Sunday, August 21, 2016

Not Quite Good Enough

I guess I have been avoiding writing this post because I have such mixed feelings about my recent performances. I did a feis in a very difficult U35 category, and initially, I felt honored to get some 4th and 5th place ribbons. Even though there were some ties, so those placements represented either last or tied for last, I figured the judges wouldn't place everyone if we weren't worthy of the placements. Then when the results came out online, I noticed I hadn't really placed...I guess they just had some extra ribbons to hand out. At least I got 6th out of 7 in my reel. Not last. Yay!

In some ways, I still have that voice inside my head saying, "How can you drop down if you can't hang with 20-somethings?" However, 3 of my competitors had been open champs as teens. Even after the required 5 or more years off from competition, they still had VERY good form. I keep telling myself that if I was competing against other prizewinners, rather than champs, I would stand a better chance. But the class I am in right now is more fun and performance-focused, so I guess next year I will focus on placing top 3 in every dance in the O35 category. Nothing makes you feel old like overhearing one of your competitors say, "I hope I'm still dancing when I'm 35!" when you just turned 35 a few months ago. On the bright side, one of them invited me to attend another feis in their region, saying "We need more young adult dancers!" I said, "Thanks for the complement, but I will be O35 next year :) " Everyone was so super-nice, I was overall just thankful to be among such excellent competition and not look completely out of place. The only reason I am bummed is because of dual categories for adults. If I wouldn't have to worry about "proving" myself in an out-of-region adult competition so I can someday drop down and compete toward making PC, I wouldn't mind placing last or next to last against such supremely talented dancers.

The following week, I ran a 2 mile race. I didn't have high hopes for my time, based on training runs,  but when I crossed the 1 mile point in 8:15, I set a goal to finish under 17 minutes, which I did, coming in at 16:58. I was, for the most part, pleased. I sort of wished that I had run 14 seconds faster to match my last year's time when I was 3 months pregnant. (For perspective, before I got pregnant, I ran a 14:35 and my lifetime best is 13:40.) However, when the results came out online, I saw that if I had run my last year's time, I would have gotten 3rd in my age group :( so I gave myself a hard time about it.

Now it is becoming clear that between not enough time to practice at home, a different focus in class, family responsibilities, and travel costs, Oireachtas traditional set may not be a good idea. However, inspired by the Olympic athletes, I am considering running another marathon. I thought I'd never do that again, outside of maybe a mid-life crisis or something (hopefully I'm not there already!), so we will see what happens.

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