The day’s almost here! I compete at Embassy Ball and the World Championships on Thursday! While Thursday is my only performance day, some of Teacher’s other students will be competing at both Embassy AND USDC, a.k.a. Nationals, next week. Stress levels were getting a little high, and so Teacher and his pro partner arranged a pre-comp gift for all of us. They invited sports psychology consultant Mario Soto to come to the studio and do a group session.
The countdown to Beach Bash continues! I joked with Teacher at my lesson on Friday that I must not be pushing myself hard enough because I haven’t had an anxiety attack yet. I did have a panic attack in a dream, but I don’t think that counts.
The lesson itself was challenging but in a good way. Teacher wanted to work on arm styling for the shadow portion of our foxtrot routine. Ugh! Nothing like focusing on one of my least favorite aspects in my least favorite, i.e., most challenging, smooth dance. Luckily, I was in beast mode.
I had a few (ok, more than a few) moments during my lesson when I wavered and felt the urge to throw my hands up and shout “I can’t do it!” I kept going though. Teacher and I would dance, and I would say “Again!” and march back to where we started before he had a chance to speak. At one point, after I had some difficulty going through the routine to music, Teacher suggested we do it again without music, so we could take it slower. I refused; less than two weeks before the comp was no time to slow down or take it easy!
So how did I go from a Nervous Nelly to a Ballroom Beast?
The main thing I did was eliminate distracting stressors. Over the past week, I slowly realized I was putting time and effort into things that were only causing me stress. Or I was letting myself stress over things I couldn’t control. So I set some things aside, let other things go, and focused on what was important to me: preparing for my comeback!
I read an article about why successful people seem to be able to accomplish so much more than not-so-successful people. We all have the same 24 hours each day, and yet some people seem to be able to “do it all” while others…don’t.
For me, it boils down to priorities and time management. Parents, you know what I’m talking about. Juggling work, a home, and kids with after-school activities that are more likely than not scheduled at the most inconvenient times isn’t easy. Yet, you make it work.
I want to point out too that you don’t have to be financially successful in order to be able to do more. The article referenced Beyoncé and someone commented “yeah, I could do more if I had a personal cook and a maid too.”
I work two jobs, blog, dance, take care of two fur babies, and at some point soon, I will finally decide which idea will become the next Dance Diaries book and write it. I’m definitely not wealthy like Ms. Bey, and being single, I also do all of this on my own while keeping my home more or less clean, my bills paid and my car running. So am I a successful person?
There is still too much struggle for me to feel wholly successful yet, but focusing my energy on what’s important to me and managing my time accordingly will help me get there. Recognizing those time sucks and brick walls I keep banging my head against help me too. That’s what I did this past week, and it worked. The dances are coming together. I still think I have a lot of work to do, but I’m feeling focused. Beast mode, grrr!
On the non-dance side of preparing for my comp, I’m feeling like Pinocchio’s long-lost sister who’s starting to become a “real girl!” In my efforts to come up with a hairstyle I could do myself for Beach Bash, I bought my very first curling iron. Yes, I’m in my 30s and have never owned, or used, this styling tool. I have also purchased eyelash glue, bronzer and something called a kabuki brush. I have more beauty products and styling tools in my bathroom right now than I’ve ever had in my entire life. It’s weird. I had an appointment with my hairdresser today to get a trim, but mainly to get educated on how to properly use a hair dryer so my hair doesn’t frizz out before I try to curl it into a wavy wonder. The good news is I have a doable idea for my hair! I need to practice it a couple more times, but I think I can pull it off. No wait, beast mode…I know I can pull it off!
Before group class yesterday, I was formulating a post idea in my head about entering “beast mode.” You’ve probably heard the term. It’s used to describe someone in a state of extreme determination and action, like an incredible hulk of productivity. No more excuses, no slacking off. In beast mode, you get things DONE.
I was feeling a bit like I was in beast mode. After a good lesson on Wednesday, which ended with a practice round (meaning we danced all four dances in a row, just like we will at the competition), I identified mistakes I made and things I needed to work on. And I was ready to WORK. “Let’s dance that again, and then dance it 10 more times!” I arrived at the studio early yesterday so I could practice before Teacher’s waltz group class.
It didn’t go so well.