Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

This term's dance adventures and other random babbling

Right, so...  A lot has happened in the last little bit - we're going to focus here on the dance and related things ;).  And I use the word focus lightly - partially cause I'm tired and partially cause I can't see my screen.  So consider yourself forewarned ;)

About 2 wks ago was the last dance class for the last 6-wk session.  That whole session was a blast.  It was way over my head, but a lot of the focus was on cha cha, which I love.  And it was convoluted enough that I once again found myself watching videos in slow motion, and practicing in front of the mirror while brushing my teeth lol.   But I loved it.  It was also an insanely stressful time at work, so that didn't help with my mental state or available time to learn.  That last class of the session was a blast - even though I had to go to the office that day so it was a *very* long day and I was completely fried at the end.

Why is this relevant?  Well because when I had a slightly sore throat before bed, I didn't think much of it.   Office days are exhausting and talking all day somehow requires a lot more physical effort than talking into my computer mic all day lol.

Oh my sweet summer child.  By Wed morning I was sick.  Like full on raging fever somebody stabbing knives into my throat sick.  Sick enough that even though I was working from home I legitimately and officially wrote it off as a sick day and went back to bed.   Thursday was worse.   I don't recall the last time I missed two days in a row of work.  By Fri my fever was much more under control and I at least addressed anything time sensitive (remember - year end).   On Fri Chris pinged me from work to say he had a sore throat.  Frig.

Sat we were both sick but I was improving and by Sunday I genuinely felt okay.  I napped before dinner and crashed really hard after dinner, so still not normal, BUT - I actually ate and kept food down and got to see my Mum for her bday so deeming that a win.  Mon no appetite and only managed about half day at work.   Forever grateful there was no dance class on Tues cause I somehow relapsed and was back to not eating and zero energy.   This did not make for a fun Hallowe'en -- I didn't even get to snack on candy!  Rinse and repeat - most of the week.

It's *really* hard to get work done this way

And I was wavering between doing anything mission critical at work and not much more (again, fiscal YE - it's the one time of year some very important things are unwaveringly time sensitive) and being worried about whether I'd be able to go to dance on Sat.

Why dance on Sat?  Well not only was it one of the special 2h classes, but ALSO, Mum was coming with me!  It was actually her Mother's Day present but timing hadn't worked earlier in the year.  So I *really* didn't want to skip it.   And I was okay - I had a horrible headache and low energy, but other than that it was okay.   I won't say it was my favourite Sat session ever -- but I don't know that I was in a fair mindset to give it an unbiased assessment.  lol certainly others seemed to enjoy it and I was really happy that Mum was able to come AND seemed to enjoy it.   Sad that there were no pictures cause one person objected fairly vehemently to any filming even if the school was willing to ensure she wasn't included in it.

Anyways - after dance on Sat I went home and slept for several hours and when I woke up on Sunday, I was suddenly human again.  And *really* human again, not just trying to convince myself I was fine.  lol.   

So Monday after work I went to the trainer for the first time since being sick. And it went really well actually. And I was feeling all proud of myself that while I could feel muscles today (Tues) I wasn't horrifically sore (that’ll be tomorrow).  Until I went to dance.

Let me set the stage.  It's a new six week session.  The focus of the session is Samba and West Coast Swing.  Neither of which I've ever done or know anything about (not shocking).  And the first thing Michelle (our teacher) told us was she wasn't 100% today.   Now any small business owner who teaches will have a strategy for working while sick.  Esp when you know that while it's "just another class" for you, it's often the highlight of the students' week.   For me, I would focus on something that would be really easy and low energy for me to teach, low risk for my students if I wasn't 100%, and something really hard for them.  Usually if indoors this meant low jumps with a highly technical component.  If outside it might be fitness exercises (no stirrups, hill work, short stirrups, etc).  With more novice riders it might be playing games or learning a "dressage test".   All things that they have to pay a ton of attention but it takes very little from me beyond instructions and supervising.   

Now in dance, people are less likely to die if the instructor messes up, BUT in our classes, our instructor is a key and enthusiastic participant.  More often than not, if she's not dancing, we don't have a shot.   A little like telling a beginner who has never seen a horse before that they have to tack up on their own -- they aren't yet functional on their own.   It was the first lesson, we aren't functional on our own yet.   So, similar to my technique, she focused on technical components.   We learned the new steps, how they work, some basic info about the dances, etc.   But while the pace was slower, it was definitely NOT standing still.   It was so much worse.

Why worse?   We started with Samba.  "Just bounce" (I'm sure the actual instruction was better than that, but that's how it registered in my mind).    Ummmm remember the gym yesterday?  After deadlifts, squats, and lunges, "bounce" was possibly the single most physically challenging exercise she could've picked.   Then it was figure 8s with our hips - which usually I love, but she called attention to when her knees were straightening or bending -- which was the exact opposite of mine.   This was at least a fun puzzle to solve rather than a physically difficult one -- and turned out to be a lack of understanding on my part -- I was actually doing it right (maybe not gorgeous, but the parts were moving generally the way they should).

I guarantee you it looked nothing like this!

The rest of the class went really well.  For day 1, I had way more fun w Samba than WCS but that could change as we go.   But man - that "just bounce" after leg day was completely unreasonable expectation ;). And for me - just like w riding - I *love* the technical days.   And esp found that focus on day 1 super helpful, cause now I can spend the week learning it and have something to build off next time.   I love the attention to detail - are my toes pointed the right way, should I cross in front or behind (spoiler alert - it's usually the opposite of whatever my body wants to do by default), what should my arms do (we didn't get to that today - that's for the best lol), what angle should my upper body be on, etc etc etc.   That sort of stuff I can spend hours at just trying over and over till all the pieces line up.   I do get that I'm not exactly the target audience of the class lol and that most people would die of boredom long before I was satisfied, but it means that for only my 3rd day back being human again, it was a really great end to an absolutely insane (albeit mostly good) work day.


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