I’m still here!

I have been agonizing over a recent post. Why?? Because it is a little detailed and I have been too exhausted to write! I am on a new diet and exercise program and it is truly draining the hell out of me. I have so many new readers and I am really flattered that you are all still here. I just want to let you all know that more posts are coming soon. Something really cool is on the horizon, but I am hesitant to broadcast the news until it has happened. Should be very soon. And when the deed is done, I will post allllll about it.

So hang in there loyal readers! I will be back soon.

Kisses!!

Advertisements

Time to Kick my Own Butt

Is that even possible? I think I can do it. It may not be a graceful endeavor, but I need to set my ballet pride aside and do it. Let the butt kicking begin.

Since the fall, I suppose you can say I got a little lazy. (Perish the thought). It happens to me every 6 months or so. I go hard in the gym or studio and then over time I just lose steam. Literally. I slow down. I stop eating super clean. My motivation becomes completely depleted. Then after several weeks of being slug-girl I snap out of it. I look at myself in the mirror and go, “Eww. I look gw-oss. Bis-gusting.” (My son is so cute. Ha!) Don’t get me wrong. I know I’m not a hog beast. It’s my inner athlete getting pissed off at my laziness.

Which brings me to the present day. I’ve got my slug on and now I’m ready to buff up again. Although the motivation is back, it’s hard getting the wheels of fitness churning again. I always say that starting your fitness journey is harder then maintaining the path. So, I’m on day two of kicking my own ass. I started weight lifting again and doing a plyometric cardio program. It sucks. Hard. I hate being weak. But I know if I keep at it, I will be back in fighting shape in no time. Also know as “arm wrestling” and/or “wrestling” shape.

I’m hopeful the next time you see me, I’ll be wrestling a giraffe to the ground with my bare hands (anyone? Anyone?). I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. Watch me.

Boom.

Now what.

Love LB.

Kisses!!

Up, up, up and away!

What a positive way to begin a blog post. Don’t you think? Well unlike some other things in my life (that will remain nameless), ballet is a positive contributor to my world right now! Isn’t that just wonderful?!

I was reading a fellow bloggers recent post from Life and Times that focused on how you have good days and bad days in ballet. Isn’t that the truth?! One day you can land double pirouettes flawlessly and the next day you can barely spin around once without falling out of your passé. Bad days occurred quite frequently at my last Studio, but it doesn’t seem to be a real problem at this new one. Currently, I see or feel some noticeable improvement somewhere, someway in every class I take. I am actually able to execute the critiques that are given to me. Mind you, some of the critiques are pretty simple like remembering to align my hips or lift my arm appropriately in second. Regardless, I am getting better and I am finally regaining confidence in the studio. Confidence that I lost so many months ago. It’s exquisite to have my head back together.

Tonight, for example, we did a series of combinations involving pirouettes, jeté and some other movement I can’t remember the name of (something super Frenchy). Normally, I am coupled with the group of girls that are still the “beginners”. The level two students usually go first and separately because they have a higher tempo and have an expectation to execute the combination cleaner then the other students. Tonight, I was able to dance with the level 2 girls!! I am finally getting recognized that I am strong and consistent! (By the way, I hate to brag, my Jetes?? I don’t leap. I fly, yo. Hurray!)

I feel like my day is coming. I am going to be asked to move up. I heard her talking about some other girls in a different class. I think they are making these decisions because our next tuition is due soon. Will I get asked to move up (up, up) and away into a Level 2 class soon? Who knows! If not now, it may be in the near future. I inquired about taking some privates to help me progress and work on my rusty areas. Aka my tight left hip.

Well, I hope all is well. Smiling wide today.

A (Positive) Challenge to My Readers ;)

Wow. For only being a couple of months into 2014, it has sure been an emotional one! New studio, loss of relationships (rather destructive ones, the more I think of it), gaining new family/friends and evaluating my career path. There isn’t much in my life currently that isn’t worth celebrating (or crying) about! When times get tumultuous like this, I often fall into a deep depression. I cry, I isolate myself, I sleep and I’m an all around miserable person to be around. I recently felt myself wanting to slip into old, bad habits. This time I was determined not to let it happen again. My kids and husband depend on me. My family and clients rely on me too. I just can’t mentally “give up” every time I’m rejected by people that I have (unknowingly) placed on a pedestal. I have to snap out of it! “Stop being stupid (LB)! It’s time to take your life and the power you gave these people back!” But then again, this is merely a desire. I’m not all “big balls” all of the time, even though I appear like I am to everyone else. I’m actually pretty sensitive. Especially when it comes to relationships involving women.

