The more I learn, the less I know

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Warning, I’m feeling a little introspective so who know where this will go.

Last night’s lesson wasn’t the best but it wasn’t a total disaster either although it easily could have turned out that way.  I was in a bad place mentally.   The conversation on Monday kind of threw me because I do better when I have time to think about something before responding and sometimes, when pressed, I end up saying things the wrong way or it comes out differently than I meant it so I was basically replaying our conversation in my head all day yesterday and planning out what I would say today if it came up.  It didn’t help that the life sucking cold has settled over us again and that made it easier for me to not walk over to the gym at work.  Even the fact that I’m leaving Friday for a week of warmth wasn’t enough to really brighten my mood so things weren’t good from the start.

And, my instructor had some things going on so she came to the lesson a little tired and not focused.  The good news is that what we talked about on Monday never came up.  But there are times and places where we come in with different moods and they don’t mix and last night was one of them.  I was ready to try to focus on technique and her mind wasn’t there at the beginning so she was stumbling through the routine.  Normally, that doesn’t bother me but last night it did.  Guess she picked up on it because she asked a question and I was stupid enough to give her the honest answer.  She got more serious which was good but it also meant she dropped into super nit picky mode and was tearing apart a lot of what I was doing.  Maybe that was just me reading too much into it but I can get to points where I’m hyper sensitive to criticism because every statement just chips away at my confidence and starts me down that road to my mind thinking I really don’t know what I’m doing and that I’m never going to get this stuff down and on and on and on.

My biggest problem is posture.  For some reason, I can’t train myself to keep my head up and back and to stand up as tall as I can.  My head keeps coming forward and I can’t always feel when it happens so she notices and points it out.  Then it gets frustrating for me because I don’t understand why this is so difficult and why I can’t get it and how stupid can you be that you can keep your freaking head up where it belongs.  I get to that place and there isn’t a whole lot that can be done because even when she points out that it isn’t uncommon or she points out that there are things she struggles with, it doesn’t help because I just get so hung up on why I can’t get something that should be relatively simple.  This is when we get into the danger zone because I can become super hyper sensitive to criticism and she responds with jokes about my screw ups which I never find funny and things can then spiral out of control.  Interesting to me is that I use humor to run myself down a lot and she hates it when I do it but she has no problem running me down with her own jokes.  Anyway, we never reached a really bad place last night which was a good thing.  I did channel my inner five year old after hearing “keep your head back” for the millionth time so I made an exaggerated effort to keep it back complete with silly facial expressions to show my displeasure at having to do this.  No, it did not help but it made me feel marginally better for a minute or two.

But it just seems like every time we do a run through on a routine, there is always something that she can find that I can do better.  It is hard for me to not get overwhelmed when there seem to be hundreds of tiny little things I have to remember to go along with some of the bigger things like posture and timing and this is just one routine out of the many that I have to get down.  I know that saying “I can’t” or feeling defeated becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy but it is hard to avoid going over that cliff.  If I knew some kind of magic confidence words, I would stop and take a moment and use them.  Guess that should be a goal for me.  The logical part of my brain can easily look at what I’ve achieved and that having things that I don’t do as well does not subtract from what I already know.  But dancing just brings out stronger emotions than I’m used to and they can easily take over and focus on what I don’t know and then start in with the “well you should know that” or “why can’t you do that right”, etc.

I also just realized last night that we are about midway between the fall and spring showcase and this is where things start to lag a little bit for me.  All the excitement and joy of the last showcase has faded and all the good feeling I had there are stored away but no longer in the front of my mind.  So right now, it is looking at how much time is left until the next one and looking at the state of the routines and just wonder if I’m ever going to pull it together.  Again, the logical part of my brain knows that none of the routines are as bad as I think they are but, dancing seems to be the one place where logic doesn’t always win with me.

One more lesson tonight and then I’m off for a week of sun.  They have a coach coming in after I get back and I should have a lesson booked with her.  Probably work on a waltz routine so we’ll see how that goes.  In the meantime, the temperatures today are supposed to get off the arctic lows and into more normal January like.  Still cold but not death inducing cold.  My one meeting today got cancelled so I’ll have time this morning to get over to the gym and pound the treadmill for awhile.  Just saying that makes me think today will be a better day.

One comment

  1. I completely understand. I’ve been in this situation quite a few times myself! My inner 5 years old shows it’s head sometimes too. Some lessons are just better than others. 🙂 My teacher tells me I have a small meltdown about once a month. ha! He launches into the whole learning curve speech …
    I just have to remind myself that I love this hobby and if it was easy, I probably wouldn’t care so much.

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