Learning to Swing

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So I’m going to try and capture the West Coast routine but there is still so much that is a blur but I’ve found trying to write the steps out helps me form a mental picture which tends to be how I learn best.

The one change to the beginning was to use a spin whip rather than the regular whip we were doing. This is an easy change because I know the spin whip and it helps because we needed a hand change to go into the next part and the spin whip just makes that happen naturally.

As one of the “strange” parts of the routine, she’s supposed to do a little circle backwards. If I’m lucky, I wave my right hand over her head before getting into a double hand hold for the next part. The coach thought it would look better if I did some swaying with her. So I’ve got to think about that and the arm. See the dance steps are easy, it is these silly things that are hard.

The last change was to wipe out our ending a replace it with a different one. He kept the spin where I get her by the shoulder and she spins under my arm. We figured out that we need to change places and then we change places again and I roll her in on one triple and back out on the other but catching her so our elbows are linked.

There’s another roll in and change of places and we end up away from each other. There is a funky rotation on the balls of our feet so we face each other. Then, I bring her in front of me and she does this knee bend to move around me so we change places yet again. This leads to another roll in but I instantly roll her back out but she ducks under my arm. Then there is yet another roll in where she is sort of in my arms but I’m kind of twisted away at a weird angle but we don’t stay that way for long because I roll her back out.

Then come the famous jazz boxes. After that, we do a side by side grapevine. We are playing with whether to be connected at that point. Coming off the jazz boxes, it might look better if we don’t. Still a decision to be made. We do have to connect after the grapevine because I bring her in and give her a turn and a half while walking with her. Then, I turn under my arm and into hers so she’s kind of draped behind me while I’m supposed to strike a pose. Body pointed one way but looking a different direction.

I know I’ve left stuff out so this will be a work in progress. I don’t think any of it is hard but its a lot of movement and the song is kind of fast so we’ll see how it comes together. Guess we have more practice time tonight. I know the middle part is a little tough on my knees and my shoulder tweaked a bit during one part. Man it sucks to be falling apart!

I suppose I should be more like my dog. He’s at least 13 and he’s a big boy so he’s up there in years for a dog his size. He’s got a lot of stiffness in his back legs but he still likes to try and chase the rabbits we see on our walks. I keep him on the leash and he has no chance of ever catching one but he’s still out there trying. Not going to let his stiffness keep him from having fun.

Did my workout again this morning. Schools are back in session here so the number of kids is way down. Not that we had young kids running around the gym area since they were there for swim lessons and the pool. But the parking lot is about as empty as I’ve seen it. Starting to see some of the same faces again so I guess other people have the same schedule.

I am glad to have worked with a trainer before because I at least have some idea how to move pieces around to set up the various machines. Otherwise, I think I’d just be staring dumbly trying to figure it out. I know there are people who could help but guys of a certain age never like to ask for help.

I’ll just close with something random. We have a house with lots of windows including one over the front door. This is nice for a lot of things but it also means we deal with bird strikes. I’d say the majority of cases are ones where the bird is just stunned and needs a little time to sit back and think about what just happened but we do get the ones that hit at the wrong angle and end up dead. That’s always a little sad.

And my little office where I do all this is right by the front door so I hear them smacking off the window. Yesterday, I heard one and I go out to see and this bird has managed to land in the lawn chair I’ve got on the front porch. Alive but in a little shock and he hit so hard that there are little feathers all over my chair. (He also pooped in it so now I’ve got to clean that up)

After a few minutes, he was able to fly a short distance into a redbud tree and I think he hung out there for a bit longer. Birds and windows don’t really mix very well but this at least had a happy ending.

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