Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Blue Skies and Waltzing
The seamless blue sky and endless sunshine has been taunting me all day. It looked spectacular outside but I was stuck in the office in Rotherham without even a dog walk or run at lunchtime to look forward to. (I was able to sneak out for a lunchtime walk around town at least!) In theory I should be excited about my first golf competition of the season tomorrow but the weather forecast has put paid to that! Wall-to-wall rain and gloom is due in tomorrow morning, bang on schedule to wreck our round of golf. Aaaargh. Of course it is likely only to last one day and be back to glorious sunshine on Thursday again..... Double-aaargh!!
I went to be weighed early this evening but could not stay for the class as I had to dash off to get to the football in Sheffield. I'm pleased with the result though as I dropped 1lb. I'm slightly disappointed about this as I know it is my "good" weightloss week in the month. So, the true test of my newfound resolve will be how I get on next week when my body is not helping me out. That said, I'll take any reduction and it is a good start.
I'm more pleased by getting exercise back into my weekly routine to be honest. The fact that I've managed a couple of runs, training and some reasonably strenuous walks is most pleasing. Moving offices and the changing routines that have come with that has not been helpful. Before the move I was managing to get to the gym twice a week, once for a class and once to swim, as well as training, the odd run and dog walking. Now, I can't easily get to the gym at lunchtimes from the new office as it is further away. I did buy a bike but I'm finding that even that doesn't really help. Now that I work from home 2 if not 3 times per week, my time in the office is more precious so I am currently finding it difficult to spare the long lunchbreak necessary for exercise. In theory this should be compensated for by lunchtime runs when I work from home but runs are not a full substitute for gym classes or swimming. I need to keep working on this and see if I can find a regular class to build into my week but that is taking time. A work in progress but at least I'm running again!
I haven't written about dancing for a while have I? We're still going so that is 18 months now. You'd think we'd be good by now. Sadly, we are not. Our class is well attended though with about half of the starting group still turning up faithfully each Monday evening. We amalgamated with another beginners' class a few months ago as their class had shrunk to only 4 or 5 couples. They joined OUR class time as there are considerably more of us (around 12 couples or so. This has not been without some angst.
By way of background, our class was disrupted a year ago by the emergence of a new and very popular Zumba class. This started at 6.30pm and, due to its popularity, stole OUR large studio, condemning us to the smaller studio downstairs. So for several months we did hardly any ballroom as the smaller studio is not conducive to it. Eventually we agitated and a system of 30 minutes downstairs and 30 minutes upstairs (in the stinky post-Zumba studio) has been implemented. This means that we can now do ballroom but we are still behind the other class which had not had the same disruption. Some of them are a bit sneery when they have to go through steps which are already familiar to them which is frankly annoying as we are not similarly sneery about the latin stuff where we are more advanced!! I still feel that we are shortchanged though as ballroom is harder and I think we need more than 30 minutes a week on it. We have not touched the foxtrot for months and doubt we will ever get the hang of it!
Oh, the petty grizzling which grown adults can resort to....
Anyway, Richard and I were most concerned as we recently ended up missing 3 classes in a row (Rome and illness). This is unprecedented and very worrying. If you miss one class they usually revise any new steps the following week and you can pick up then, but to miss 3 consecutive classes could be fatal! We therefore booked a short private lesson just before our class last week and caught up on the new rumba and jive steps as well as doing some essential work on the waltz which we have been stuggling with. It was so good that we booked another lesson for yesterday evening as well and spent the whole of that lesson on the quickstep. We had missed crucial lessons on that months ago and never caught up. Now at least we know the steps, even if they're not what you might call "polished". It was typical though that we have not danced either the waltz or the quickstep in class since but instead concentrated on new steps in the tango. Hey ho.
I think the remedial lessons helped both of us but for different reasons. Richard does not like being outside his comfort zone and can be quite negative about his abilities. if he doesn't know something he is quite likely to say "I can't do this" and sort of blank his mind to trying. So, the lessons helped as he now has the steps in his head and KNOWS that he CAN do them, even if we later forget them and have to revise. I'm more gungho and get stuck in without full recall and also pick the steps up quicker but the women's steps are instrinsically more complicated so I need the recap. Also, now I know Richard is happy and still enjoys the whole experience, I can relax and really get stuck in.
It's been great working together in our different ways towards the same end. I think the whole dance class experience has helped us as a couple too. It's not the romantic idyll which people may imagine; it's actually quite pressured and we've both learned a lot about how to react to each other through it. Me, not to nag and control as much; I used to try and lead a lot more, to tell him stuff, to take it all on myself and not trust him as much. Now, I know better when to back off and let him do things his way and trust that he is as committed to it as I am. Richard seems to have learned not to be as negative and defeatist as he was at the outset. He is also more upbeat while doing so as he used to actually BE trying but be giving off such a negative vibe that I didn't notice!!
That all sounds very heavy doesn't it?? But actually what I think about when I think about dancing is us laughing together!! We spend most of the class giggling to each other and with our pals. I love the easy rhythm of the cha cha, the slinky sway of the rumba, the neatness and energy of the jive and the sheer ridiculousness of the samba. The tango is pleasing - military turns, neat flicks and good strong arms around me steering me round the floor (Richard does like it when he gets the leading thing!). But best are those gorgeous moments when it all works in the waltz; when and I find myself floating around in his arms to dreamy music, doing the steps right, rising and falling, making the turns and gliding (just a little) and then it is just fantastic.