Tag Archive | Physical Fitness

Turn Out That Turn Out!!

Summer session has officially begun and while the class was good overall one thing pestered me the entire class – my freaking turn out. Now, some people have told me that my turn out is fine, even heard the word “good” flung around once or twice. Regardless of the intermittent compliments, I still loathe my turn out.

To be fair – my turn out devant is pretty good. But any tendu executed en ar·rière (aka to the back) is just horse shit. There I said it. My tentus en ar·rière look like complete horse shit! Call it a freaking curse. I watch the other students in class and it amazes me how even the most novel student can execute the step without wincing in embarrassment. Then there is my sorry ass. What in the hell is the deal, yo?!?! I stretch (mind you not as often in the beginning but at least 4 times a week) and have tailored my weekly workouts to focus entirely on my lower body and here I am. A sad-sack of a ballerina who can barely tendu like a lady!!

Question: Is LB a quitter? Does LB shy away from a challenge and acquiesce to defeat before even attempting to overcome the adversity that befalls her?!?!

Answer: Ahhh dahhhhhh. No!! [Who is that lady? She sounds terrible. Maybe a hug will help? Or a Xanex?]

Just for the record, LB is a maniacal (and often hilarious) beast whose sole purpose in life is to show her peers, nay, the world, that she cannot be stopped. She won’t be stopped. Because you cannot stop this force of a woman from pursing the impossible!!!

…Ok. I’ll stop being so dramatic and talking in the third person. That’s just c(w)eepy. (Says my son)

Anywho. Dramatics aside, I do want to attempt and make my ever-so-blah-turn-out better. It would make me happy to see improvement in this area. I challenged myself to achieve the splits – what the hell?! Right?!

So in my research I found an article by The Ballet Blog which provides a little insight in how to achieve your ultimate turn out. Warning: The stretches are crazy. Forget the butterfly – these yoga inspired poses will kick the crap out you in seconds!! I am going to work these stretches into my routine and hope I see some results. I’m tired of having a crappy turn out!!! I’m tired, I say!!!

If you have any suggestions or links, you just send them on my way! I need all the help I can get!

Advertisements

Fouetté, Double Pirouette… Really?!?!

This is not a joke, a test or a fluke. This really happened. I actually did a fouetté, double pirouette. And this is something I have never done before, or let alone attempted until recently.

I am not sure what came over me. It was my last class before summer break and we were working on out normal pirouette combination. And while the instructor was helping a couple students with their technique I decided to independently give a fouetté a whirl. I prepped and executed the elusive turn. As I completed the revolution, I felt my body longing to turn in passé
once more. I thought, “Hell, I’m here let’s see if I can hold this position without falling over.” My body completed a single pirouette. Not bad! Then I felt my body working towards another swirl. And wouldn’t you know it – I did another turn! And there you have it! A fouetté, double pirouette! Boom.

Just to be sure my accomplishment wasn’t a complete fluke, I attempted the fantastical feat again. And there it was. I did it again. I wasn’t struggling or dancing outside my comfort zone. The movement felt very natural. It was wonderful.

So, in case you are wondering, what felt different than before? My supporting leg felt sturdy. I have been forced to take a step back from my multitude of classes and focus on proper technique (slowly) and as a result, my body is physically responsive to turning. It’s amazing. Plus, I am more relaxed than before. And I’m having loads of fun. My face can’t stop smiling. Even when I make a silly mistake.

So even though I don’t have a recital to blog about, at least I have something to be proud of. Turning is tough and when the movement becomes less daunting you just want to shout it to the world!

🙂

Doubles. Clean Doubles.

Yes. Yes. I know. I’ve been a little vacant lately. I’m a busy, little lady. Kids. Work. Husband. Parents. In-laws. Illnesses. It’s enough to drive a sane woman cray-cray. Or just crazy. Depending on your mood.

I was inspired to post because this evening’s class was very eventful. In many different ways.

The bad news – I started feeling an aching pain in my left calf. Did I injure my calf? No. My lower back injury had been officially aggravated. Oh yes. I know the difference. My back is “junk” (as my good friend describes a chronic injury) and that, is that. I was feeling pretty shitty about it in the beginning of class. Just a little (constant) reminder that my body isn’t what my desire wants anymore. I don’t recover from injuries overnight. Sprains are not fleeting. I have to wait for my body to decide to do what is wants to do. And it’s depressing.

But then the “good” happened.

I landed (consistently, mind you) clean double pirouettes during class tonight. For all of you real ballet enthusiasts, you know what a “clean double” means and for those who don’t, it means staying in passé en releve until the movement has been completed. It sounds easy, but it isn’t. When you cannot do a single cleanly, you fall out of the passé too soon. Same with the double. Or even a triple! (Dream on LB). Regardless, when you do a clean single or double? You know it. It feels different. Yes. It feels….exquisite. Perfect. Beautiful. It just feels right.

So guess what? I did a lot of clean doubles tonight. Albeit they were mainly on my left, but they were clean. So clean that my normally rigid instructor said that the class had a good turn night. And when I was performing my left doubles, everyone was watching. I knew it. And I didn’t falter. Booooooom. If made me so happy. Regardless of my aching lower back, I felt accomplished.

It was a good day.

And that is the end of my post. 😘

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