One of the most depressing things if you keep fit and healthy and take regular exercise can be having to rest an injury.
Dancing ballet I have had many minor strains or danced safely through a toe fracture, headaches and period pains.
But I am a confessed Bunhead (ballet addict) and dance is a huge part of my life. I even incorporate this in to the spellwork I do for people through Maya Magickal (link below) and I consider my daily barre as essential as my daily meditation and energy healing work (see Mayastar link below) to maintain my health on all levels.
And one of the most depressing experiences I had was tearing a muscle. I couldn’t dance. I could only just walk! But I couldn’t point my foot. I couldn’t jump. I couldn’t stand on demi pointe (tip toes) and I had an exam due later that year. I was determined not to lose fitness during my injury so I worked out variations I could do. And worked on those things throughout (doing literally nothing can leave muscles weak and more prone to injury later – I was determined to avoid that).
But a further consideration was with the hours of dance I did each week (about 2 hours a day), I couldn’t do anything aerobic and my maintenance plan might maintain my muscles but it wouldn’t be burning the same number of calories and I would need to be aware of that because in six weeks I could so easily gain 10 or 15 pounds which could equally wreck my exam performance.
This was some years ago. But I just found out the most amazing life hack! Something that would have made my recovery so much easier and less of a worry!
Hot baths burn calories! Lying in a 40° bath for an hour burns the same calories as a half hour walk.
I often finish a 3 hour dance class with a long bath and it never occurred to me it was like doing a 4 hour work out!
There will be a number of benefits a hot bath can’t give you that exercise does – development of cardio fitness and muscle, stronger bones, that endorphin rush….but in a pinch, it’s a good option. And a wonderful option for people who can’t exercise or have health complications.
Hot baths also have a beneficial effect on our blood sugar levels in a similar way to physical activity!
A win win situation. And an excuse for a trip to Lush and looooong Bubble Bath!
Grishko Novas with bloche elasticated ribbons (the cord not tied off & hidden meaning these were new – I only tied the cord once I had softened them after a few hours of dancing in them). #Grishkos are often considered a professional shoe because the shank (the bit that supports your foot in the sole) is v v flexible and is more like a 3 quarter shank than a full one so it wouldn’t be good if you had weak feet.
But I had been dancing ballet for years and before that I was a “toe walker”. It’s not uncommon in people with high functioning autism – it’s a stage of physical development we sometimes bypass because we’re developing bigger brains! So all my life I walked on the balls of my feet kind of rolling my foot in from the side – my heel never touching the floor. It looked like a normal walk to anyone else. Some people said in a hurry I tended to march rather than run. And I seemed prone to breaking into a skip instead of a run actually!
I was really frustrated because my Novas would look fine until I broke them in. Then they looked twisted as if I was sickling and I couldn’t work out why. They felt good and my technique improved and my feet got stronger and stronger but this only seemed to make the shoe twist more. I tried all kinds of ways of using my ribbons to hold the shoe to my foot and checked I got over the box (it doesn’t look like it in this pic but I am bending over to take the photo and the box of the front shoe has raised a bit).
In the end I took a private class with an examiner and explained to her the problems…my hamstrings were v tight from years of toe walking so I focused a lot of my barre on stretching them etc. As soon as I took off my soft shoes to put my pointes and extended my foot she identified the problem – I have #hypermobility in the joints in my foot. Another physiological #aspergers characteristic. In fact I have hypermobility in most of my joints.
So the solution? Very simple – lightly bandage the “knuckles” area of my toe joints before I put my shoes on.
It extended the life of my shoes by at least 3 times!
Note – part of the problem is that I have long toes, 2nd toe longer than the big toe, very low profile and very narrow heel. No other shoes except Grishko’s would fit my heel (and because the cord stretched a little I needed to let it stretch a bit before tying it off or they would slip off my heel). And seriously, I tried every brand and had fittings all over London before finding Grishko shoes…first the 2007s and then at Grishko’s recommendation, the Nova which has a wider platform and worked better for the bandages and gel spacers I used to keep from breaking my second toe! Because the ones in the pic are new you can see my foot was sitting very high in the shoe! That would resolve within 15 or 20 mins dancing – I wasn’t a fan of crushing the box to speed it up because sometimes I only got 6 hours dance time out of them!
