Confessions of a Ninja Ballerina: Bad Days

Some days are just bad.

You wake up and you have a headache, you’re just in a sour mood, your coffee didn’t even taste good, your hair’s a mess, you can’t find anything to wear, and for pity’s sake you can’t even get your eyeliner to look the same on both eyes.

Then you have to go to work.

Let’s be real here. Your boss doesn’t like it when you come in with a bad mood, your co-workers don’t like it, and the employees don’t like it. You have to get over it, but how?

In my case, it’s especially hard to find a minute to breathe because my job is watching and teaching 40 7-12 year old public school kids. But I have found that locking myself in the bathroom for a minute to breathe does wonders.

Really though, the first step in getting past your bad mood is letting yourself. Sometimes we get stuck in our grumpiness and we kind of enjoy the self-pity. Too bad. Be open to smiling a little.

Let your co-workers cheer you up. If you’re friends with any of them, they’re probably already trying. If you despise your co-workers (I hope you don’t. It’s miserable) then at least let their complete foolishness and ridiculousness cheer you up.

Filter out the bad employees. The rude comments, the frustrating situations, the immature arguments, everything. Don’t hold on to it. It’s not worth it. Instead pay attention to the friendly smiles, fun exchanges, and if you work with kids, the random hugs and odd conversations.

It all boils down to what attitude you choose to have. If you are intent and being sucked into this bad mood, never to return, then nothing will cheer you up. You have to be open to the good things happening around you and let them influence your attitude.

I hope you all have a really good day. 😁

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Confessions of a Ninja Ballerina: Organization

Planning is good.

I have, today, decided to actually do some planning for my dance classes. My mom had the fantastic idea to put my combinations on notecards in a little notecard box, separated into the different types of steps by the little dividers.

What’s awesome about this is that I can write down all the combinations, every week, and eventually and I can just pull out notecards to plan my class.

If you teach anything like dance or martial arts or anything, this is a great idea. If it’s dance, you can even write the song you used on the notecard, which is what I’m going to do.

Looking forward to today’s well-planned class. 🙂

Any dancers following me? Comment if you’d like me to make a post with some of my favorite combinations.

Flipping Tables

One of my favorite parts of the Bible: when Jesus got angry.

I’m actually going to start with  John 2:1-11, which is  Jesus turning water into wine. That was his first miracle. Also look at John 7:6.

An important point is that Jesus knew when He was supposed to do things. He said it wasn’t His time to perform his first miracle. That being said, I don’t really know why he did it if it wasn’t His time, but He must’ve had a reason.

Yay, now it’s time for flipping tables! Read John 2:12-25. It’s awesome. It makes me happy.

Jesus went and cleansed the Temple because a bunch of idiots were turning it into a business. Jesus walked in, saw all this happening, and made a whip.

He made a whip.

He didn’t walk through calmly saying “You really shouldn’t be doing this, friends, but if you feel like it’s the way you were born, or if you just love everyone, it’s ok.”

No. He went through driving people out with a whip and flipping their money changing tables over. He yelled at them to get out because His father’s temple was not a place of business. He had some really awesome righteous anger.

Jesus was not meek. He was not always gentle and kind. I do not know why people paint him that way. He took action, he was aggressive, he was physical..

One of the verses says something about zeal for his Father’s house consuming Him. The Greek word for zeal translates into jealousy. He was jealous for His father’s house because it was not what it was meant to be. It had become taken over by the world. It was no longer a place of reverence. People were changing money and selling doves.

This brings me to a concern about today’s mega churches. A lot of the times they have coffee shops, stores, something. They are selling things in their church, and I don’t know how they justify that.

I think it’s ok if it’s a fundraiser, but if people are getting paid to work it or it pays for a pastor’s salary or something, it’s a business and it’s wrong. It’s just plain disrespectful.

One more point to draw from His actions was that he spoke out against what they were doing wrong, not against them as people. He didn’t attack anyone personally. I strive to do that in my blog and I think I do a decent job of it. I speak out against sin without involving a certain people group as best I can.

If you look from Jesus CONVERTING water to wine and then CLEANSING the Temple right after, you see what He does in us. After we convert, we are cleansed, we are renewed. Jesus has wonderful power, let Him work it in you.

