Sport stories

When I was little (probably five or six; must have been at least five, because we had already moved out of the flat I had been born in), I had ballet classes. Here’s what I remember about them:

  • I had a plain pink tutu, sensibly made of cotton and machine-washable. Some of the other girls had tutus with the skirt part made of that meshy plastic stuff that feels really nice when you rub it between two fingers, and one had a tutu made of some stretchy material that glittered. I was jealous.

  • We once had a show for parents and such in which we danced a robo-dance kind of thing, all edgy, isolated movements. (In hindsight, it doesn’t seem very ballet-y. I don’t know why we had a robo-dance.) My grandparents came to watch and later said that I was the only one who had occasionally paused to listen to the music and get back into the rhythm. I was very proud of that (and still kind of am).

  • I don’t remember a lot of what we actually did in class. I only remember one exercise that had us curl up really small on the floor, imagining we were flower seeds, and then growing upwards veeeery sloooooowly. It was boring as hell.

  • Once, my grandmother walked me to ballet class, and we passed a traffic sign I recognized as prohiting cars from parking, and lots of cars were parked behind it, and I made some horribly embarrassing pseudo-adult comment how typical that was, and she asked me to read what it said beneath the sign. It said “end”. But it said “end” in German, which is “Ende”, and I thought it said “Ente”, which means duck. My grandmother did not realize I had read “duck” and considered the matter settled. I did not understand what this had to do with cars and was very confused about it for the rest of the walk. This is not really related to ballet class, I’m just still embarrassed about it twenty years later and think of it in shame every time I think back to that ballet class.

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On aches and people

About four years ago, I started getting a lot of headaches. The first twinges usually started in the afternoon, every heartbeat pulsing painfully in my temples. By late evening, I’d be slumped over in my desk chair, keeping as still as humanly possible, gingerly holding my head at whatever angle was the least painful, while my eyes felt ready to explode from the pressure in my head.

In early fall, I moved, transporting my stuff piece by piece via backpacks and bags through public transport, and the headaches were daily. By then, I knew they’d only get worse as the day progressed, and even sleep would only bring temporary relief until the whole cycle started over again the next day. Eventually, as I stood on the tramway hanging my head and desperately trying to keep as motionless as possible despite the train’s movement, knowing this was only the beginning, a friend offered me some painkillers.

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Working Out

I worked out for the first time in two weeks and five days yesterday!
I had planned to start again right away when I got back from Sweden, but, as various philosophers and psychologists have theorized and probably everybody knows from personal experience, it takes a certain amount of willpower to work on self-improvement when one could also continue doing easier things instead.

I managed to get my brain to cooperate by firmly telling myself that I would feel happier after and even during the workout, and supporting this assertion with past memories of this happening. (It might be anecdotal evidence only, but for better or worse, that is the kind of evidence that works best on certain parts of the mind.) I am happy to report that I turned out to be correct, giving me another memory to use in future persuasion attempts.

I wasn’t sure what to expect after the break, and initially, my fears seemed justified: the bodyline work (a lot of different static holds, to be held for up to 60s each) felt harder than usual. However, the actual strength exercises went just as well as beforehand, possibly even slightly better (I managed to touch the bar at every horizontal row!).
I don’t know if the initial difficulties were due to imagination or a lack of motivation (static holds are the worst) or something else – the only other possible cause I can think of is that usually I work out halfway between two meals, neither full nor hungry, and this time I was hungry. Does low blood sugar interfere more with static holds than exercises? Did my body just need a little more time than the warmup to adjust to exercise? Who knows! I’m looking forward to finding out how the next workout will go.

Until then, I might finally make myself a workout playlist; it would probably help to have one.