Getting Back in to the Swing of Things

Up until this last week, I had only been attending one ballet class a week. This has partly been because I’ve wanted to take it slow and partly because it’s been super cold this winter. This past week I finally decided to take the leap and take not one  but three ballet classes.

As HQ wrote earlier this week,  he came to class with me last Friday. Friday night class is quickly becoming one of my favorite classes because it’s earlier in the evening and because it’s in a pretty nice studio. I decided to take another class Saturday morning.

While I’m not a huge fan of back-to-back classes, I decided to go to a Saturday morning class as well. It went really well, but I was immediately sore afterwards.

But it was good to feel that sore again and not really be in pain. It was mostly my quads, but my calves still tend to get really sore, too. Compression gear has helped immensely with dealing with the soreness and I spent nearly all Saturday and Sunday in full compression gear.

It’s good to be getting back into  the swing of things. As I wrote yesterday, I went to another class on Monday and felt great as well. Yesterday I was super antsy since I hadn’t been active  the past few days, so I even did a few barre exercises at home.

Here’s to another great weekend of ballet classes!

What’s been going well in your ballet classes lately?

My Current at Home Exercise List

Pilates classes help keep European military communities fit - FMWRC - US Army - 100924I’ve been trying to do better at doing my physical therapy-esque exercises to improve my strength. I wanted to share my current list of exercises so that I could get recommendations on what everyone else does for cross-training for ballet.  More than anything, I  was hoping that having it up publicly would help motivate myself to do them everyday!

Here’s my list:

10 First Position Calf Raises
10 Inverted First Position Calf Raises
10 Single Leg Calf Raises (each, 20 Total)
20 Clamshells (each side, 40 Total)
20 Leg Lifts (each side, 30 Total
20 squats
20 ballerina squats
60 second plank
30 second side plank (each side)
40 Bicycle Crunches
20 push-ups
Various Theraband exercises

I’m also looking to incorporate barre3 workouts a few times a week as well since HQ bought me a DVD set awhile back before I got injured.

What exercises do you do for cross-training? Do you have any recommendations for me?

Do What Makes YOU Happy

I have to admit, it’s been quite a struggle getting myself into gear to get to ballet class the past few weeks.  I had plans to go both last Thursday and Friday, but I couldn’t manage to get myself up off my butt and into the ballet studio. I did finally get there on Saturday, although it was no easy feat yanking myself out of bed in the morning.

My legs have done really well post stress fracture, but they’ve been really sore. Last week was especially tough. I pushed myself a bit too hard on a run  on Tuesday (I started off too fast for someone who hasn’t run much) and my legs have been pretty whiny since. They survived Saturday morning’s ballet class and pre-pointe class (in slippers) no problem, other than the fact they felt weak and quite sore.  My ballet teacher recommended more ballet classes (which is the plan, I just need to motivate myself) and not as much running.

I’ve always struggled to find a good balance between running and ballet. Often, weeks will go by where I’m completely gung-ho about ballet and then I’ll be all about one the next month. If I had a dollar for every time someone recommended I quit one or the other because of my injuries,  I’d be rich.

I toyed with the idea of giving up running completely this weekend, since I wanted to blame it for all my injuries and pain.  Then someone on Twitter gave me a little advice.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have realized that I’ve tweeted a lot of my older posts lately. I’ve got a handy little WordPress plugin that does it automatically for me. Over the weekend, it tweeted my “Should dancers run?” post and one of my fellow adult ballerinas tweeted that she does (and I know more of you do, too).

We chatted for a little about the topic and she reminded me to do what makes ME happy, not anyone else.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

Take ballet when it makes me happy (which is a lot of the time) and run when that makes me happy. And of course, take care of my body and listen to it when it tells me I shouldn’t be doing either.

Do what makes YOU happy.


Six Weeks and Counting: Injury Update and 2014 Goals

It’s been about six weeks since I went and I had an MRI done on my legs and discovered that in fact, had stress fractures. It really sucked, but it was nice to finally have an explanation for the pain I had experienced. For the next two weeks I plan on gradually adding back some of my PT exercises before attempting to gradually get back into the swing of things.

Even though it’s been relatively tough to not be at ballet or running, the holidays have certainly helped a bunch and I’ve kept busy with crocheting, coding, etc. I’m also working on yet another new website design using TwentyFourteen which is pretty cool (and more news-site, less blog which is a look I want to go for).

Rather than set resolutions (because everyone eventually just forgets those in a few weeks anyway), I’ve decided to set a few 2014 goals:

  • Read more often, borrow from our local library more. I don’t read often enough and it’s something I really miss. Any and all book suggestions welcome!
  • Learn more coding. The more and more I learn more coding, the more I think it’s something I’m potentially interested in going back to school for. Hoping to successfully complete Harvard’s Introduction to Computer Programming class this year with HQ. I’ll probably make the two of us blog about it.
  • Grow out my bangs. Seems kind of silly, but I always end up getting fed up with them and cutting them again. I’d like to be able to put my hair up into a bun without having to use a billion clips and bobby pins.
  • Get back into ballet. Fairly straight forward, but it’s going to take some work for me to not just jump back into it and instead start off with one class a week before moving to 2-3 classes a week. Baby steps.
  • Complete Couch25K Properly. Last time I skipped some levels and jumped around, so my aim this time is to actually follow all the steps to gradually get into running. Someone yell at me if I fail at this or jump too fast into ballet, too.
  • Blog and write more often. I’m hoping to write and blog more often, as well as read more blogs and get more involved in the blogging universe. I recently became a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador, so I’m hoping that will help push me in the right direction, too.

What are your 2014 goals? What books should I add to my reading list? What are your favorite blogs right now?

A Job and Lessons Learned

I’ve been away from this blog a bit for a few reasons: last week I started working 3-days a week at my job (wahoo!) and it’s a bit tough mentally to be writing about ballet when you can’t actually do ballet. I’m still going to try to stick to about 3 posts a week–although I might not reach that goal until after the New Year. Normally, I’d prepare some posts, but seeing as how I’m a writer and we’ll also be doing the same thing for our publication at work I can see it not exactly happening.

It wasn’t until last Monday that I learned (for certain) that my internship was being extended into a part-time job. I’m super excited–although it made getting blog posts up for last week tough especially since I was struggling with some annoying headaches all week long (which getting about 3 hours of sleep Monday night will do to you).

Now for a stress fracture update–the end of this past week was the first time my legs truly started to feel better–probably because I stuck to wearing sneakers from Thursday on. It’s tough to do sometimes (especially when I do occasionally need to dress nice for work), but for now my best option is to be wearing sneakers as much as possible.

This week, I’ll have the usual Friday profile as well as a guest post on Wednesday from another elf, Renee, (from #Elf4Health) on running. We’re supposed to be sharing our expertise, so I’ll be over sharing about ballet on her blog! I’m also going to try and fit in both a 2013 recap and 2014 goals in the next few weeks too.

In addition, I’ll be starting a professional writer blog/resume website too, so stay tuned for that!

What has your December been like?

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