Countdown to Emerald – 5 Days: Mental Smackdown

Today’s episode of Mental Smackdown is brought to you by the demons in my head. Rated R for generous use of crude language. Do not look for inspiration here. It’s all about the self-pity.

Sometimes after I’ve won a few battles in a row against my demons, they go a little ghetto and lay a mental smackdown on me. Just to remind me that they can. I think that’s why I woke up feeling jaded yesterday and thinking “what the fuck am I doing, I have no business dancing ballroom, I must be trippin’.” Then when I try to shake it off during the day, the demons come and shove me back, as if to say “bitch, you get down and you stay down!” How rude.


You will bow down before your demon masters!

I slept maybe 4.5 hours last night. They’ve done a number on me. It’s hard not to think “shit man, I’m gonna make a fucking fool of myself.” When I’ve lost a battle, everything gets a negative light or spin. Every correction during my lesson is added to the evidence list of why I suck. Instead of seeing others practicing at a higher level and thinking that’s something to work toward, I think I’m not as good, aw fuck it, I am no good. I hang back from people I would normally chat with or off to the side of group class where normally I’m right in the middle of the action, so then I feel left out or excluded. Nevermind that I’m doing it to myself.

There is a 4-hour workshop at my studio this weekend, put on as a final prep for Emerald Ball. An hour dedicated to each smooth dance. Obviously I’m going, right? It’s perfect for me. Not so much. Follow me down the rabbit hole as I try to explain the distortions created by my demons.

First of all, three teachers including mine are teaching. The other two are pro world champions in smooth 4 times over. So everything they do looks perfect and easy and I feel like I’m still learning to put one foot in front of the other. Just a little intimidating. When they teach a group class or workshop, they deliver an incredible amount of valuable information. And I feel like a dunce when I can maybe process a third of it. A lot of the people who attend their workshops are dancing at the silver level or higher. Again, intimidating because I start out feeling like I’m behind everyone. But I put pressure on myself to keep up because I don’t want to let my teacher down. And then I feel like a failure when I don’t because duh, I am not at the silver level.

There is a good chance I will get completely overwhelmed and leave the workshop feeling like a fucking loser. And then I’ll compete 4 days later. And of course, I’ll put pressure on myself to not screw up or forget anything I learned in the workshop because if I do, I’ll let down not one, but three teachers! Yeah, sure, that’ll work. Fuck.

We hope you enjoyed today’s episode of self-pity. The demons hope you will join us next time on Mental Smackdown.


7 thoughts on “Countdown to Emerald – 5 Days: Mental Smackdown

  1. TheGirlWithTheTreeTattoo says:

    Before anyone says anything, I know I don’t suck, I know I’m not letting my teachers down just because I forget something, I know I need to stop putting so much pressure on myself. But sometimes you just need to indulge in a little self-pity. 😛


  2. D_Wall says:

    Since I’ve made many trips to self-pity land myself, I’m not going to offer any pithy uplifting things. But I know exactly where you are coming from and I hate that something we love so much can tie us completely in knots. That does just mean we really care about it. Hang in there and go have fun at Emerald and kill those demons! They really can be evil and nasty at times.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Thespian says:

    I imagine that, like many of us, there was a reason that you started dancing that had nothing to do with competing. What was it? Sometimes when everything feels like too much, it’s good to take a step back and remind yourself of what that is. I find dancing fun, even if all the technical drilling and improvements don’t make it seem like much fun lately as I try to advance. When things seem overwhelming, that’s when I like to go out social dancing the most. It helps me put all the technique out of my head and go back to having fun for a while. Plus, when I stop thinking about things so hard, I find out that a lot of the technique that I’ve been fighting with has actually become muscle memory, so I don’t actually need to think about it so hard.

    Just my $0.02. I’m sure you’ll do great. I have faith in you. Now shake your hips to some George Michael with me! Dun dun dun, du-dun dun…

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheGirlWithTheTreeTattoo says:

      So true!! Dancing is fun! It’s sooo important to not lose that. I’ve been trying to refocus myself for Emerald because I really want to enjoy it (crazy, I know)! I didn’t have fun at my last comp, partly because I put a lot of pressure on myself. This insanity costs WAY too much for it to not be at least enjoyable!

      Liked by 1 person

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