Friday, July 24, 2009

Listen to your body

Earlier this week I was talking about a lack of motivation. It seems my lack of motivation for doing my weightlifting workout was well-placed.

Two weeks ago, we arrived back from holidays, and I noticed that my right wrist was sore. This is nothing new as I had wrist problems several years ago from using my computer too much. It was a little concerning to me however, because I haven't had that much pain in over a year. I made an appointment with my physiotherapist to have acupuncture done on my neck and shoulders. Usually when my neck is really tight acupuncture helps release it when massage is not doing the trick. Because I haven't been to Physio in over a year, I had a reassessment done. I'm very glad that I did. It turns out, that my right arm has developed the starting stages of tennis elbow. My lack of motivation I guess in a way was telling me something.

So with the current state of my body is in, I have decided to change things up with my workouts. Starting in August, I will be taking a noon hour boot camp class Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have a feeling I will get my butt kicked, but that's the point! That'll last for about six weeks. I have a new goal to get to by September. I would like to increase my flexibility, and if all goes well be able to do the splits. (Not center splits) On top of those two things, I will continue to pole.

I'm very excited about only being at the gym Tuesdays and Thursdays. The way my workouts currently are put me at the gym Monday, Wednesday and Friday. That leaves very few days to actually dance during the week.

So to sum things up, I will take a six-week boot camp class 2 days a week, increase my flexibility through stretching/yoga, and continue to pole.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Motivation still hasn't kicked in.

Well, I'm two weeks into my next fitbook and I've missed one workout. Missing one completely doesn't sound so bad, but the ones I did get to, weren't done full-out. I'm finding myself at an impass. My lunges (of varying sorts) are the portion where I'm stuck. Typically I hold a dumbbell in each hand and do the exercise. At this point, 20lbs in each hand is the heaviest I can do. Not because my legs won't push more, but because my wrists are too weak to carry any more.
Its frustrating. I have a few options.

Option 1: Keep using the same weights for the next 6 weeks.
Option 2: Try using the smith machine for my static lunges (split squats).
Option 3: Cut out lunges all together and replace it with more leg work elsewhere

On Wednesday, I'm going to try and use Option 2. I'd like to see if it will work. I anticipate that it will since I'm not lunging back and forth. The 'lunges' are split squats so I should be alright with this modification.

I might start roller blading to get a better leg workout and cardio in all at once. We'll see how that goes. Perhaps a go at it this weekend

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bruising Pet Peeve

There are certain things one must accept when you take up pole dancing. It's fun. It can leave nasty bruises and make your muscles cry in agony for days. Did I mention it's fun?

I'm one of those people that doesn't have bruises show up on the visible layer of skin. I'm not that lucky. In the pole world, posting a picture of the new 'trophy' you got on your arm, or hip is a sign of accomplishment and hard work. It's as if you're saying "look what I got!" and proud of it. It also helps people to understand how hard pole really is. You put your body through hell and it shows. I'm not that lucky. (haha) I still get bruises, you just can't see them. How unfair! (ya ya, I know, someone somewhere is saying I'm complaining about the wrong things.) When I whine to my boyfriend about how sore my hip is from that invert, or the bruise on my knee from that spin, he just laughs and says he doesn't see a bruise. argh! Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not real.

To those dancers who hate having a bruise show after you nail that fabulous advanced move, or the beginner spin in your first class, show it off! Be proud! They are trophies. Take a picture and keep it around, because after you get good at that move, you may not get another trophy to show for it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dancing from the soul

A comment from a blog follower:
I understand how people can take levels one and two and say "that's enough"
Dancing reveals so much of yourself. As you get higher and higher in levels you
have to be ready to open up to accept self expression in a true art form.In
social dancing or lower levels you can get by with saying oh it's just fitness
or it's just for fun, but as things get tougher and when it's time to bare your
soul, not all people will be ready for that.

I never really thought about this before. For me, I've danced all my life. Since I was 5 yrs old, I've been in ballet, jazz, tap, etc. When I hit college, I learned to two-step at the local country bar. In the summer before graduating I took up ballet again and it just wasn't the same. My mind could perform more advanced moves, but my body wasn't up to par anymore. Heart and soul just wasn't in it and being frustrated wasn't what I was hoping for.