So, there I was in bed, willing myself to get up and get ready for another day at the office. The grind. It’s truly been just that for several months. So much drama with people at work. So stupid. I just want to be happy and unfortunately for my psyche, that involves getting along with EVERYONE at work. Silly and unreasonable, possibly, but that is how my mind works.

I get up, shuffle to the bathroom and start showering. Do you ever notice that when you are in the shower, your mind just totally floats? Like, sometimes I’m so deep in thought I actually feel like I’m dreaming. No joke. Must be the heat and the stream of the water hitting my backside that does it, because when I’m in the rain room I am as calm, yet surprisingly insightful, as a Hindu cow.

While I stood there in the shower, the water pelting the back of my hair, I started to think about things. The stress at work and the stress and frustration of losing a good friend. I started to motivate myself, and anger myself, with my own words. Yes, I talk to myself. What’s wrong with that? Someday you may very well be the only one left in your life. You better get used to the sound of your own voice, and more importantly, like what you hear. I told myself, “Screw this.” “Why can’t they understand me?” “Am I really all of those things these people say I am?” “I’m done. They don’t exist. I can’t change them; I can only control me.” I began feeling myself tense up and I wanted to cry. Then I out of blue, without warning, I thought (not speak), “Well, there are clearly things or people in my life that make me sad. So, let’s be positive. What do I love? What brings me happiness?!” So, I started spouting things off; I just listed things that put a smile on my face. So, without further ado, here is a list of things that make me happy:

(1) Starbucks (that seriously was the first thing I thought of. Specifically, a tall non-fat cappuccino with two pumps mocha. How sad! Ha!)
(2) My children. They are so silly and crazy and wonderful. Such a blessing.
(3) My husband. While we drive each other crazy sometimes, I don’t know what I would do if he ever gave up on me. Love that man.
(4) My Sisters. We may not always agree but we have each other’s backs and I can’t imagine growing old and spending the rest of my days without my sisters by my side.
(5) My dad. He’s something else. (“Daddy”. Enough said)
(6) Ballet. Ahhh duhhhhh! I will never regret giving myself a chance on a sport I may never be the best at. Who cares! It’s so fun!!
(7) Horror movies. Any kind will do. Even “B” movies. I’m a sucker for gore, what can I say?
(8) My mothers. I have two that come to mind. They deserve my heart and they definitely have deserved a place on my list of people that make my life complete.
(9) Cheesecake. Boom.
(10) Video games. Double Boom.
(11) Novelty tees. I don’t know what is wrong with me lately but I just can’t get enough. I recently went to Walmart and purchased an Ironman and a Call of Duty shirt. I’m obsessed with both. Sue me.
(12) Wine. Red wine. I never met an Australian I didn’t like. Hold on……(gulp). Ahhhhhhh. Delicious.
(13) Cuckoo Clocks. I currently have 5. Yes. I am the crazy clock lady. I’m not ashamed. They are glorious.
(14) Physical fitness. If it means it will help me to kick ass, I’m in. Fitness is awesome. There is nothing better then knowing you can out wrestle someone; even though they may have no intention in being in a match with you. Coupled with the fact I am pocket sized and can still wrestle outside my weight class – yeah. Fitness did that for me. Ha!
(15) Listening to peepers outside my window in the spring. I have a pond in my backyard and every April/May the sound of frogs fills the evening air. So relaxing. And awesome.
(16) Going to the movies and consuming copious amounts of popcorn. I just love a big screen and that bucket of buttery, salty goodness. I could watch a turd dry on a sidewalk if it is done while sitting in a theater with a bucket of corn. It’s amaze-balls what that setting can do to a film, even if it’s shit. Literally.
(17) Taking summer walks with my kids, husband and dogs. That’s all we do in the summertime. We take bread and feed the fish in the ponds, because they are trained to come to the edge and eat. So fun. Oh yeah – don’t forget to skip rocks! My husband is a pro. If there was an Olympic sport he would qualify and win silver. Yeah. I’m trying to me reasonable on his prospects for gold. The Chinese are probably prepping their young hopefuls as we speak. The mere mention of a way for their country to superior in something, even remotely, insights them to work harder.
(18) Winning a hearing or a trial. It usually involves being super prepared (which is all of the time) + getting my argument down without a verbal flub (I say a lot of big medical terms. They are all tongue twisters!) + nothing goes wrong. That is a recipe for success.
(19) Buffalo Chicken dip. Omg. Just google it. You won’t be sorry. I promise.
(20) Shopping. Whether it be at the Limited (favorite store) or for shoes – there is nothing like the high I get from purchasing an awesome outfit and then displaying it for all to see! Splendid!

