Thursday, June 30, 2016

Better Batters

The "batters" in the title refer to trebles (the first school I attended called them batters, and I just wanted an alliterative title for the post). We worked on treble jig in class tonight, and I feel better about it. My fast trebles and slow trebles are becoming more distinct from one another, and I pretty much have it with music, IF someone else is dancing with me or someone is pushing me to stay on tempo. Still hoping it will be feis-ready in about a month. Class ended with some planking. If that won't get my waist back in my pre-pregnancy size, I don't know what will. I've lost another pound, so I am now back in clothes that I wore when I was 4 months pregnant. Five months after giving birth, I am the size I was five months prior to giving birth. This is a short update tonight, but dance class makes me smile, and I just wanted to share about my treble jig improvements. Happy 4th of July weekend to everyone!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Speed Bumps on the Road to Success

My last feis didn't go as well as I'd hoped. 4th out of 4 in reel, no placement in slip jig (later found out I was 5th out of 5), 2nd out of 2 in hornpipe, and 3rd out of 4 in traditional set. I am trying to see it as a learning experience. I can either let my failures get me down, or I can overcome them. I even put my last-place medal (for 2nd out of 2 in hornpipe) on my keychain, to remind me of this feis, and to remind me of the nice dancers, dance parents, and teachers I talked to that day. Winning isn't everything, and while it feels terrible to fail, I guess I have to learn how to. A lot of times, when things get hard, I want to give up and move on to another activity, so this feis was actually a good lesson in how to keep going. Sure, there is a part of me that wants to be mopey and think about how I got my butt kicked in the adult category, so I will never make it in the "and-overs." But the other day on the American Ninja Warrior television show, there was a 50-something year old (or as he said "years young") man who said he trains like a 20 year old. Well, I felt like I used to train like a 20 year old, but this guy gave me hope that I can get back there again. Even if it takes a couple of years to bounce back from pregnancy and childbirth. This is going to take longer than I thought, but I will persevere. Now, to prepare for the feis in August and create some realistic goals for what is often my toughest feis of the year (even on years when I am in better shape).

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Feis Recap and More

I'll start out with the non-feis news... I lost a couple pounds and am now no longer "overweight" on the BMI chart! I'm still heavier than I've ever been, aside from during pregnancy, but I am making progress. Plus, my jogging time is getting faster. Still much slower than where I was pre-pregnancy, but I cut about a minute off my two-mile time in the past week.

The feis turned out to be exactly what it was supposed to be...a chance to get up on stage and get the jitters out, to get back in the game prior to feising on what used to be my home turf. The day began with a 1st (out of 2) in reel, so that was a nice confidence builder, even though I was quite nervous and was looking down a lot to make sure I didn't run out of room on the stage (I heard someone say the stages actually were too narrow, but I still need to practice not moving so much in some of my steps). Then there was a fire alarm prior to slip jig, so that threw off my confidence! I can't imagine what it would have been like to been one of the dancers on stage at the time. I got second out of two on slip jig and hornpipe, which was kind of a bummer, but I didn't totally mess up and forget anything, so now that I know I can do the dances, I can work on making them better. I even missed a click in hornpipe and kicked my foot, but didn't really mess up the rhythm, so that was a big relief. I can do this. I can be ready for the next feis (even if it will be another feis without treble jig).

When I went to pick up my awards, I was surprised to get a trophy for 2nd place out of 3 in traditional set. The pre-pregnancy me would have felt silly for getting a trophy for beating one person, but now I have a little more perspective and wisdom. On that day, the trophy represented getting back up there, less than 4 and a half months after giving birth. It represented all the effort I made to keep dancing, to get feis-ready, and take a chance and compete, even if I didn't feel like I was back to my usual self yet. It was a victory over extra pounds, milk-filled boobs, constant bathroom breaks, and not much practice time. Most of all, it re-energized me. I may not be back to where I was, but I'm on my way. My best is yet to come!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Feis-Ready or Not, Here I Come!

Tonight was the last class before my first feis back. I think I may actually get through St. Patrick's Day traditional set without messing up. My reel is pretty good, though I need to work on stamina, and my slip jig is alright, as long as I lock into the tempo and don't get my feet tangled on 2nd step left foot's twisty part. Hornpipe is better...practicing helped, and my teacher helped me fix one part that was causing me to get behind in 2nd step. It might not be my best, but I will make it through. I haven't been this nervous since my first feis a little over 5 years ago. But, just like that feis, it will be a small competition (2 or 3 people). Sure, I will be disappointed if I get last, especially if it happens in every dance, but at this point, I guess it is just a victory to come back from pregnancy and childbirth and feis again. Plus, we have a fun little mini-vacation planned for after the feis.

Tomorrow I will need to pack. As if a feis trip didn't require enough stuff already, I have all of the baby's stuff to bring, too. At least I get to pack my new "Lucky You" pattern Vera Bradley gym bag with all my feis stuff. I just got the bag for Christmas, so it will be the first time I use it, and hopefully it will bring me good luck!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Little Changes

I haven't blogged in a while because I've felt like there's nothing really blog-worthy to write about. I missed dance class last week because my brother-in-law's family and my mother-in-law were in town, so we've been eating out a lot, and I haven't ran since I came home from my trip to my brother's wedding. However, I'm beginning to notice maybe it is just little changes that I need to make at first, and accept that my life with baby is different than my life used to be. First, when it comes to getting chores done, I think I need to accept that I will get nothing done. Then, when I slice vegetables for supper, do a load of laundry (but don't have time to fold it), or run the dishwasher, I can feel like I accomplished something. How does this relate to fitness? Well, I was trying to do some moves that I remembered from an old workout DVD in between folding towels and baby clothes. Not much, but at least it worked my abs a little. Plus, I've joined a weekly walking group with other moms from the breastfeeding support group. Pushing a stroller up a hill in the southern heat is a pretty good workout after all. Also, I have been doing a little practice of Irish dance in the afternoons and evenings. Just 15 minutes or so at a time, mainly just working on the rhythms to the music. I need to drill a click sequence in hornpipe (I'm just not fast enough), but I don't really have the space. I guess I need to copy the music to an iPod (I'm old-school and use a CD in a boombox) and go to one of the apartment complex's common areas. I think it is my lack of ab strength that is causing issues, so I need to drill a lot of clicking to get back to where I was. Finally, I've switched from Frosted Mini-Wheats (and other semi-healthy, somewhat sweet) cold cereals to measuring out 1 serving of unsweetened oatmeal in the mornings, which I jazz up with cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. I've been trying to cut back on sweetened beverages too, though I can't go cold turkey. We'll see if these small changes help me lose some of these pregnancy pounds and get back to feeling more like myself.