This problem wasn’t picked up by my dance teacher…nor any fitters…so if you are having problems getting fitted, try seeing an ex dancer or examiner because I am not the only one out there with this problem. Also bandaging protects my joints from abrasions! But take care not to bandage too tightly at first because you won’t get over the box!
I’m awake…I’m awake…maybe just another half hour…god…what I wouldn’t give for a venti caramel macchiato. I’ve got every except a Starbucks next to my bed.
Oooh dear. Audiobook too exciting. Late to bed. Think I may be hungry but I’ve made a deal…every time I lose a few lbs I get a new pandora charm for my pandorabracelet.
Cool idea because I don’t do diets. I do fasts. Or cleanses. But maintain my weight easily (usually) because I don’t have a sweet tooth mostly I think. Plus I dance a lot. However, I won’t do pointe unless I am the low end of normal for my height.
I suppose when dad was ill…and then I’ve been seeing Spider and especially recently his work finishes later, I have eaten junk too often. I honestly don’t know how people live on junk cos it’s put me off food now!
So…green drink and Apple Cider Vinegar cleanse. With enough Maple Syrup to make sure I can workout without getting lightheaded.
I feel all toxic and weird. Hope it’s sodium poisoning from eating salty yellow lard…or cheese as most call it. Bleh!
So now instead of hanging my stinky Grishko Novas (ballet shoes) by the bed to remind why it’s time to detox, I have a goooorgeous Pandora Bracelet.
I don’t know my weight at the moment. I can judge it pretty well by how my corsets close…at ballet weight I can close a 20″ corset. And I always think, 5lbs adds half an inch.
I put on weight evenly but my ankles, hands and wrists are tiny. If they look skinny compared to the rest of my body, it means I am over my normal size.
So…no Weight Loss diet…because weight isn’t the only thing that matters…I have to be healthy!
My natural waist at 8 and a half stone (I’m 5’5″) is 24″ and my clothes are a 6-8. But if I am not dancing, it could be 25″ – I could be a size or two bigger than when I am normal fitness. So exercise is vitally important to me. Especially when you are on a cleanse in my opinion. Eating low calories (or drinking them), you don’t want your muscles (like your heart) to waste away! Also a good cardio session keeps your appetite in check. Well. It does for me.
So…I will get up in a minute…just need a Lady Gaga fix while I rehydrate on Evian and look at the Pandora website…
Maybe I will weigh myself…just to estimate how many lbs I need to lose to earn each charm to fill up this bracelet. There were some lovely spacers…sparkly…but I want those in pairs…so whatever charms I choose my bracelet looks balanced.
There are also ones that are hanging charms…and Pandora bracelets are sterling silver and made to fit my wrist. Which is amazing as I have to buy kids bracelets and watches usually. I’m totally in love the concept. Even planning to set a goal after this and then another…cos I think I would wear 3 bracelets. This one is heart themed…so I am even thinking of themes for others later already. And wondering if I would go for the necklace at a later date.
I love the “gold star” type approach to self motivation!
For those in the know, my first Pandora bracelet has a heart clasp, a pair of heart clips and the safety chain has hearts on it too. My first charm is an open work sphere made up of hearts too.
So with the bracelets and the blingy clips and clasp, and safety chain it was around £250. Charms range in price massively. I would say an average of £30 each…but it really depends on the size and style. There are some that are higher prices because they’re gold or they have precious stones. But I am going for silver and I’m not a fan of gold jewellery.
Oooh. I totally adore Pandoras at the moment! Really good quality…and subtle too. A bracelet I won’t need to remove for typing is a miracle in itself!
Ok…time to publish and get up! My blog about Midwich Cuckoos and Aspergirls is still being edited…that should be out later this week though!
Anna Louise May (Maya) | Mystic Muse & Artist
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