I’ve returned to the gym successfully and now have quite a bit of DOMS to show for it. Otherwise, that’s just about it for now: both my modern schools have two weeks of winter holidays. One down, one to go. The Wednesday school offers free-for-all adult classes every evening, but the Intermediate/Advanced classes are always very late in the day, so I decided to have some quality gym time instead.
I usually hit the gym Monday and Friday right before modern class. After a brief adjustment period, I was able to handle the combined exertion well. All I need to do is remember to eat something inbetween and not to drink too much. I have a serious (water) drinking habit going, so dehydration is much less likely than my back teeth starting to float in the middle of modern.
Toilet breaks during class suck. Especially if you like to wear unitards.
Anyway, not having class afterwards allows me to get some more gym time and complete all of my exercises. I have a number of fixed ones that I do every time and some that I alternate. I have really come to enjoy the gym. It makes me look good, feel strong and allows me to eat all the food without having to buy new clothes.
And of course, it improves my dancing. Last time I went to Friday modern, I was one of the few students who could stand up properly during our choreography. We were getting off the floor via some kind of a wide lunge that requred you to stand up with all of your weight on one leg, but not completely over said leg. I remember choreos with just regular standing-up-from-the-floor-on-one-leg used to give me a cramp in my adductors. This is definitely not an issue anymore.
The gym is also very relaxing. I enjoy being in a roomful of people who each came there with their own specific goals in mind. It makes for a concentrated atmosphere – sometimes literally! As opposed to dancing, resistance training requires much less thinking. You need to concentrate on what you’re doing, but you don’t have to think quickly. After you’ve learned to perform an exercise correcty, the cognitive effort is minimal.
One of my projects this year is going to be reading all my many dance books and extracting some useful dance-specific exercises from them to further my cross-training. Another should be improving my flexibility. I know I’m physiologically able to do the splits, I just need to find the time to stretch properly. The maintenance stretching I do daily keeps me from becoming stiff, but it’s not made to train for the splits. I can’t stretch after the gym because I usually go to class straight away, and I can’t stretch after class because it’s late and I have to get my butt home for supper.
Still, if I want to improve, I’ll have to make it work somehow. Maybe on the week-ends? In the mornings? Instead of sleep? Someone get me a Time-Turner!
Did you ever successfully improve your flexibility? What did you do and how long did it take you to achieve your goals?