It’s About Retention

20 Jun

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I am [probably] going to stop complaining about how bad I suck at transitioning back into real life after today. Give me a break, it’s only Wednesday.

Per usual, I attended my Tuesday night Hip Hop dance class last night for the first time in 3 weeks. You know where this is going.

I wish I could tell you I had a great class – I really didn’t. The instructor – a very advanced sub who I’m not used to – focused heavily on technique and gave much less regimented direction than I’m used to.

But I have to share something about this experience, because this lesson helped me remember why I’ve continued to dance every Tuesday for the past 6 months. It’s about patience. I felt I was holding it down in my little square of the room, until the instructor stopped dancing with us too early in the class for my comfort – on top of that, he stopped counting us in. I didn’t know the music, and many of us were lost as to where to begin.

After many (including myself) were completely thrown off, he said something I loved – “What’s missing is retention. You’re not retaining what I’m teaching. I am not asking you to memorize this – dance is not a math equation. Retention is like when you step away from a computer keyboard for 10 years – when you come back, you still know how to type.”

This is why dance is so GD difficult, but it’s also why I keep coming back. I am good at memorizing. I am a pretty decent mimicker. And I have good rhythm, plus I love music. But patience is something I am maybe not so good at. I am a structure lover, and Hip Hop REALLY challenges me to abandon that mindset and get a lil funky.

In this way, dance is a little like healthy living, too. You can’t fake it; there is no magic diet or trick to get in shape overnight. You have to really live it, and let it etch itself into your bones. And it takes time.

So for any of you who are working towards a goal – fitness, career, otherwise – I thought I’d share this. Wednesday Wisdom for all!

Ok. Let’s talk about food, shall we?

A lot of bloggers whose works I read religiously are regular participants in WIAW, documenting a day in the life of their eats. Because I kind of love to eat (ya think?) I make a habit of forgetting to snap photos before shoveling tasty morsels into my mouth, thereby destroying my precious works of food art.

But sometimes I do stop and behold my handiwork, and if that moment is longer than 2 seconds (rare) I remember to capture it.

I know I probably sound a bit willynilly with my eating – actually opposite of the truth.

Meal planning helps me avoid those desperate moments of hunger – if I’m left unprepared, I start seeing the face of God in that table of free oreos in the office. It also has taught me discipline, which is kind of oddly turning into a recurring motif for this post  I suppose.

This week, The Fitnessista’s Summer Shape Up has helped me shake up my regular rotation of eats, and helped me plan well in advance. You guys should check it out – some amazing ideas over there.

In honor of WIAW, despite the fact that I can’t show you everything I ate yesterday, here are some recent delicacies I’ve been dominating.

Protein pancakes – I showed you guys these bad boys Monday, but my giant ‘cake was so good, I had to make it a second time. Topped with banana & pure maple.

Brown rice mixed with some soy sauce, wasabi seaweed snack from Trader Joe’s, diced cucumber & avocado, topped with salmon sashimi I picked up near my office

Simple dinner before dance – spinach, turkey, cheese, a smattering of marinara & squeeze of dijon mustard wrapped up in a gluten free wrap, eaten alongside avocado & cucumber slices

And this magical tea I got from my world traveling friend, Kendalle. I don’t know what it says because it’s not English, but I became fast friends with this foreign treat. (You might notice a recent wedding gift in the background from my Godparents … thanks Aunt M! 🙂 )

See? Meal planning ain’t no thang.


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