have already told her I want to focus on rebuilding cardio and overall fitness more so than weight.  While I was away, I had a small email exchange with Boss to discuss the way ahead with dance too, as he left the decision of what to do up to me.

A plan is forming in all areas of my life and I can feel myself feeling better with it.  I have given some long hard thought to what motivates me now, what has worked in the past and what I need to do to get to my goals. It is time to shift my focus back from dance and more onto me again–as it was in a lot of ways before I got sick.  Initially, I didn’t dance just to dance, I danced for me. To improve my fitness. To be active. To be stronger.  As I got stronger, so too did my dancing.  In that respect, everything won.

So, I am resetting my goals and focus and seeing where it takes me.  I have the tools, I just need to remember how to use them again.  Monday is more or less ‘go’ day for me and I am working to have myself organized by then.  The first thing is really just developing a regular routine and giving myself meaningful ‘mini-goals’ to strive for.

On the dance front, we are going to continue to work on the open routines.  Boss has told me he is going to adjust my practice program some to combine drilling with mini-sequences, and we are going to dig more into my latin styling, which is the one thing that really stuck out to me in the videos from the competition.  I am looking forward to my first lesson back which is tomorrow.

We are also going to work to put together the smooth routines for my next competition in January.  At least I hope so.  Boss hasn’t really said much about it, but it is one thing I truly want to do, so I hope he isn’t just stalling by staying quiet.  It also means getting my third dress made.

It’s been a lot of flux lately and a lot of changes, but I am confident I will get back on track.  In the end it is just one day at a time.

One step forward and two steps back is not a disaster, it’s a cha cha.

Post comp work travel

I am posting on my phone, which I think is a first for me.

I am currently currently at currently at the airport waiting for my first of 3 flights that will take me to south Korea for work. I am a little nervous about this trip as it it’s really my first big trip since returning to work. I am pretty sure it’s will go well, but at the same time hope I am really ready for the challenge.

I am in Korea for 10 days and intend to make the best of it. It’s my first time traveling to Asia. It will be busy, but a rewarding trip and I am looking forward to it.

Speaking of traveling itself, nothing is ever simple after cancer it seems. For any long air flight, I have to take baby aspirin 10 days before and after, wear compression socks (which are oh so sexy! ), and try to move around often because the chemo and hormone therapy leave me prone to blood clots. I have traveled once before since treatment so I don’t expect any problems, except I and stuck Ian and Centre seat in an 11-hour flight, and so far there are no options for changing. That means my pacing might end up annoying someone. That is what happens when you have to book through the government last minute.

All my flights are on time so far, so there is a blessing in that. I have a couple hours between my first and second flights so my hope is to be able to catch the live stream of the International finals while I wait.

Speaking of competitions, I got the judges marks from the weekend and except for the open scholarship (which is understandable), all of my placings were extremely close. My standard multi-dance was so close that it took rules 10 and 11 to break the tie. I feel much better about my results now knowing I wasn’t definitively last.

Boss and I had a blend talk Tuesday night to go over the competition and results and decide how to move forward after I get home. He left the decision up to me, but the choice is really whether to keep working on the open silver routines knowing consistency is going to take a long time to develop, or to go back to doing closed syllabus routines for the next competition in January. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

I emailed Boss my preferences, and asked what he thinks is possible for what I suggested. Based on that, I arendm waiting to hear from him.

I know there will be some changes when I get back, both in my practice exercises and in the training I do outside of dance. I have arendm bot of arendm plan so in many ways I am eager to get back and dive right in. 10 days without dance seems like a long time right now, but the break may also be good for me too.

Sometimes it is good to reset and start fresh. I think above all, that is what I need right now.

Post Comp

This will probably be the first post of a few as I work through all the usual post comp processes.

First, I was successful in achieving my goal of getting through all my dances.  It was close though.  I was coughing so hard after my solo I considered scratching the 5-dance.  Thankfully, with a lot of water, cough drops, decongestants and ibuprofen my lungs settled down and I was able to do the full scholarship without coughing, completing my goal.

My solo was hands down the high point of the day.  I felt good and relaxed going into it and it just clicked together.  It was one of those moments where the audience disappears and I was able to just enjoy the moment and performance.  Really strong comments from almost all the judges, and many people from the audience came up to me after to say how much they enjoyed it. My shining moment from the competition.  I posted the video on the Breast Cancer Ballroom Dancer facebook page if you would like to see it.

Next to the solo, it was probably the 5-dance scholarship that went the best.  Whether it was because I felt no pressure, or I was just determined to get it done, things seemed to click together a little bit for it.  That’s not to say it wasn’t hard.  I messed up the quickstep pretty good and almost tripped Boss, but I pulled it back together and was able to finish strong.

