Patience and Persistence

I don’t know what to write this week, so we’re just going to start writing and see what comes out. Usually I have an idea by midweek, but this week – nada. My brain’s been a bit scattered and preoccupied, and with three months left in the year, I have this weird sense of “I’ve still got plenty of time” and “I’m running out of time.”

How about some dance-related stuff?

Teacher and I are slowly (very slowly) but surely working on Open choreography for Waltz. Despite a body that may appear strong and flexible, it is not very good at leg lifts or back bends. Guess what we have in our choreo?

Of course, it’s Open so there are no rules that say we must include those kinds of moves, but I like them in there. Now I just have to get my body conditioned to do them. I did discover a YouTube channel that will help me do that called Lazy Dancer Tips. I tried her Improve Extensions workout on Saturday (the 30 minute one) and I almost died. But I finished it! Only had to pause a few times.

I know improvement is not going to happen overnight, so I’m telling myself ahead of time to be patient and to not set unrealistic expectations. If I stay persistent and consistent in this work like I am with my solo practice, it’ll happen.

I’m also trying to consistently go to a Zumba class every week. One ballroom lesson a week is a drag, frankly, and Zumba is only $7. I still get to dance with other people at least, and it’s more of a “let loose” environment than ballroom, so it’s really great stress relief.

This definitely feels like a hard stop after competing five times in eight months. “Oh, you won a World Champion title? Ok, you’re done, stop now.” I haven’t stopped though; the pace of the new chapter is just starting out slowly. Again, I have to tell myself to be patient and don’t lay off the training just because I don’t have a comp around the corner.

I’m reminded of 2016 when a major Life challenge forced me to take a break from competing for basically the entire year. I did one local comp in February 2016 and that was it.

Back then, we started working on Rhythm. It was something different and something I wanted to do, and there was plenty to work on so I wouldn’t get bored (like I could have if we just kept working on the four Smooth dances without getting to perform them at comps). Now we’re working on Open Smooth, something different, fun and challenging. Plenty to work on and develop while I figure out when I’ll be able to compete again.

Some of the “I have all of the time/I have no time” feelings rise to the surface. My best guess right now is I won’t be able to compete again until April. That gives us six to seven months to develop four Open routines. That seems like a lot of time, right?  But if I’m not able to shift back to two lessons a week in that time, it’s not much time at all. I’d only have about four lessons a month, assuming we fit in a lesson every week even when Teacher had competitions. That’s three hours a month. Now, six to seven months feels like no time. Hmmmm.

So much can happen in that timeframe. Often, when you’re working hard at something, it feels like you’re barely making any progress until something suddenly shifts and the final pieces fall into place. It’s like when you hear about those overnight successes, they forget to mention the years of work that led up to that “sudden” success.

I’m definitely in a slow-down period, working until all of the pieces fall into place. It feels weird because 2018 was going in 6th gear and then after Embassy Ball, I had to downshift all the way to 2nd. But it’s for real reasons. Moving up to Open means putting the breaks on competitions and breaking out a new drawing board for new routines. Non-dance issues also need to be addressed, and so I’m cutting back on lesson time. Reasons.

Patience and persistence are what I need now. Things will happen. I don’t know when and they probably won’t happen as quickly as I want, but they will happen. I just need to be ready for when they do.

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