It’s ok if you don’t feel like dancing right now

Officially two weeks in with this new “stay at home” reality (technically it’s been about a week and a half by order of the state but I started earlier). Week 1 was stressful and surreal, like “crap, is this really happening?” Week 2 was more contemplative. Yes, this is happening and it could be happening for a long while.

It’s been interesting to see how the dance community has reacted to their entire industry essentially being put out of work until further notice. Some reacted quickly to shift their services online and minimize disruption of their business. Some have shifted to giving away their services and asking for donations to keep them afloat. Others are simply showing up online frequently with inspirational messages and short dance demonstrations to encourage people to keep moving. The common thread is no one is ready to give up.

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The Times, They Are a-Changin’ (or Are They?)

Does anyone else feel like the last week took a month to pass? It was my first full week of adapting to the new reality we find ourselves in. Two Fridays ago, my company ordered everyone who could work from home to do so until further notice. On Monday, the county I live in issued an order (and then a revised order) restricting private and public gatherings, and then the state of California issued a “stay at home” order effective beginning Thursday until further notice.

It’s been stressful and surreal to experience so many changes in such a short time. No surprise that my anxiety was high and focusing on work became more difficult every day. Finally, on Friday, a mindset shift and a trip to my dad’s apartment helped me release some of the tension.

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Dancing in the Time of COVID-19

We are living through some crazy times right now. I received official orders from the day job on Friday to work from home until further notice (we haven’t had any positive cases, but the company decided to play it safe). I went to five different stores on my way home and none of them had a single roll of toilet paper (I’m down to two “mega” rolls so I’ll be fine for a little while, but yeesh!). Major sporting events and huge theme parks are shutting down. Even the ballroom world is being hit hard with dance competitions being cancelled or postponed, and group classes and practice parties at local dance studios being cancelled until further notice.

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Staying Fit Through Knee Injuries

It’s been over 6 months since I first started going to physical therapy for chondromalacia patella in both of my knees. In the first couple months, I regained the 6 pounds I had lost during the fitness program I joined at the beginning of the year. Then I signed up for a 90-day transformation program and lost almost 11 pounds.

Aside from the weight loss, the biggest change in the last 6 months is that my body has gotten stronger. I had a lesson with the owner of my studio last week and she commented that she could see that I was using my core as I danced the practice routine she provided. She was impressed with my strength. She’s one of those people who doesn’t give praise just because, so when you get a compliment from her, it really means something.

That plus compliments from my physical therapist on how I was handling my at-home PT inspired me to share what I’ve been doing to not only stay fit, but also grow stronger, as I recover from double knee injuries.

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90 Day Transformation Program Update – Week 1

Week 2 of my 90-day transformation program officially started on Monday, with a new meal plan. This week features a lot of turkey and I forgot how expensive turkey is compared to the $2/lb chicken breasts I usually buy. I also realized how rarely I actually buy meat, now that I’m having to buy it to cover breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. It adds up! I requested cheaper protein for next week’s meal plan, like lentils.

Week 1 went pretty well. I actually dropped a couple pounds on the scale, though I fully expect the numbers to fluctuate as I move through this program. I didn’t get to exercise much due to my knee flareup, but I ordered a heart rate monitor* for the first time and had fun seeing how many calories I burned during my lesson and then two practice sessions.

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Our Bodies Are Meant to Move

Did you see my social media post from a few days ago?  I finally got the green light from my physical therapist to dance full out in my lesson. No more marking or holding back! I was excited, relieved, and a little nervous. I was tired of having to hold back. I just wanted to dance!  But what if my knees didn’t do well? What if I regressed right back to the pain I was experiencing before starting PT?

Interestingly, I did feel like I took a step back this week, but not because of dancing. Quite the opposite.

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