I got all of the routines on the floor .  They weren’t without mishaps, and watching the videos they are obviously new routines that still need some of the bugs worked out.  But what was good was that we were able to sort through and figure out what spots we should look at adjusting going forward, because they just don’t quite seem to work the way they were expected to.There is lots to work on before my next competition.

My placings were not great.  I was last in all of my contested heats except one.  It’s a little strange because while I didn’t expect to do well, I didn’t expect to be last either.  It’s been more than a year since I last competed and so much has changed, so I guess I really didn’t know what to expect, especially with new routines in a fairly new level for me (open silver). I am trying not to focus on it too much, but I do have to acknowledge to myself that I am disappointed with how I placed, but mostly because I am also disappointed with how I looked while dancing.

I know that I was giving my all and trying to pull everything together but I was finding myself a little distracted and unfocused.  I am sure the illness contributed to everything but in the end I felt heavy and slow.  When I see the videos, I see that reflected.  There is just some ‘oomph’ missing that I usually see in my dancing, and my dancing lacked the polish I usually like to bring to the floor.

I am also having a hard time reconciling how my body looks now.  If I had to choose a word, I would say ‘square’.  For whatever reason, I have lost a lot of the curviness I used to have before my surgery. My waist just seems to be lacking definition, so from my ribs to my hips I am almost the same size.  I am trying not to let it bother me, but clearly it does.  I only hope that as I lose more weight, things will distribute better and my curves will come back.

One thing I can definitely say is that this competition has given me the bit of the kick in the behind I have been needing.  I have been struggling to find some really strong motivation lately to keep me focused and zoned in.  Placing as I did at this competition and seeing the videos of my dancing seems to have done that.  I have a better idea of what I would like to see and do with my dancing for now, and that is probably the best thing about any competition.

I want to focus in on silver and open silver for a while, and I want to plan to do a large competition later next year to sort of finish it out.  Not sure if that completely ‘jives’ with what Boss is thinking, but I guess I will see.  He and I are going to sit down and go over things next week before I head overseas for work.

That is really my next project.  I leave on Thursday for 10 days overseas for work.  I am going somewhere I have never been before and I am nervous and excited at the same time.  I have 2 days to get everything together, but it also means a bit of an imposed break from dance.  I am thinking at this point a bit of a break and time for reflection might be a good thing.

Stamina and conditioning are two words I know will be centre of focus over the next little while.  Not just for dance, but in general.  I feel heavy and slow in all that I do and I am getting tired of it.  My stamina is affecting my ability to really do all I want to do and I want to work past it.  I keep reaching a ledge right now where I go from ‘ok’ to ‘limp noodle’ like a flip of a switch.  Part of it is still recovering from all my treatments (2 years is what the doctors say I should expect to struggle with fatigue, etc.), but part of it is so much time spent being unable to work at the level I was.  I see lots of hard work on cardio and endurance in the future.

Well, I will have to put this cold to be now.  I have an interview with The Dancing Housewife tomorrow, so I want to be on the ball for that.

I am sure I will have more to say in the next few days 🙂

Thank you all for your support as I prepared to get back on the floor for this competition!  I don’t usually post photos to the blog, but I will make an exception this time and roll back the curtain.  This is a photo of Boss and I being ‘very serious’ after the standard scholarship.  Love my new dresses from Spirals Designs!

ever-so-serious

Good News

I wish I could say I am feeling all better from my cold and ready to do my best at the comp…

But that is not the good news I have for today. In fact, I am running a fever right now and have a massive headache.  But in the end, I know I will dance to the best of my abilities and it won’t be lack of preparation that holds me back tomorrow–it will only be the conditions of the day.

The good news I have to share is actually two-fold.

First, I have found a new roommate, so my future funds for competing are secure!  It is a huge load off to have that figured out before this competition.  My new roommate is similar to my old one, and I feel very good about him.

Second, I was accepted to the Masters program I applied for!  Beginning in January I will be a student again.  I hope it’s a challenge I am up for, but I have a strong feeling I am.  It means some big adjustments, especially in my schedule, but it is something I am looking forward to doing.

I am off now to pick up my dresses and Boss’s other student before picking him up to start out journey to the competition.  I intend to stay calm and rested tonight and hope my health will turn for the better tomorrow.

Wish me luck!!

Pre-comp struggles

Last night’s practice did not go well.

We were working on doing 5 dances in a row, like the 5-dance scholarship I will do on Saturday, and I wasn’t able to make it all the way through to the end of the Quickstep without my legs giving out on me.  I almost made it, but not quite.

That leaves me very worried for Saturday night.

There a few reasons to consider that may have contributed to the struggle–I am STILL fighting this cold, the practice was right before supper and I was very hungry, and I didn’t get a lot of sleep Tuesday night.  I was also having some belly nerve regeneration pain.

