Motivation Gap

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Setting the tone

I’m sorely in need of some motivation today. Not sure why. I’ve kind of reached a place where I’m starting to feel restless. Like there is something I should be doing but I’m not.

Some of it is silly anxiety over Christmas gifts. I know I need to have stuff done so I can get it mailed in time. But spending hours looking through catalogs and going “nope, nope, nope” gets a little frustrating. It is about finding the gifts that “speak to me” and nothing is starting up a conversation right now. It is rather silly. My siblings are all like me. We are grown adults without a lot of need for material things so it is all about searching until something pops up and says “Buy me”. Kind of a dumb thing to stress over but there you go.

Then there’s just the issue that I’ve been battling these headaches for a couple of days. Dust allergies and having to be indoors with the heat on is not a great combination. I already take one painkiller for the arthritis so I hate doubling up on that stuff but the arthritis medicine does nothing for the headaches so I do what I have to do.

Yeah, but it doesn’t feel that way sometimes.

Yesterday, we had another go at the Mambo. OwnerGuy was supposed to be on the lesson but, as is typical for OwnerGuy, he got distracted with studio business and only managed to be there for the last 20 minutes or so. The first half of the lesson was enough to put me in a bad place.

Even with the song slowed down, there were parts where my brain couldn’t move fast enough to keep up with the music. Almost tripped myself once which would have been funny for everyone except me. Not to mention I couldn’t catch the beginning beat so I was behind almost from the start.

Or as they say in dancing – its not a mistake, its a variation!

I know I put that quote at the top. I mean I tell myself similar things all the time. To paraphrase other quotes, you dance with the body you have. It is just every time they have to do something to adjust to certain limitations, it feels like a defeat to me. I know that’s wrong and silly but it is just the way it is. If I was good enough, I could do without needing the training wheels. This is what my mind tells me at times. And then I listen to that and not the whole “do your best with what you have” thing. The power of de-motivation is often stronger than the power of motivation.

And I realize that I’m supposed to demo this thing a week from Friday. Anyway, OwnerGuy finally gets there and I had forgotten one key thing – fast music means small steps. That helped. At one point, JoNY suggested changing the song. He adamantly refused saying that the song was cool. I had my two conflicting thoughts. First, it was “wait, this is supposed to be my routine, shouldn’t I be able to change the song?”. But then the whole thing about changes and accommodations took over and I was all “hell no, we aren’t changing the song.”

I know this to be true. I just forget it in the heat of the moment.

But then the lesson got a bit weird. I know why. They are trying to come up with a plan for me. They want to present a little package of lessons for me so I can spend more money. That requires things like goals and plans so they can quantify how many lessons I should buy. It is the song and dance we do every so often.

There was a bit of an odd vibe though because he started hard selling the idea of checking out of Silver III and going into Silver IV. Medal ball is in March and I should be working towards that and so on. And going on about how cool Silver IV is and why I need to show progress. Then he asked the dreaded question about what I wanted to do.

See, in a calm, rational state, I could probably provide a good answer. When I’ve just spent the better part of a lesson flailing away at a Mambo, I’m not in the right frame of mind to discuss future dance plans.

I know I could slop together the steps and check out of Silver III. I know the patterns well enough to do that. But that’s never been good enough for me. I need to feel like I’ve truly earned it. Which just opens up the whole “perfectionist” thing because when do I ever feel like I’ve earned it. What does a Silver III dancer feel like? Stupid question because there is no answer.

Also, I’m not on a specific time table. I don’t know why he’s pushing this so hard. There is a part of me that wonders if it is just so JoNY can close this chapter. I suppose I’m just remembering the whole thing with Kid T where they pushed to get me into Silver III and then I found out she was leaving. JoNY is getting to be past the typical shelf life of a dance instructor at our Famous Franchise location and she has some physical issues. So my paranoia may not be all that far fetched.

I guess I’m also having doubts about JoNY and her ability as we go forward. That’s a bad thing to say but I can’t help myself. It is hard to put this into words – the idea makes perfect sense in my head but I can’t get it out there. Dancing has never been about learning patterns. It is always feeling like they are a natural part of me. It is about how easily things flow from one to the other. And that goes beyond the pattern into things like lead/follow and other assorted technique things. Dancing is about power and momentum and controlling it and little things like getting your weight over the correct foot at the correct time make a big difference.

This is what I’ve gotten out of the last couple of coaching lessons. People look at what I’m doing and make a minor tweak and suddenly things are a lot better. OwnerGuy was talking about watching our Fox Trot on the last coaching lesson and liking what he was seeing. And then part of me was like “well why weren’t you doing something about it before”. I get that it is tough for an instructor who is dancing with you to be able to see everything but I also don’t really like the idea of having to wait for coaching lessons to have things make sense to me.

But as my mind spins around this, I also know that there are certain things that are going to be hard for me to do because I have semi-functioning knees. And then I think that and I start wondering if I should scrap the whole thing and call it a dance career. Then I know that any movement is better than no movement so that would be a silly thing to do unless I could find another way to stay active.

As you can see, my mind is all over the freaking place. The short term issue is getting through next week and trying to do both this Mambo and the Quickstep. The long term thing hanging over my head is what is the right path for me. Maybe it is best to just focus on the short term. And maybe the best thing right now is to just take Rocco for a walk since the sun is out and the temps are reasonable.

I hope so. Sometimes, you fall off the mountain though.

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