Sunday, December 15, 2013

Back to class! (sort of)

Yesterday I started feeling a lot more energetic. Climbing stairs was a bit taxing, but not horrible like it'd been. So I made plans to go to class today. I even packed my bag ahead of time to make sure I wouldn't be rushed and would have time to stretch before class.

This morning felt more like a repeat of Friday. I almost changed my mind about class, but I stuck to my pre-class routine. A hot shower helped loosen up my chest. I promised myself that I'd only mentally commit myself to barre; center would be a bonus if I felt up to it, but gave myself permission to bail if I really wasn't up to finishing even barre. I guess I'm a little scared that if I let myself get out of the habit I'll lose the drive to go entirely.

Walking to the school from parking was a bit tiring, but not terrible. I don't lack for energy, I lack the respiratory reserves to maintain oxygen saturation when challenged. In simpler terms, I get out of breath quickly, even though the rest of my body is capable and willing. I arrived about a half hour before class and started a nice, slow warm-up. The instructor wandered down the hall as I was doing this, and I explained about having been sick and that I might bail out between barre and center. She said she was glad to see me back and wished me continued improvement.

Barre started well. I've lost none of my flexibility or strength. My balance was just a bit off, but nothing really outside of my normal range. The student standing at the barre next to me looked to be in far worse shape, and I could hear the congestion in her lungs as she breathed from several feet away. The barre routines were mostly the old familiar ones that normally present little challenge for me. Technically I did OK, and even scored a couple of compliments, but by the end of each combination I was out of breath and needed the time during the explanation of the next to recover. Not the greatest sign, but I made it through the whole thing.

During the break before center I caught my breath and decided I felt good enough to try center. Again the first combination was familiar and I felt I did pretty well. One of the things this instructor pointed out to us a few weeks ago was that it's critically important to keep the standing leg straight during turns, and by paying attention to this I even executed a couple of pretty nice pirouettes, though my spotting is still lacking. By the time we'd marked it and done the whole routine once, though, I felt pretty winded. I sat out the next pass through, and when they got ready for the third and I still felt out of it I realized I was done. I waved to the instructor, collected my bag, and headed for the dressing room.

I accomplished what I set out to do — barre — and a little bit more. I'm OK with that. And I'll ease myself back into my old routine as my condition improves.

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