It was very disheartening and it continues to be.  The cold is still holding on strong, and is almost worse.  I am upping my carb intake to try and give myself more energy and I am trying to get some quality sleep.  I am hoping the nerve pain will pass soon, but right now any abdominal compressions or bending forward seems to cause pain.

I think I am feeling disappointed right now because prior to this week I was really looking forward to finally once again doing a competition without being sick or injured.  Doing a competition at ‘full steam’.  It looks very likely at this point that it will be the next competition before that will happen.  My goal for this competition has migrated from putting the routines on the floor to just getting through all the dances without having to stop.  Boss even suggested perhaps standing out the Viennese Waltz for my scholarship, but I hope it does not come to that.

I have a lesson tonight, my last before the competition.  I know we will be going over the solo quite a few times, and I am sure we will also go through the other routines as well. I just hope to get through the lesson today and hope it goes better than yesterday.

On a plus note, my dresses are almost ready and yesterday I had my final fitting.  They look absolutely amazing!  I will pick them up tomorrow before we leave, and I can’t wait to get them on the floor!

Bed head hair

Yep, I asked Boss how he wanted my hair for the competition and his response was that his favourite was how my hair was today.  After being sick for 3 days and not brushing it–THAT is his preference (except he wants it to not move).

So apparently to prepare for this comp I only need to roll out of bed and into make-up.  Well maybe not quite that simple but I am glad I don’t have to try to control it.  It is pretty unruly and curly right now.  I figure some texturizing cream, my ‘glued’ gel and ‘freezing’ hairspray and I should be all good to go.

I am still not feeling better.   Today the cold seems to have moved to my ears so it was making me dizzy and hard of hearing.  I did make it to my lesson today, but Boss knew I wasn’t too well so he kept things simple.

We went through all of the routines except the solo in ‘easy’ mode and slow tempos and reviewed a few of the points from my last lesson.  We just focused on specific steps in a couple of the routines that are in good shape and made some small adjustments that were needed in paso and samba.

I made it through everything although Quickstep made my head spin at the end of my lesson.  I even felt better after my lesson, which I see as a good sign.  Hopefully some decongestants tonight will clear out my ears and all will be well.

The plan right now is to do a 30 min run through of all routines on Wednesday, followed by a final lesson on Thursday.  That is flexible depending on how I am feeling.  The one thing that does concern me a little is that I will be doing a 5-dance event in Standard on Saturday night and I haven’t yet made it through all 5 dances without having to stop.  I hope to rectify that on Wednesday or Thursday.

My dressmaker sent me a ‘preview’ photo of the stoning for my standard dress and I am really amazed at how it looks!  I can’t wait to see the full dress and the latin dress as well.  They should be ready Wednesday.  Both dresses are very different from my previous dresses so I can’t wait to debut them at the competition!

Fingers are crossed that I continue feeling better and the rest of the week goes as planned!

Non-Dancing Preps

My weekend got a little hijacked from me.

I woke up yesterday morning with a sore throat, muscle aches and a runny nose.  By 6 I was running a fever.  Needless to say, I didn’t go to practice today.

Despite feeling sick, I did get some of my non-dance preparations in.

Yesterday was about getting a manicure and pedicure, so a little bit of pampering for me.  I also got some esthetics done to make sure I have two eye brows :).  I also tried something I have never done before and got my white-blond eyebrows tinted a very pale brown.  I wasn’t too sure about it, but I like the results.  I started ‘penciling’ in my brows during chemo, but stopped when I stopped wearing scarves.  I think it will be good for dance though.  It makes my eyes stand out for sure.

I was also going through my inventory of make-up to make sure I have all I need for the competition.  I am glad I did because I had forgotten that I had tossed some of my eye shadow sticks that were a little too old.  My plan is to go for a pink and green look, with some gold accents.

I was disappointed to miss practice today, but in the end I think it was the right decision.  Considering how I feeling, if I had gone to practice, my focus would have been on just getting through the dances and not anything really productive.  There is a time for that, but one week before a competition is not one of them.

Thankfully, I was able to reschedule the practice for Wednesday to give me a chance to do a full run through of all my routines.

I am still feeling congested today, but my throat feels better, and my body is aching less.  No fever today, so I hope that means I will be almost back to ship-shop shape tomorrow.

The plan for tomorrow is to run through the solo about 3 times, then the latin routines (which we didn’t get to on Friday), then the standard routines.

I can tell it’s getting close to competition, I had the funniest dream last night.  Boss has been working on trying to get me to use my power more in standard and not hold back, especially when I am doing forward–I have to remember to drive and travel.  In my dream, we were doing standard and when the time came for me to go forward I suddenly started making vroom-vroom noises to remind myself to ‘drive’.  In the dream I thought I was making the noises in my head, but suddenly Boss stops and gives me a strange look because I was actually making the noises out loud!  I do a lot of strange things when I dance but that was a new one.  Guess it’s a good way to remember to ‘drive’!