Home stretch: Month 1

Almost there! Honestly, this has been a great start to the year. I’m freelancing at the moment, which is both wonderful and unbelievably hard in terms of keeping any kind of schedule. Having a dance practice that I need to complete helps me structure my day. I had to take last week a little easy due my shoulder playing up, but I’m still on track to finish this challenge on the 31st (not tomorrow as per my original plan).

It’s been a huge learning curve. Some thoughts:
- Getting myself to show up and do the work has been easier than I anticipated.
- I feel better mentally and physically when I show up and do the work.
- I am less likely to berate myself for not working when I have completed a practice — it’s an accomplishment and makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile with my day.
- Compassion is helpful for sustaining practice habits.
- Dancing is fun. 
- Being strong and flexible has a positive impact on my self-esteem.
- I want to carry this momentum forward into the next month.

Some other thoughts:
- I need to focus when I am alone more. My biggest challenge has been my wandering and fragmented attention span.
- I can be very hard on myself if I’m not careful.
- It’s still worth doing something at 50%, even if you’re injured/tired/not feeling it. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. 
- Sometimes going through the motions helps switch my brain on.
- Sometimes going through the motions is excruciatingly boring.
- Hormones really mess with your balance.

I’ve booked a long-overdue appointment with a very good physio to help me sort out the issues I’ve had with my shoulders. Often the shoulder pain turns to neck pain turns to headache turns to migraine, and while I’ve had acupuncture for it in the past, that’s had a limited effect. I’d like to learn how to train safely and not just add to the knots in my upper back. This first challenge has been a good kick in the pants to get me to start taking care of my body and investing in it in other ways than just exercise and trying to eat healthily.

Next month’s challenge is SWEAT: splits and handstands. Now, these are two things I’ve desperately wanted to be able to do since… er… forever. However, I also still want to keep up my intense regular practice. So I’ve decided next month’s challenge is now SPLITS: train splits. Handstands needs its own month, and I do a lot of aerial and upper body training. I’ve used the ‘Crazy Train’ format and tweaked it slightly so the focus is on lower body flexibility as well as solid technique and conditioning. I’ll post a sample week on Feb 1st so you can see where I’m going with this!

I love the ‘5 sessions a week for 4 weeks’ approach — it’s flexible enough that it fits around my hectic schedule, has enough novelty in it that I don’t get bored, but is regular enough that I can build a kind of routine. Well, as much as a routine as this Rebel can…

For now it’s home stretch for Month One and I am feeling great! Achey and tired and awesome. And a bit sweaty.

Onward! Let’s crush this challenge.