That’s my top 20. Honestly, I felt happy writing this post (well, the list part). I thought of those things and I instantly felt wonderful! Like I have so much to be grateful for!

So here is the challenge for all of my readers. Make a list of all of the things that make you happy. You don’t have to explain why; just list your top 20 happy triggers and make a blog post about it. Spread the word. Your happiness can be defined by things and people and when you are feeling down, just list them in your head! Or if your me, say them out loud like a GD crazy person! Let us spread the word of positive mental reinforcement! I want to see how far we can take this.

Please, challenge yourself today. Challenge yourself to be happy!

Snow Blows.

Weather in northeast Ohio just blows. It’s been so cold. My furnace took a dump. I went without heat for over a week. The family survived. We were a little chilly, but we survived. The weather was crappy on dance night, so class was cancelled. Or as my husband coined the phrase so long ago “cass is clanceled.” (It’s an inside joke). I was So bummed. When you only have one, one hour class a week, a cancellation hits a little hard. I have been attempting to run more and focus on overall fitness now that I have more time to workout, but I have been miserable not having as much ballet in my life. It’s for the best though. My husband asked me recently, “Do you miss (the general’s) studio?” My reply, “Noooooooooooo. No no no no no. No. No. ….(no).” Even with all the ballet I was allowed to take and the convenience of the General’s studio, I wasn’t enjoying myself whatsoever. All the money. All the dedication. What’s the point if you are not having any fun??

One thing I have been enjoying more? GAMING. That’s right – gaming. I’m a little obsessed with Call of Duty. I even bought a t-shirt to wear while I game. Because guess what? I truly am a dork at heart! Who cares if I’m in my mid-thirties, married, having two children and practice law for a living. Sometimes you just got to kill some zombies, Nazis, Russians, Cubans, etc. and get your bad ass on, yo. It passes the time and releases stress, much like ballet. So. Get your game on. Or your ballet. Until spring hits and the snow starts to melt, you just have to do what makes you feel good. Even if it is out of the ordinary.

This is me. About to get my Game On.

<a href="http://legalballerina.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/20140209-001819.jpg”>20140209-001819.jpg

Progress (and) Needs Improvement.

Since my ever so revealing post (thanks for all the support, by the way), I have really focused on developing the skills I need to advance in the next class. As in the General’s studio, I really want to earn the right to advance. I don’t want to be asked out of obligation. I had no idea how much I enjoyed, nay missed, just learning classical ballet technique. The whole class is dedicated to balance, strength, foot work and ballet terminology. When we pirouette – we only do singles, and they are not that often. Wow. That’s a change. I’m glad I can finally start polishing my single pirouette before putting the pressure on myself to pulling doubles or triples. In fact, I love that we are not pushed to kick too high, turn too much or to generally overreach ourselves before we are capable of executing more. We don’t even stretch that much. (Regardless, I’m still pretty flexible. Score!).

I have been at the studio for a month and I believe I am getting better at the things that were initially preventing me from moving up. I am struggling less with the combinations. Maybe my confidence is up? That’s a definite possibility. I also do like a challenge. I want to do better and it feels possible at this studio. Like, it’s within my reach and not beyond my capabilities.

Anywho, I think my instructor is starting to challenge the class a bit. Well, I am being challenged for sure. She placed me in a group with a slower tempo combination (not the slowest though, so cool). But after we went once, she asked my group to do it again and increased the tempo. Well, I know I could do it and I did it. Sooooo my assemblé to my left wasn’t perfect, but I rose to the challenge and finished the combination. I finished it and I was proud. [Boom.]

So now that I am feeling better with barre work and combinations in center, I am hoping to improve on two other things in the 4 weeks (1) keep my hips in alignment when doing leaps. We often do a traveling arabesque-pique-arabesque-pique-arabesque-run-run-run-jete(!) at the end of class. I have good height, but I think when I look in the mirror to check my form is actually throwing my alignment off. I just need to remember to keep my eyes focused on the direction I am traveling in and I should be good. (2) I having turnout problems. Well, when I do tendus or dégagés en dedan. I mean, what in the hell is up with that?? My turn out is decent everywhere else, except for the back. It’s ga-ross. I stretch my hip flexors all of the time, but still I dread simple tendus or dégagés en dedan. If I make my turn out proper, my alignment gets messed up. If I keep my alignment proper, my turn out looks like garbage. Any suggestions?? What can I do to improve this??? Need to keep truckin. TRUCKIN.

Well. I’m done ranting. Ta-ta-for-now fellow ballerina/o’s!!

