Working as a dancer in Cairo is a lot like waiting on buses these days. There can be literally weeks without any work at all... and then once your body has relaxed, the muscles have stopped responding as they should and your mood as dropped to an all time low because you are depressed from the lack of movement... then and only then do you suddenly get flooded with work day after day so that your muscles ache and your friends think you have dropped off the side of a cliff!
I am not complaining. Honest. 11 days in a row, performing anything between 1 and 6 shows in a day, is what I moved to Cairo to do!
I am pointing out my failures again. Why oh why when I get days off do I not do more exercise so that my ‘on’ days are less of a surprise to my poor muscles?!!! I never used to have to worry about these things. When I lived in Scotland I was teaching 25 classes per week on top of performing and going out salsa dancing!
Now... now I have become so lazy. I know what I ‘should’ do. I should be drilling moves at home. I should be doing my press ups and sit ups, my stair climbing. I should make a point of going out to salsa. Yes I should.
I think too much. I do too little. I bring myself down.
I rest and then my mood slumps and it is near impossible to move to do the basic stuff of life, never mind ‘extra’ exercise!
I guess routine is the answer to this issue. Push myself to do something every morning when I wake up........ but there is always an excuse; My back is sore from work last night- I should rest, I am late for meeting someone I need to leave house, I need to save my energy for work later on tonight... you name it. I am the world’s best at procrastination!
The only thing I seem good at now is always preferring to climb the stairs to the flat rather than taking the lift (11 floors). However, I don’t leave the house enough to make much of a difference!
I am so bad at pushing myself to exercise alone that I wish social fitness wasn’t so expensive. Gyms in Cairo are very expensive. Pools to go just for a swim are rare and also expensive. Fitness classes, Pilates, yoga etc are available... but again highly priced. I need to exercise because there isn’t enough regular daily work to keep my body strong for the times that there is, but without the work I don’t have the funds to pay for a gym!
See.... always an excuse.
Truth is I am a lazy bellydancer.
I have always been blessed in dance. I learn quickly without having to actually put in a lot of mental or physical work. I know many people who profess to hate me because of this! (I hope they are joking!) The idea of drilling moves fills me with such a dread that it takes away the joy I get from the dance.
So what to do......... This is the point in this blog entry when I say 'Yalla- I am going to do X, Y and Z. Everyday'. I am going to get super fit and strong again (like I used to be).
But I won’t.
I know myself too well.
I will start it. Whatever the ‘regime’ of the moment it. The after a day or two, sometimes even a week or two... that’s it. I am sitting about doing nothing and getting weak and depressed again.
When I analyse my character, look at my good and bad points, this laziness always comes out as the thing I hate most about myself and one of the major things that stops me ‘going further’ in life.
Do I just need to get a grip? Get tougher on myself? Or do I accept that sometimes I will be crazy active and nonstop dancing, and other times I just won’t be?
They say that realising your issues is the first step to dealing with them... I am hoping now I have written this and shamed myself in public that somehow I will just magically turn into some highly motivated being. That would be nice. Maybe.
Maybe I'll think more about that tomorrow....
oh, I shouldn't laugh but I think I must as much of this could have been written by me . . . except I am not a working dancer in Cairo or anywhere else. It is the part about procrastination, etc. I sit in front of a computer everyday and have a constant conversation with myself along the lines of "when I finish work . . " or "when I get home . . . ". And I can remember when all I wanted to do was practice my dancing. I'd stay up late for hours with the music just doing dance moves and drills. so many excuses while there are so many more good reasons to just do it.
This post really struck a chord with me, and I'm not a dancer - I go through these thoughts with my own career. I often find I haven't put in enough effort to get me where I ideally want to be, and it's something I've become really intolerant of in myself. Just as you describe, I too have "got away" with being this way because of natural ability and I have had successes without having to put in the same amount of work as others. In a way it is a mixed blessing!
I'm not sure what the answer is. But I felt relieved reading your post to know it isn't just me who feels this way - and more inclined to sympathise with my own nature, somehow. I've been using the brute force approach and yes it is getting stuff done, but it still seems more slow and painful than it "should" be (based on probably unhelpful comparisons with others). Perhaps a "happy medium" approach would help - setting less perfectionistic targets that can more easily be achieved within the limits of our own resistance/dread?
I do the same too. I've kick started my motivation by giving myself a visible recognition of doing my exercises and practise... a gold star chart! It worked as a kid so why not now right? At specific points on the chart I get specific treats. 2 weeks of at least 4days a week gets me something I've been wanting for a while. I even put a picture of it on the page to help keep me going. As I start getting better at keeping up the goals, I'll extend the timeframe and make the reward larger.
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