Only a month until I return to the competition floor!
I’m having the worst time deciding how I want to start this blog post, so I’m writing this sentence just so there is something written. Maybe it will start flowing from here.
Or we can skip to the end – I had a simply wonderful time at Desert Classic this past week! It was the perfect mix of work and pleasure and left me feeling relaxed and fulfilled. I had a couple moments watching the competition when I felt that bittersweet wish to be the one on the dance floor, not in the audience, but actually those moments were far fewer than I expected. I was too busy enjoying myself, cheering others on, and connecting with dance friends, both new and old.
This countdown series certainly took a different turn from my other competition countdown series. Although, it isn’t the first one in which I ended up not competing. That’s part of the fun of blogging about my journey as it happens instead of telling a story that’s already over; not even I know what’s going to happen next!
I thought this post would be coming out next week, but the wait ended early. If you’ve been following along, you know Teacher and I set a go/no-go date by which we would do a final assessment of our Open routines and decide if they would be ready to debut at Desert Classic. I was determined to get them ready, as I’ve grown weary of sitting on the sidelines since my last competition at the end of August. But as Treebeard liked to say, don’t be hasty. Being determined is one thing. Actually being ready is another.
To keep you from shivering too much from anticipation, I’ll just come out with it.
(Bonus points to those who can name the movie references.)
Are you ready?
This question can have very simple implications or very deep ones. If I asked you one morning if you were ready for work, you’d run a simple checklist through your head and be able to quickly respond yes or no. But if I asked you if you were ready for the big presentation at work that took you months of preparation, you might hesitate as you processed last minute jitters and considered more than just a checklist to determine your readiness.
Same can be applied to ballroom (and really, what can’t?). Are you ready for your lesson? Simple yes or no. Are you ready for your last lesson before your competition? You might need a little more time to consider.
The older I get and the more I aim to do with my life, the more I realize how important and effective it is to have a support system. I was raised to be a strong and independent woman, and I am. I’ve accomplished a great deal on my own. I’ve accomplished a great deal more when I’ve had support.
This past week, I posted on social media about finally having my “oh shit” moment about competing at Desert Classic. Six weeks and four days to go! Teacher said we needed to make sure we had a game plan and pick a go/no-go date. He believed we’d be ready, but with me only taking one lesson per week, I had to be on point with my solo practices.
Then of course, as we went through Waltz, everything I wasn’t solid on yet came to light and it all congealed into this icky coat of self-doubt. Shit.
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.
As you probably know, I’ve been dealing with knee injuries for the past couple months. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine invited me to try a different kind of treatment: Reiki therapy. My friend Ritika Rose is a certified advanced Reiki practitioner, certified Life Coach, and a licensed Occupational Therapist (among other things, this girl has led a full life!). I had never had a Reiki session before. I typically default to Western medicine for treating illness and injury; that’s just what I grew up with. I also like to be open to new experiences, and what better way to try something new than with a trusted friend! Of course, if it’s something that contributes to my dance journey, I’ll share it here too. So read on to find out what my first Reiki session was like!