As follow-up to their joint interview in April, I had asked Elizabeth Thomson and Nicholas Barkley if they would be willing to do individual interviews and share more of how ballroom has impacted their lives. Liz shared her struggles with PTSD and how ballroom brought her back to life in May. Now, we get to hear from Nick!
Excuse my language, but shit, is it really less than 3 weeks until I compete at Embassy Ball? It wasn’t even that long ago that I danced at Desert Classic.
It’s still weird to be doing a third competition this year and even weirder that each one has been only 2 or 3 months apart. Weird in a good way though.
It’s got me thinking about what’s changed or what I’ve done differently this year for these three competitions to be possible. I’m one of those people who get stuck on the idea that I just need that one big key thing to happen and then everything will work out. But really, it ends up being a bunch of smaller things that add up.
The funny thing is after I typed out the title of this post, I stared at my computer screen for a couple hours, in between browsing social media, and then decided to go to bed. That first sentence was finally written the next morning while I ate breakfast. I knew I was running late, but no one gets into the office until at least an hour after I do, so I decided not to rush and, at the same time, be productive while I drank my tea. It was English Breakfast. This final version wasn’t completed until that night, while I was drinking another cup of tea, an herbal blend.
I know I preach a “don’t give up” philosophy. The #dontgiveup hashtag appears on the majority of my Instagram posts. Perseverance, along with hard work and a bit (or a lot) of luck, has gotten me where I am today.
Fall down seven times, get up eight.
It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop.
I’ve shared all of these meme-worthy quotables and turned them into motivational mantras for myself. They and similar phrases help get me through the tough days, weeks and months. I’ve come this far, I can’t give up now.
Well, over this past week, I realized I have to change my tune a bit. I’ve reached a point where I don’t really have a choice. I have to give up.
It makes me anxious, but it’s for the best.
This month, I invited another dancer to write her own story. We met through Instagram of all places. Her Instagram account (@girlinthe_vans) is mainly videos of her dancing at a gym. No fancy costumes or glamorous settings. Just her, the music, and dance. The story behind these videos is full of pain and loss. But always, there was dance, ready to act as a lifeline when she reached for it.
Have you ever tried to do something, even though the chance that you would succeed was so slim, it was practically impossible?
That’s me right now.
Another week, another competition. Ha, I wish! Nonetheless, I’ve officially completed my second competition of 2017. Thank goodness my passion is an indoor sport. It’s 118°F here today! I prefer hot to cold, but this heat is a little much. I’m still at the hotel and I did go to the outdoor lap pool this morning around 9am to swim a few laps. It was only 96 at that point.
If you follow me on social media, you already have an idea of how my dancing went yesterday. If not, feel free to pop over to one of my accounts and check it out (links in the side bar). I’ll wait.
Just a quick update from me, as I need to get to bed. I compete at Desert Classic on Thursday, but I have to work tomorrow and that means a 5am wake-up call! I still wanted to drop in and say hello.
The big question I assume you have is “am I ready?”
Hello from my new apartment! There are still a few things left at the old place, but I’ve been officially living in my new home since Sunday. What a week so far! My body hurts everywhere and I keep finding new bruises. I must have taken 1,000 trips between my car and the new or old apartment by now. Thank goodness the new place has an elevator (I’m on the third floor)! I slept surprisingly well my first night here. Guess I knew I was home. Or I was so physically and mentally exhausted from moving for two days in 90-degree weather that it didn’t matter where I laid down to sleep!
I’m feeling rundown at the moment, but that’s because I started moving this past weekend. Yes, I have a place to live! I’ve experienced it over and over, but it still seems crazy to me how it can feel like progress has completely stalled and then all of a sudden, something gives way and everything comes together all at once.