Getting Back on Track

In the last two weeks, I’ve had two back-to-back conferences (two days and three days) plus a one-on-one meetup about business, I’ve been interviewed twice about the books and journals I’ve published, and I consulted on interviews with other dancers. And I still managed to feed myself and my dogs and get to the day job on time. For an introvert like me, it was a LOT! While I’m grateful for all of these opportunities, I’m also grateful to be able to stay home for most of the weekend and do quieter things like write this blog post and go to the studio tomorrow for solo practice.

I had a lesson with Teacher this past Wednesday, after I got back into town from the conferences. Even though at that point, it had been two weeks since my last lesson, it felt like I had been gone for a month. You know how it is – time flies by when your schedule is all go, go, go.

Teacher jumped right in and had me do a solo round of my Open routines. I was nervous, like I was about to be caught at not doing my homework. My mind had been so focused on other things beside my dancing. Would I even remember my routines?

As an added bonus, Teacher decided to record my solo round. So not only would I be caught at not doing my homework, it would be captured on video. Perfect.

The round didn’t go as badly as I feared. Turns out I did remember most of my routines. Viennese was the fuzziest, but I kept going past the sections I blanked on and surprised myself toward the end when I successfully made it through a section I usually fumble.

Teacher was satisfied with what I could do, and we reviewed the videos to pinpoint spots that I should focus on in solo practice. I still got the feeling like I didn’t finish all of my homework as he expressed full confidence in my abilities to implement what we work on during my practice sessions.

Even though I know how to implement my learnings into my practice time (I did write the book on solo practice), I realized that due to my crazy schedule over the last couple of weeks, I hadn’t been acting on that knowledge and that made me feel like I had fallen behind.

It’s a common challenge for pro-am students and one of the reasons The Girl with the Tree Tattoo exists. We already had full lives when we discovered our passion for ballroom dancing. We work full-time jobs, and we have homes and families to care for. There are so many things other than dance that pull at our attention, time and energy. Our dance journey is different from that of our professional counterparts and therefore, it requires a different approach.

One of my big takeaways from the business conferences I attended was I wanted to focus more on my dancing in 2020. I want to compete more and continue to push myself as a dancer. Of course, there’s no time like the present to work on your goals! I don’t need to wait until January 1 to refocus and recommit to what I want.

The other thing that’s happened over the last two weeks (maybe three) is I’ve slacked off on my nutrition and fitness. I ate too much and exercised too little, and I can feel the effects on my body. So along with dance training, I need to get back into cross training to keep my body primed for performance and to avoid re-aggravating my knee injuries.

If you’re feeling like you’ve gotten off track like I’m feeling, I’d like to give us both permission to not feel guilty about it. I started to feel a little guilty about not getting my homework done in my last private lesson, but instead of dwelling there, I started plotting on how I was going to get back on track. I know how to incorporate my solo practice time into my busy schedule (chapter 2 of The Solo Practice Guide), so I have the tools. I just need to act.

What better time to act than in the two busiest months of the year!…right? Between the day job, holiday travel, and exciting things happening in The Girl with the Tree Tattoo brand, November and December are going to be a little nuts. Nuts in a good way, but still nuts (I feel tired just thinking about it).

Which is why I actually do believe that now is the perfect time to recommit and implement what I know like I know I need to do. If I can get back on track now, amidst the chaos, I’ll already be on a roll come January 1.

So what am I going to do first? Start as if I never stopped. Do what I would normally do if I never got off track. I know I need to recover from the last two weeks, so like after any crazy week, I’ll spend some chill time with my boys and do a light workout. If I’m feeling good, I’ll probably throw in a second workout. Tomorrow is Sunday, so I’ll go to the studio for my usual solo practice.

When you get off track, do you feel like you need to make some grand gesture to get back on track? Like you have to make up for the lost time all at once?

The truth is if you were going to the gym every Thursday for an hour, and then you skipped a couple Thursdays, the only thing you have to do to get back on track is show up at the gym on the next Thursday. If you don’t want to wait until Thursday, then go on Tuesday. Or whenever. Just go!

There will always be something or someone trying to get us off track, and sometimes they’re successful. That’s Life. All you have to do at that point is step back on the track.

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m getting back on track with my blogging, my cross training, and my dance practice by just resuming the routines that were already in place. I didn’t stop, I just hit pause while my focus had to be elsewhere.

Have you had to hit pause recently? Please share so we can support each other in pressing play again.


2 thoughts on “Getting Back on Track

  1. Laura Spitler says:

    I haven’t made it to the gym in 2 months! Just been to busy with work, competition prep, and moving. Decided not to beat myself up about it, since I was still keeping active with dance, but I’m looking forward to getting back to the gym tonight.


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