Just Another Manic Monday

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I love my down time.  I hate the feeling of being rushed to get things done because there just isn’t enough time.  Monday’s are sometimes like that because my lesson at Studio B is early in the evening.  On good days, I can get home, feed the dogs, get some stuff done, eat (yeah we often have weird dinner times), and then have time to collect myself before driving to the studio.  The studio is not that far away but, because of the lesson time, I have to subject myself to rush hour traffic which isn’t as bad as much larger cities but it still exists.  The ironic thing is that I’ve always been able to time shift my work day to avoid rush hour but I subject myself to it three nights a week for dance lessons.  Such are the sacrifices we must make, I guess.

So, naturally, I scheduled a bath and check up for the dogs today.  It was the first day they offered and I jumped at it without considering the consequences.  I call it spa day for the dogs although I don’t think they would find it relaxing.  They do conk out and sleep after they get back but that’s likely because the day was so stressful.  Anyway, picking them up just put me about 30 minutes behind schedule and cut into my down time.  The dogs still needed to be fed when I got them back and I had a load of laundry to do and then I had to run the trash down for pickup tomorrow.  In the summer, when it is warm and light, I can wait until I get back from the lesson but walking down our long driveway in the cold and dark is not my idea of fun so I like to get it to the curb while it is still light.

And, for some reason, traffic was particularly heavy today which added 10 minutes to my normal drive time which means I arrived about a minute after our scheduled start and this was the lesson we were working with another guy on the choreography so it wasn’t a good lesson to be late.  The good news is that they were still working when I got there.  I’ll come back to the dancing later.

Adding to the manic nature of the day was a work problem.  Technology is great until it stops working and you have to scramble to make something happen.  Won’t bore you with the details but the bomb dropped about noon and then it was scramble mode to try and salvage testing planned for tomorrow.  It is one of those situations where you plan with the people you have and, inevitably, some detail eludes you and someone else brings it up when you are explaining the plan and then you have to start all over again.  We had the plan about 90% together when I had to leave to get the dogs.

The one part that was not manic was going to the fitness center.  A long time ago, some exercise equipment company had a commercial that said a body in motion stays in motion or maybe they used the body at rest stays at rest.  I can’t remember.  It was long ago and I didn’t pay that much attention to commercials even if they do use Newton’s laws.  Anyway, I had to fight some serious inertia today.  One thing I’ve found is that paying a trainer and having sessions booked in my calendar makes it much harder for me to be lazy.  When I’m just going myself, there are days when I look at how far it is the fitness center and how cold it is and think “I could just stay here”.   Doesn’t help that on those days, I’m just going to ride the stationary bike.  Some days, I can get into the music and zone out.  Other days, it is a struggle.  Today, I was counting semis as they roared by and reflected off our windows.  It was a contest to see if more we going south into the city or north out of the city.  Two rounds during two songs and it was basically a tie.

And the only reason I brought that up is the contrast between the gym and a dance lesson.  When I go to work out, I always change into workout appropriate clothing.  Not that I’m sweating up a storm but it helps with flexibility and comfort.  Yet, when I go to the studio for a lesson, I just wear whatever I was wearing during the day.  Which seems a little silly since there can be sweat involved in a lesson and what I wear to work is generally pretty nice.  Well my shirts are anyway.  Think I just got into the habit since the Famous Franchise male instructors are always in shirts with ties and sleeves rolled down.  It will feel like I was under dressed if I was wearing a t-shirt.

And now I can segue back to the dancing.  The bulk of what was done was swing and then we get into Tango right at the end when the music changes.  Most of the steps are things I’ve done before but there is the translation from Famous Franchise to Studio B.  We do one thing which is called Side Passes at the Famous Franchise and seemed to be called Sliding Doors at Studio B.  Well, I’m used to looking at my partner after we change places, but, for this choreography, they want us looking straight forward so that will require retraining the brain.

It is a fun little pattern.  There’s one part where I’m suppose to spin around and it requires some flexibility in places that aren’t very flexible.  And, there are some swivels where the movement is supposed to come from my hips.  Boy, I can’t get away from that can I?  Hips are going to have to be moving.

All in all, it was a good lesson but not without frustration.  As I’ve said, I can only follow a couple of steps before I get lost.  And, if a step requires moving pieces like arms and spins, it becomes much more difficult to pick it up by watching because I can’t watch all the parts.  Those are things I have to do and lock into the muscle memory.  And that takes time.  I sometimes felt like Mindy gets a little frustrated when I’m not picking something up or when I’m moving my feet but not turning some part of me like I’m supposed to.  So I got a little frustrated tonight near the end of the lesson because I wasn’t following what she was asking me to do.  And, I thought I was doing what she asked but she wanted less of what I was doing.  I know they put it together in the 30 minutes before showing it to me but it was a little much to expect me to pick it up in just 30 minutes.  Then again, she probably wasn’t expecting me to pick that up.  I was just inferring that from the way she said things.  (Yeah, ironic ain’t it since I just wrote a whole post about tone).  It is hard sometimes to be objective in the moment but a little easier now.

The bottom line is that is looks like it is going to be a fun routine.  It was just a little overwhelming tonight to get so much tossed at me in a short time.  And much tougher given the hectic nature of the day.  But, I have my down time and life it good.

Tomorrow will be  a double at the Famous Franchise and a lesson with a coach I’ve never met before.  That always makes me nervous.  But tomorrow should be better.  After all, the song was Manic Monday, not Manic Tuesday.

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