Mid Week Meandering

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Well the West Coast Swing is finished. I took as many notes as I could but it still feels a little like this.

Actually, it is 1-and-2

The ending is just a lot of side by side freestyle type stuff which I find harder than actually doing steps. Probably because I seriously overthink what I’m doing. And because I’m having to do it on my own so I’m trying to remember timing and what to do. It would probably be best to think less but then my body always wants to do the wrong things. Seriously, I don’t know why but I just naturally go into screw up mode.

Anyway, it all starts after I spin her out. To keep the timing with the song and to hit the phrase she wants to hit at the end, the timing changes a lot. We end facing each other and we do this little syncopated thing. For me, it is raise my right knee (just a bit), turn to the right (facing the audience), step lightly on the right foot but, almost immediately transfer weight to my left foot. That step is crucial to know which foot to start the next part on and I kept forgetting to do that little weight change.

The next part is just pointing with my right foot (since I should be on my left foot!). But she wants a little something extra so it isn’t just a boring point. Kind of leaning back and putting the left shoulder (and arm if it is so inclined) forward. Under normal circumstances, we do tend to swing our opposite arm but when you are really, really thinking about it, your body just says “NA” and you swing your right arm with your right foot. Or at least that’s what I kept doing. See what I said about my body going into screw up mode.

Anyway, that step is two counts. And, for symmetry, we repeat the process with the left foot and right arm. Or left foot and left arm because, who wants to do it right. But, while this is also two counts, the first count is the point and the second is actually stepping on to the left foot – weight transfer is required. Because the next part is to spin around 180 degrees. Ideally, the contra body stuff serves as kind of a wind up to make the turn easier and ideally, the turn is to the outside. Less than ideal is to turn inside because it just seemed like the thing to do at the time. I was able to do the spin until we had to do 15-20 times in a row and then it started to get harder to do. We finish by turning towards each other and just kind of dropping down like we are trying to touch our toes because (a) the song says “down” at this point and (b) she wants a change in levels.

As long as I don’t have to squat and bend my knees, we’re good.

Well, nobody ever said it had to be perfect. Showstoppers is something you’ve tossed together quickly over a few lessons so some breakdowns are expected. I figure there are places where if I start to screw up the side by side stuff, I can fix it by the end and nobody will really know the difference.

We also tried to polish up the Argentine Tango. The trick there is finding a good starting place because we start back to back and move backwards into each other so having appropriate spacing is key. We’ve done that one a few more times so it is a bit more polished. I’m less worried about that one but that generally means that the West Coast will be the one that goes off without a glitch.

Complicating things just a bit is that it seems I’ve injured something in my left arm. In one of my last work out sessions before I was dismissed, I was doing some kind of row when something “popped” in my left arm. It wasn’t accompanied by a shot of pain and my joints pop all the time so I didn’t pay much attention to it.

And it didn’t interfere with a lot of what I was doing. Bicep curls and tricep stuff wasn’t a problem. It would bother me if I was doing shoulder press stuff but I could usually work through it. Side raises – not so much but I just avoided them. Then I realized that my range of motion was decreased when I tried to place that arm behind my back (like tucking in a shirt). That was usually accompanied by a sharp blast of pain but it it clearly in a muscle group and not the joint so that’s a good thing.

Of course, the last part of the West Coast would ideally have me with my left arm behind my back while she’s to the side of me. So I’ve been doing what I can to make that work. But after oh about a month or so of self care not really fixing things, I did a little research. I like to find the things that say “when to see a doctor” and this one said if something has hurt for several weeks, you should probably stop hoping it will fix itself and go seek professional help. So that’s what I did.

In all fairness, I was also dealing with the bureaucracy of getting my insurance turned back on. I don’t want to complain too much about that because I know others don’t have insurance so waiting a few weeks until my company sends the proper paperwork to the benefits company who can then tell the insurance company that I’m on COBRA is really a minor inconvenience. Just a few phone calls and emails required to get the wheels going.

I’ve long since accepted that medical science doesn’t have all the answers and it is clear that I didn’t do major damage or there’d be a whole lot of other things I couldn’t do. And, with soft tissue, the diagnostics aren’t as clear cut and, really, it wouldn’t change the course of the first treatment. If you really, really screwed something up, they could do surgery but, again, that seems unlikely. So the doctor said we’d try a course of steroids for their serious anti inflammatory abilities and then some physical therapy if that doesn’t clear things up.

This is me right now

Actually, not yet raging. But the steroids do turn on the internal blast furnace so I was hotter than normal yesterday. The good thing is this is one of those short doses where you take a whole bunch on the first day and taper down to one on the last day. Things felt a little better yesterday until the combination of dance and some other things I tried to do kind of irritated stuff.

Anyway, that’s stuff that happened yesterday. Today I am actually planning sort of a rest day. I’ll go over the West Coast a few times just to see if I can lock it in (right leg and left arm!!!). Although it is also a nice day and Rocco the Wonder Dog has already come to look at me twice. So I suspect I’ll need to find time this afternoon for a dog walk break.

He’s bigger than this but this is the general idea. I used this before but it is still appropriate.

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