At the end of my lesson on Thursday, Ivan told me that he was going skiing this weekend in Payson to celebrate a friend’s birthday.
“Have fun and be safe,” I said. “I will probably see you next Tuesday, then.”
For some reason, maybe because it would be 4 days without practice, Ivan said, “Come for a lesson tomorrow. I give you buy one get one free.”
I couldn’t turn that down so I said “Well, Ivan, I work until 5pm so it’d have to be like 6pm.”
“Let me check my schedule.”
And we agreed he would call me to confirm the time for this extra lesson.
About 3 minutes later, I got a call.
“Stefanie, I forget I am leaving at 5pm tomorrow to leave for Payson. What time you have to be at work?”
Was he really this committed to getting an extra lesson in that he was suggesting we dance before I went to work for the day?
“I have to be there at 9am but it is like 40 minutes away from the studio so we’d need to be done around 8am. We’d have to meet at like 6:30am to get a double lesson in and be done in time.”
“Oh my God! 6:30am? Let’s try it. I never had a lesson so early! But we do it. Okay?”
I agreed. But warned Ivan, as my husband can attest, that I am NOT a morning person. I was gonna have to be up by 5am to get ready and make it to the studio on time. It is about 45 minutes away from my home.
It was dark and cold when I arrived at the studio, but there is something magical about starting the day in darkness and watching the world warm as the orange sun rises in the horizon.
Sunrise in Aachen, Germany by Lusitana
Ivan told me that everyone was asleep in his house, even the dogs, but that his father-in-law woke up and asked him what he was doing.
“Teaching a dance lesson,” he explained.
“What? At this hour? Who is so crazy to have a lesson so early?”
Um, that would be me.
We began with stretches and a Bolero to warm up. We then proceeded to mark the Rumba routine, which Ivan has changed once again. After about an hour working on the showcase piece, we just start dancing, going through Samba, Swing, Cha Cha, and Mambo. I’ve worked up a sweat and my body was warm and buzzing and it wasn’t even 8am yet.
Maybe Ivan is crazy and maybe I’m crazy too. So far this man has had me do all sorts of tricks that I’d never imagined I’d do, meets with me regularly at a location that takes me 45 minutes to get to, and now has me coming in for lessons at ungodly hours of the day. But I saw it as an opportunity. I could have said no, thanks Ivan, but I’d rather get an extra hour and half of sleep and stay in my warm, comfy bed, plus I’m not a morning person. But really, now, even though it was a little bit uncomfortable, which experience will I ultimately treasure more? Sleeping or dancing? The answer is clear for me.
So, what else am I saying “yes” to in my life? What am I saying “no” to? What am I missing out on because of those choices?
“Yes” to sleeping in means “no” to time to meditate or do some physical activity in the morning before going into work. “Yes” to wine with dinner means “yes” to extra calories, sleep disturbances, and not being my best the next morning – but it feels really good in the moment. I mean, every moment is a choice, and every choice has prices and benefits. What benefits am I garnering by my choices and what prices am I really paying?
I’m glad that in this instance I chose to say “yes” to an extra dance class. Though I had to pay a price of being a little bit sleep-deprived, in this case I think it was worth it.
But I have to be honest here. I don’t always choose in ways that ultimately support me in achieving the things I say I want. Isn’t it a strange aspect of the human condition that we can be moving toward something and fighting against ourselves at the same time? I have been doing it for years and years with my weight and my body. Sadly, I think the price hasn’t been high enough yet for me to commit to changing, no matter what. I haven’t committed.
I’d love to be able to write here that I’ve chosen to commit, but based on results, often harsh but always fair, I really haven’t. I’m telling myself I’m committed to the picture in my head of what I will look like at the Desert Classic, but I’m not always taking the actions to support that. I’ve plateaued with the weight loss this past week because I went off plan. I’ve been saying yes to comfort and no to my goal. I got knocked a little off path emotionally when I released the tutoring and went to my habitual way of coping, which isn’t coping, it is eating. I will say it was less severe than other times in the past but it has still set me back. Why do I keep doing this to myself? I’ll do well for a while and then relax. I’ll be feeling good, have some positive momentum behind me, and then I self-sabotage.
I’m in this pre-contemplative state. I have access to that Insanity work out program that I could do at home, and I have a dvd of the New York Ballet work out, as well as Hip Hop Abs. I have a Kinnect on my Xbox 360 and Dance, Dance Revolution. I could stretch. I could practice doing a Rumba box in my kitchen. I could say no to the lunch they are ordering at work because I brought my BistroMD meal. I could be doing so much more. And I don’t.
In moments when the pain of the burden of the flesh I’m carrying around is acute, I resolve to myself that I will change. Like, when I was at Galaxy and I saw pictures of myself, or when I’m in Inna’s class, dying for breath, in those moments I realize I can’t continue to exist like this and that I must change. But the feeling fades and so does the motivation. I can’t seem to make it “stick.”
So, I’m gonna ask for some support here. I am not good at this. I can’t seem to resolve to just power through this journey like I did for the first few weeks. I experienced some unsettling feelings in my life and I allowed it to become an excuse. I’m up against the wall and I’m caving in. I’ve done this same thing for years, now, basically just treading water but not making it anywhere.
Like in my mind I intellectually know exactly what I could do. And I know that I need to do it no matter how I “feel” about it if I’m going to get where I want to go. I need to be pushing my body regularly in new ways that stress it and make it adapt. I need to be eating on my plan. I need to be getting the proper amount of sleep and take a multi-vitamin. So if I know all this, why am I still not doing it!?
I hate to be such a “Debbie Downer” and this is my reality right now. I’d love to be all, rah, rah, sis-boom-ba! I’m gonna tackle the world and kick some ass! But that would be lying. I need some external motivation, I think – some tighter accountability and someone to push me even when the going gets tough. I’m just being a whiny wimp right now, I know. I’m sure I’ll shift out of it at some point. But why do I even go here in the first place?
Well, this I know. I have a dance lesson to go to most days this week. I know I will show up for styling with Marieta on Monday, Inna’s class on Tuesday, Toni’s class on Wednesday, and Tina’s class plus a dance party on Thursday. I know I will also schedule at least 2 lessons with Ivan. I know I will show up for these things and will keep showing up. I know that I will choose to get back on plan and I know that I will progress. I just don’t know why I continue to take these detours along the way.
So, if anyone has some suggestions to help me out, please post a comment. I am open to your feedback on how I can be more self-disciplined. What has worked for you in the past? What helped you to finally overcome something you came up against over and over? What finally got you to make the changes you knew you needed to make and stick with them, no matter what? What got you to commit?
I’ve hit a wall and I need some help to get over it.
I have NO excuses. Seriously.
This man, Nick Vujicic, is a Samurai. Check out his video and you’ll see what I mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc4HGQHgeFE&feature=youtu.be
Ok, enough complaining, Stefanie. It just relieves the pressure so I don’t have to do anything about my situation. But the reality is, I need to be putting that energy I’m putting toward complaining toward my goal instead. After all, the sun will rise on a different day tomorrow. I can choose back in. And so I will.