Confessions of an Adult Beginner

I have not posted in a little while. I was required to face some hard truths. I didn’t want to post about it at first; I was too ashamed. I didn’t want some people to know of my apparent failure. But after some thought, and some really good classes, I got over myself and realized I have to blog about it. I think that my followers, friends and “non-haters” will not judge me harshly. Plus, I am hoping to help some of the discouraged beginners out there. I eventually found a silver lining to my black cloud; maybe I could help another beginner find his/hers.

…..I have a confession to make. After taking only one level 1/2 ballet class at the new studio I was asked to take step down and remain in the “adult/teen” class only; including NO pointe. At least for the time being. I was devastated. I cried my little eyes out; I couldn’t even lift my head for 3 hours. I thought my dream had ended. My heart broke.

“What happened?” you may ask? Well, a really bad class. Like, I stood on the side and watched the last two combinations, bad. It also didn’t help that I was 20 minutes late to class (I got the evil eye from my new instructor; so embarrassing), I had a fall out with my best friend, and the always faithful, giant ball of nerves at in the pit of my stomach for the majority of the class. To top it off, I realized something very quickly at the barre. I think my basic ballet technique just sucks. I know it sounds crazy, but let me explain.

In the last studio we focused a lot on flexibility training. For instance, the General would have us stretch a lot during class. I would say that in a 2 1/2 hour class (on average) about 45 minutes would be spent on stretching. Yeah – that is a lot of stretching. Needless to say all of the General’s students are pretty flexible. In my current studio? The class stretches for 5 minutes prior to warming up at the barre. That’s it! I was worried my flexibility would regress, but it has not. In fact – I can almost do my right split again. Wahoo! The healing has finally begun! [But I digress]

Furthermore, the General was really into teaching the students how to execute difficult turns. Double/triple pirouettes, fouettes, turning attitudes, you name it. We were all expected to attempt these more advanced moves regardless of skill level. I was surprised when I wasn’t asked to do any more than a single pirouette in class. I was actually a little disappointed. I wanted to show these ladies what I can do and I was shocked I wasn’t requested to do more!

Lastly, the General always pushed the students to get strong. It seemed every movement we did centered around getting stronger so we could perform the difficult combinations that she envisioned her students doing at the end-of-the-year show. My current studio definitely wants their students strong; but it’s not the main focus of the class. Not by a longshot.

So, enter LB at the new studio and I am one of the strongest, more flexible students in class. Yet, I am the most pathetic ballerina. HA! How sad is that?!

My alignment is off. My hips and chest, CRAP. I can do ballet movements, but cannot put them together to save my soul. Let alone do them quickly. Strong, classical ballet technique is the focal point at the new studio and I felt completely unprepared. Initially, I thought there was no hope for me; I wasted all of my time and energy and endured a LOT of pain to come up with a big ol’ fat goose egg. “What’s the point?! I am back to square one. Why keep doing this? I am never going to get any better!” I really questioned my future in ballet. I wasn’t sure if I was going to show up to the next class.

After many tears were shed and my ragged pride was swallowed, I threw on my favorite Lady GaGa t-shirt and went to class. Then I went to another. And you know what? I actually had a great time. At first, I was kind of discouraged about my “handicaps”, but then I quickly realized I am capable of correcting my problem areas. The things that need improvement are not that tough to correct and its significantly easier to do now that all of the stress of the studio environment has been alleviated. *sigh.

Not only do I feel like I am physically able to improve, I have the incentive to keep improving. I will not get to put my pointe shoes back on until I show my instructor I can advance/polish my basic ballet technique. My instructor has her eye on me and I can tell she wants me to move into the other classes. She is very attentive (as she is with all of her students) and corrects my mistakes, but she is very positive too. She is not super friendly, don’t get me wrong. She certainly dominates the classroom. Her technique is different from the Generals. Not better necessarily, just different. Plus, since I don’t have a friendship with the new instructor, and drama to go along with it, there is no pressure in the studio. I always wanted to please the General, and with the new instructor, I am not so worried I am going to disappoint her. All I want to do is show her I can dance so I can advance (and then prance with a lance until I find a guy named Vance). [Sorry, that sentence rhymed and I always feel the need to just see how far I can take it. Ha!]

So, I confess. LB has stumbled a little; but she won’t stumble for long. I am going to take the skills that the General gave me and earn my way into pointe and the Level 1/2 class. I know I will be able to accomplish this goal (with a little hard work). And when I do, it will feel so very, very good.

A wise man once said, “Sometimes you take two steps back in order to take twenty forward” (aka my brother-in-law. He said something like this to me, but I don’t remember exactly because I was crying when he said it. HA!).

Keep your positive vibes coming my way. I will do the same for all of you. 😉