Yesterday when I went to my lesson Ivan and I had a heart to heart. I think Tony Meredith was a good influence on him. They talked about the fact that nobody ever feels ready but if we wait to feel ready we’d never do anything. They talked about how important it is to practice the mental aspects of competing as much as it is to practice the technique. They talked about how you’ll never be younger than you are now. They talked about how important it is to not regret – the importance of going after you goals in the now.
Anyways, it shifted something in Ivan. He’s got a new outlook and is keen to compete and be seen more often with Marieta. It seems to be paying off. They did so much better last week in Atlanta and, even better than their placement, were the comments from judges afterward. They really feel like this is their year. If they are going to do anything, their goal is to be finalists, it’s gotta be now.
And it’s lucky for me, too. Because the shift helped Ivan re-think things with us as well. He realized that he actually did want to dance with me. Both of us had had the mentality that we didn’t want to show up until I was closer to “perfect” – that I was more thin, that’s the biggest hang up, but we’ve had such a good time on our lessons lately, I’ve been so mentally relaxed and moving so much more and feeling more secure in our routines because we’ve been practicing them so much, well I felt like we could dance in a competition next week if we wanted to. The only thing stopping us was my fat.
The main reason we didn’t want to compete and haven’t was because we didn’t want to feel like we did at our most recent competition. A lot of that had to do with feeling insecure, and, a big portion of that had to do with Ivan’s thoughts as much as they did with mine. Because when he’s feeling proud and good about showing me off we tend to do well. When he’s stressed out, feeling bad because I’m the fat one and we’re focusing on that, then we do more poorly.
The reality is I’m still not where I want to be physically. But, on the flip side, I’m in better shape. We practiced doing rounds tonight and I was able to handle it. The Orange Theory cardio has been helping. And last night at Inna’s class I was surprised to see some new students who obviously had some experience but were extremely out of breath with our exercises, to the point of bending over and gasping, and I was doing just fine. And, I tried on my dress and even if it’s not how I want it to look, it does look better than the last time I donned it.
Life’s too short. Why not dance? I guess that’s basically what it comes down to. And we’re only doing open heats. I have zero expectations. It’s all about me, my progress, my experience, my growth. Beyond that, it’s about enjoying our dancing, and enjoying the partnership.
I’ll be honest. I’d lost some of my fire. Because for me, doing this dancing thing, it has importance because I am a competitive student. It’s fine to take a break from competitions and all, but I don’t want to dance socially. I got clear on that a while ago. So if I’m not ever going to compete, then I should save my money and stop taking lessons.
The long and short of it is, Ivan really wanted to dance with me, even if for just a little bit. He took the conversation with Tony to heart and it changed things. He was so cute and told me multiple times that he wasn’t doing it for the money, and that if I couldn’t get the day off or if it was too expensive that he was fine, that I didn’t have to do it. But that he thought it might be good to get out there once again, to just even do little things, because we are both clear on my ultimate goals. And when I told him this morning that I was in, he texted me back, “I so excited for you!” And then tonight he told me, “I told you I not care if you can not doing this, but really I do care. I’m so glad you are doing this.”
He really took the time to talk with me yesterday and I was like, well, sure. If I can get the day off, I’d be up for a few heats. My biggest concern was him being proud to dance with me, to want to dance with me. I’m a work in progress, and I’ve made some progress. Why not live a little and show it off? Plus, he only wanted to do open heats with me – no more Bronze – so that speaks volumes to me as well.
I love how life is a flowing river. You can never know what might be around the next bend. Two weeks ago we would have said we were not competing in People’s Choice. Yesterday we discussed it. Today I went to see if I could maybe get the day off only to realize that it was the one Friday out of every 5 that I have off because I work on that Saturday. It’s almost like it was meant to be.
And I have to laugh because not only did we not plan this, but I have decided to loan some of my dresses to a very special lady across the country who is competing at her very first competition in just a few days! (A blog post about that is forthcoming) At least I was smart enough to save one dress for myself, but I couldn’t dance Smooth if I wanted to! I only have a costume suitable for Rhythm or Latin. It all seems to be working out.
So yeah, life is pretty dang good right now. I’m blessed to be in the position where I can do this at the drop of a hat. I’m mentally chilled, have time to get the nails done, I’m prepared enough physically, I have a dress that will work, I have an instructor that wants to dance with me, and I could think of a lot worse ways to spend a Friday off work!
I scheduled a lesson for tonight and, like I mentioned, right away I wanted to do rounds of our open routines to see if I could hack it cardiovascularly. I did, and that is actually a major victory for me and a testament to the work I’ve been doing outside of my dancing since we rarely practice one routine after another in a lesson. I’ve never done open scholarship at a competition so I figure it’s better to try it out now, at a local, smaller competition, with less pressure and when I am mentally relaxed.
Alright, enough with the “serious” stuff! Now for the funny part! So tonight we were practicing our Bolero and Ivan all the sudden stops and says, “I hear this crack!” And he grabs his nether-regions from behind. “I think I split my pants!” He says. “Third time in my career,” he says. And he then proceeds to recount other episodes of pants splitting, the worst being white cotton pants gaping up the entire back seam from crotch to lower back while teaching at a studio all day long, not being able to change them or leave to get another pair because his schedule was so full!
I laughed, as you might imagine, hysterically, and said, “Show me. Let’s see what happened.”
He split not one side but two!!!! LOLOLOL. I laughed even harder, and I love this man, because he actually let me take this photo! OMG!!!! Never a dull moment with this guy.
I guess that’s all the news! If you are coming to People’s Choice here in Phoenix, please do come say hello!