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yo adrian
singapore sunset
amw
Note to self: avoid bookstores, hardware stores, craft stores, office supply stores... Yesterday i was at Staples to pick up a new notebook and bought a bunch of other random things with money i don't have. Things have been a bit chaotic the last week or two, i guess. Everything affects everything else... i stay up too late, forget to eat, forget to take my meds. The other day i started seeing those little sleep deprivation ghosties, which set off a whole nother chain of anxiety and some very dark fragmented hallucinations. Having my partner then start on the whole "that never happened" thing when it's so clear in my mind just pushed me deeper into self-doubt and confusion.

I weighed myself at the gym yesterday and apparently i've dropped 5 pounds in a week. That would be good if i was trying to lose weight, but i'm not and it's 4 pounds outside the low end of my normal range. J has started a diet recently so i have been cooking more healthily, but surely i eat enough bread and cookies and things to offset that? I have very little body fat right now - tiny boobs and a stubborn belly - so any weight i lose is probably muscle. Since the winter started i've been getting light-headed, experiencing what might be hypoglycemic symptoms... I really need to see a doctor but i am trying to hold out till next month when my health insurance kicks in. Perhaps i need to massively crank up what i eat to match my new levels of activity. It's hard, though, because sometimes i'm just not hungry and all i want is a coke or some coffee. I used to love eating so much, but lately? Hmm.

Something i am struggling with at the gym at the moment is folding and weaving. I have very good control of my upper body above the belly button, and i can move it all over the place while keeping the rest of me stationary. That looks lovely in the mirror, perhaps if i was dancing, but it doesn't really help me capitalize on my height advantage in the ring. My coach wants me to be able to bend (without moving my hips) from somewhere lower, my core - some thin band just at or below my belly button. It is driving me crazy because my body just doesn't want to do it. I feel like i am missing something so obvious.

I don't mind when i am doing something wrong and i know i'm doing it wrong and can see a way to improve it, but it's so hard to figure something out when i can't tell the difference between doing it right and doing it wrong. Usually what i do at times like this is go and read a million websites trying to find someone who describes the technique perfectly, in a way my brain can understand it, but this week i am in hibernation. I'm deliberately not reading any websites (including my LiveJournal friends page) so that i can focus on figuring things out through experience and observation - i want to spend some time not relying on that reading crutch that usually just ends up being a procrastination tool anyway. So, i'm going it alone, ticking and tocking and leaning, counterpunching thin air, concentrating on my core, hoping somehow it clicks.

I need a full-length mirror in the house. I used to hate seeing myself in mirrors, but having to stare at myself in the gym and in the dance studio (where i drum) i am learning to appreciate how much it can help in figuring out how your body moves. It's still important for me to practice "blind" because it helps me focus more on the essence, on the raw sensations, but to see myself... That's something that has really helped me smooth the flow of all kinds of movement in the last six months, both boxing and drumming. Mirrors don't strip away my confidence any more, they help give it back to me.

Thinking back, i used to love going to this incredibly tacky nightclub that - because it's in Brisbane - manages to continue pulling crowds despite its 80s-licious decor. It never really occurred to me that aside from all the pastel and neon, another reason i might have enjoyed going was the mirror along the dance floor. It seems so vain to admit you want to look at yourself when you're out, though perhaps it's not so unusual in gay nightclubs. Although i dance with my eyes closed most of the time, it's nice to open up and catch a glimpse of where your body is actually going. A long, long time ago i used to dance with a man in my head who was two-dimensional, a pitch-black shadow, he bounced off what i did and lead me... I was dancing in the living room the other day and saw him again.

Some day i will go to a class and try learn more seriously how to dance, perhaps jazz or house. It's such a wonderful feeling for me... But outside of a club environment it's still something i am completely terrified of doing seriously. I'm terrified my body will betray me, that even feeling the music so intimately in my head i won't be able to translate it to where i'm moving and i'll look uncoordinated or like i don't have any sense of rhythm. And they won't stop laughing at me, all those little voices inside...
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I think where you should start before you try focus on the exact technique is getting in touch with the muscles of the low abs, so that you can undesrtand how to access them to do what you need to do. One good exercise to do this is to lay flat on your back bring your legs straight up into the air so that they are at a 90 degree angle. Place your hands under your low back to support it and then what you will be atempting to do is to lift your legs STRAIGHT up into the air using your low abs. Don't allow them to rock back and forth and let your back get involved. You may not even move a centimeter, but after a while you should start to feel at least the contraction in the very low abs.

That exercise is something we do as part of our abs series before each class, but it never really occurred to me that it was exercising the right muscles to make the folding movement. Playing around with it now i can sort of see the link, so thanks :) It feels weird, though, because leaning from that low my belly gets all smooshed up. I also feel very top-heavy staying balanced on the balls of my feet at the same time. Something to work on. My sides are gonna kill all week aren't they? :)

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