Enter belly dancing. Fun for a while, but not my thing. I got a good workout and even bought the little skirt with bells on it. (Can't take belly dancing without making fun noise with your hips!) Shortly after that, a few of my friends and I took up pole dancing because it was offered, we were bored college kids, and thought it would be fun. It was! (Sadly I'm the only one out of 5 that continued on.) It has become a big part of my life. I took 1 level and fell in love with it. I could put my feelings through the music and make my body explore them through movement. Pole has given me the release to let out any emotion I may be feeling, just by dancing. It's not all about being sexy. It's much more than that.

Going back to the quote (I know, took a while to get here, sorry for the history lesson) I guess I just haven't ever seen dance as strictly fitness. I suppose many people join a level 1 and 2 class for the fitness part of it, and then once it becomes 'dance' they bail. It's a great workout, don't get me wrong, there's just so much more to it than that, for me anyways. I couldn't imagine just taking a pole class like you would a bootcamp class, or a step class. To me it's got more emotional ties to it and that makes it more meaningful. Not everyone is a emotional as me, and not everyone has that feeling that dance is from your soul. Some people just see it as a way to get fit.

There are few ways in this world you can bare your soul and reveal an art. Dance has been around through all the ages in one form or another.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm smart like that...

I started Stage 4 of my program on Monday. Upped my weights, pushed myself hard and it felt amazing. And since I felt so amazing even later that evening, I thought I'd try some new pole moves. I'm smart like that. Go big or don't go at all.
On top of this incredible day of working out, I had my last dance class (until september) Tuesday night. I was so sore waking up Tuesday morning, I wasn't sure how the heck I would manage another full hour. Of course, a little advil and lots of water, I'm in class, learning two new moves and giving my end-of-class performance.

Now it's Wednesday, and I feel like someone beat me with a stick. Ha ha! I'm basically sore from the waist up because of all of the upper body workout that I've done over the past two days. Today was supposed to be a workout at the gym, but it just didn't happen. With the lack of sleep I've had in the amount of exercise I've done, my body is just saying no more! I'm happy to be getting a massage tomorrow morning, even if it is for only half an hour.

I'm now officially done my level for dance class. There won't be another level V until September, and that's only if there's enough students to run it. It seems as though people will take level I and level II and many never see them again. For someone who considers themselves a poll addict, I don't understand how people can take two or three levels and then decide they don't like it anymore. At that point, you have trophy bruises of all kinds, and you've put in so much effort it seems silly to quit halfway. I know there's a lot of factors that go into it, so I'm not judging people, I just don't understand it. I hope to be doing this well and my 40s! I even know some women who are 50 and still dancing. this is something I can do for a very long time, and I intend to for as long as my body will allow.

Monday, July 6, 2009

New fitbook and 12 weeks of fun

Today I start a new fitbook. Very exciting! By the end of the pervious 12 weeks, I was ready to get something new to pump up my workouts. I'm bored!! It's been 3 months on this program, and it changes every 4 weeks, but I'm still bored. I guess because it's summer I want something new. It's time to change things up. I'm still going to continue on this program I'm on, but I'm also going to add a few things. Maybe buy a few new things to keep my motivation. (yeah shopping!)

I have free evenings all summer. I'm going to try and get outside after work with my boyfriend. We have a park with awesome trails that go for miles. I obviously can't run that far or bike, or roller blade, but hopefully by the end of summer my cardio won't suck as bad. I'm hoping I will actually be able to enjoy a jog or bike ride without feeling like my lungs are going to explode. Dancing for 3 minutes at a time for a song is definately not the same thing.

I'm going to get my butt downstairs or over to my pole buddy's place and work on some new moves. There are so many things I want to do, and I just don't work at it enough. I'm lazy! So now, instead of me poling when the mood strikes, I'm actually scheduling it into my fitbook :)

I'm meeting with my nutritionist today to go over the changes we made to my diet and what else I can do. I feel way healthier now and have so much more energy. I think there will be a few tweaks here and there, but nothing too drastic.