I'm too sexy for my muscle strains...

I may have mentioned the time I tried to mountain bike and went blissfully sailing off a ravine back in August. I exaggerate, but such is my prerogative... I didn't exactly sail so much as tumble and I may have been more stunned than blissed out. The pain I caused myself, however, was not an exaggeration - some tear in a muscle that wraps around my lower rib cage and is highly involved with pretty much any core movement. I may not have mention that I suspect this area is more vulnerable due to an old break dancing injury. I mention it now, because the point of this introduction is to make myself sound way more hardcore than I really actually am. Before whining about how I have hurt myself again.

I will note the one breakdancing performance I did was
during a showcase where I was also doing ballroom
hence the makeup, slicked hair and glitter...
but dude, were my shoes not awesome? Metallic pink, baby

Anyways, however it all went down, I snapped or stretched or strained that delicate area, and it had mostly healed until I got a little eager with my reach for boxes on the Black Friday extravaganza clean out. I managed to reawaken memories of laying underneath my bike trying to breathe and thinking "huh, my bike appears to be riding me?? I think I'm doing it wrong!" It didn't seem to be too extreme of an injury at the time, and I managed to go through my regular weekly routines of dance workouts and running with only minor twinges. I even got through *most* of my pilates on Thursday. This is probably because we were targeting arms, legs, glutes, lower abs and not so much that area until - drumroll please - we did a roll up.

Well, "we" didn't exactly do a roll up because once the strained muscle was called upon, the roll up stopped rather abruptly. I stubbornly tried working around it and then did some side ab work that probably wasn't advised either. So naturally I was hurting pretty well before my private lesson on Friday, but not quite enough for my tastes! Our lesson brilliantly consisted of fast east coast swing, heavy on connection. You may never realize just how much of your core really is/should be involved in a proper technique or connection until you dance hurt. Hoooooooo Doctor (literally, I should have one standing by at my lessons, if I'm going to be so intentionally oblivious). Anyways, I learned a cool combination of moves that really really used those muscles and hurt even more.

Saturday, then, there was a dance. A masquerade and I knew well enough - even said well enough - that I should be careful not to dance too much. The advantage of it being a masquerade/formal party was that in theory, it would require a wardrobe that was restrictive enough that the temptation to dance full out would already be limited due to the restrictions of my ensemble. Formal wear is incredibly difficult to dance in - short dresses ride up, long dresses catch on heels, low-cut dresses cut even lower, and nicer materials just don't want to be shimmied around in the style to which we are accustomed. But then I grew lazy and didn't acquire an appropriately formal straight jacket to protect myself. I made our masks last minute while Andrew took a study break that turned into a nap. They lived up to their purposes and are now complementing Christmas wall-tree.

My wall *will* be the awesomest kindergarten school
wall in the land!!!!

After contemplating creative ways to use the rest of my construction paper to make a gown, since the two I own have been danced out to so many events that they require retirement in the hall of dresses, I defaulted a bit on the constrictive ballgown idea. I had earlier donned a pair of grey and black hounds tooth tights and decided in a fit of obstinacy that I was not going to take them off for the party. This rather clashed with the retired gowns and really did go rather well with a pair of swing shoes and the aforementioned grey sweater dress, so... Limiting dance motion was back on my shoulders and out of my shoes.

but seriously, how cute are these?

  I was pretty careful, but it still was a landmine. It really brings home both the prior lesson about just how much you use these tiny little muscles (and considering how much I have focused on isolations and latin rhythm) and how truly embodied our cognition is! Andrew is here with me this weekend and in addition to having limitations in generally reaching and lifting and dancing, cuddling/draping/nuzzling/and your general horseplay apparently uses these upper core muscles a shocking amount as well. So there has been a lot of my recoiling from a warm touch or just not being permanently draped over my boyfriend, which is less common. And naturally it's entirely physical, but I think we both feel that little disconnect, as if there's a distance beyond the physical. Frustrating! But fascinating to remember just what physical beings we really are and how much of the etherializing that we do with the term "connection" starts and ends with the physical contact itself.

Psyche and Eros... get it?? Was I like subtle heaven forbid?
Also I don't think this is meant to be pornographic
but it kind of looks like he's grabbing her boob...

At any rate, it's inconvenient and affects my mood to be so limited in my own physical being. I'll be super happy to be fairly healed and I'm guessing it's fortunate that my pilates/workout partner Azita and my private ballroom instructor Nate are married and off together on a cruise next week. Cuts the temptation to keep ripping my damned ribs up.

And speaking of physicality, other than moaning and moping about between episodes of construction paper construction, I attended a mysterious meeting with a local tango musician yesterday. She had messaged me a while back and I finally got ahold of her only to be invited to her house to hear about some exciting tango news.

Yes, there are tango stirrings in the Bellingham air and apparently I count as a "mover and shaker in the Bellingham community..." I tend to think most of my tango-moving and shaking comes from the hip (sell that cortada baby!), but however I move and shake, I qualified for the special meeting. I have been sworn to some simulacrum of secrecy, but I'm not sure about which details exactly. I think I can go so far as to disclose that (1) the organizer/would-be-producer makes lots and lots of pretty tasty desserts when she hold meetings with people, (2) she is also pretty prolific with her ideas, and has everything planned out in detail, (3) it involves what she terms the Anti-Forever Tango, which to her I believe means a tango performance show that is less concerned with world-class virtuosity and perfection as much as being fun, funny and sweet.

 The meeting yesterday was sort of a recruitment drive/pitch, but I can't say with utter certainty what I've been recruited for. There are about three pieces written with me in mind, and I'm quite happy to perform. Because I know some of the personalities who are involved or may be involved, I can see just how many conceivable ways this could go sideways as egos ebb and flow against the shore. A few other teachers have been asked to serve as "coaches" (a role that I understand to be "keeping available to help dancers and director if they run into a tricky spot with their choreography or need somebody to tell them where thee lead's foot is supposed to go and make sure it's uniform for the entire chorus of dancers") and I'm fairly happy not to be of their number... hoping to stay that way, although of the potential names, I probably do have the most experience with and propensity for working with choreography and understanding transitions in an articulable fashion (yes, yes, let me stroke my ego and then hide behind the nearest tree - my ego is not one of those that I'd like to be spraying up against rocks in a few months' time). The show itself wouldn't take place for over a year, so there's plenty of time for things to evolve and I am going to remain open. I am not known for passing up any opportunity, request, or faint suggestion to perform in the hammiest and most gregarious fashion possible, so I can hardly fight my nature and start now.

At least for now, the time commitment would not seem to interfere with my other carefully laid plans of hamming it up. I am hoping to do a showcase performance with Nathan next spring. I'd love to do another performance with my dad (pictured above and yes, yes, he is awesome), but that really depends on him. With Nate, I think it may be time that I would be served with a more concrete goal than "I'd like to suck less than I think I do." From my own teaching experience, it can be kind of hard when a student takes regular lessons without a clear short term plan.  And I would be well served with a more concrete at this point. But I really just want an excuse to dance something - cha cha or west coast swing - to the song I'm Too Sexy, but Right Said Fred. It needs to be done, and it ought to be done by me.

Still for the time being, I am far too sexy for my stupid rib cage and will be sitting out the next few days with a classic model pucker-scowl.

Coming up next: Adella Decorates with her Daddy and manages to make that somehow exacerbate her injuries!

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