Confessions of a Ninja Ballerina: Strength

I’m a ballerina. My legs are super strong, so are my feet.
But, my arms? Nooooot so much.
I’m woman enough to admit that when I first started taekwan-do I could barely do ten push-ups, and that’s only going half way down.
Needless to say, I wasn’t the most impressive person there.
Over about four years of TKD, I didn’t improve much, mostly because I avoided push-ups like plague.
But there was hope.
One of my coworkers, Aaron, started making the kids in the class we teach together do push-ups. Of course, I was expected to set a good example and do the push-ups too.
So, every week, twice a week, I would grudgingly sink to my knees, straighten my legs until I was on my feet, and stretch out into a less-than-fantastic push-up position. We would then proceed to do 10, disgusting, horrific push-ups.
I still didn’t improve much. Maybe I got through the ten grueling push-ups a little easier, but I still couldn’t go down too far.
Then I realized that I didn’t actually want to improve that much. I hated push-ups, so why be good at them?
Lately I’ve been pushing myself a little bit more. Going down just a touch farther and forcing myself all the way back up, no matte how hard. I won’t pretend it’s purely self motivation that propels me through my least favorite exercise at TKD. The teasing from the guys helps a lot. Besides Aaron, we have an army dad taking classes. He likes giving me a hard time about my push-ups, all in fun, but still. Drives me to show them that I can do push-ups too.
I have most definitely been improving though. I can get almost all the way down for the first five.
I suppose the only point to this blog post is that striving to do better at something is half the battle. If you don’t want to improve, you won’t.
So go do your push-ups like a man.

Scissor Splits in 4 months!

Well, depending on how flexible you are right now, I suppose.

But here it is, my favorite stretching routine. Takes about 15 minutes, so before you start, make a stretching playlist of your five favorite songs 🙂

(My music suggestions:

Happy by Pharrel Williams

Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey

Back to Black by Amy Winehouse

Dog Days are Over by Florence and the Machine

Mambo Italiano by Dean Martin )

Ok here we go. Remember to breathe, people. And please, for the love of all things chocolate, keep your knees straight.

1. Stand up straight, feet squeezed together, arms above your head. Bend over and touch your toes. (Or ankles, shins, or knees, depending on flexibility.) hold for thirty seconds.

Knees. Straight.

2. Straighten up and spread your feet about two shoulder-widths, enough that you can bend over and put your hands on the floor. Stretch over your right leg for fifteen seconds. Then the left.

3. Put your palms on the floor, weight on your hands. Rotate your legs so that your toes are up to the ceiling. Slide as far into the middle splits as you can go. Hold for thirty seconds.

Leaning forward over your hands helps. If you try to keep your back straight in this one, you’ll fall backwards.

4. Sit back, keeping your legs out wide. Back up straight, hands in front of you. Hold for thirty second, then stretch out a tiny bit farther. Stretch over your legs, holding for thirty seconds each. Then over the middle for 30. Make sure to bend at the hips, trying not to round your back over.

5. Stretch out a little farther and repeat #4.

6. SLOWLY bring your legs together. Hug one knee to your chest, then the other.

Are you still breathing? You’re not, are you? In. Out. In. Out. There we go.

7. Butterfly stretch for 30 seconds. Bottoms of the feet together, trying to get your knees to touch the ground.

8. Up on your knees, not sitting on them, one knee up.

9. Rock forward over your knee, trying to get your back leg straight while keeping your front foot flat on the floor. Then rock backwards, sitting on your back heel, straightening your front leg and stretching over it.

10. Repeat #9 one more time.

11. Put one hand on either side of your legs and slide into your scissor splits, keeping the weight on your hands. Hold for 30-45 seconds.

This is the part where you sing along to your music to avoid thinking about the pain.

12. Relax for just a second, then repeat steps 8-11 for your other leg.

13. Butterfly stretch one more time.

Tah-dah! 13 steps, 2-3 times a week. I promise you your flexibility will improve drastically in 4 months or less.

Any questions? Anything to add? Any other tutorials you would like to see? Comment away!

 

Confessions of a Ninja Ballerina: Flexibility

It’s kind of hard being in both ballet and taekwon-do. I mean, they help each other in different areas, but they’re also super contradictory.

However, there’s one field that is the same in both arts; flexibility.

Oh, how I adore stretching. It’s wonderful, relaxing, and rewarding.

People hate me for it.

I don’t want to sound full of myself, but I’m the most flexible person in my taekwon-do school. Since I’m a black belt and I teach classes, I regularly put my students through a 10-15 minute stretching routine. I’ll be at the front, talking them through it and demonstrating. I’ll drop into full side splits with ease. Suddenly the room is filled with groans.

“Show off!”

“That’s not fair!”

“How do you do that?”

Every. Single. Time. I’m almost to the point where I’m ready to just talk them through the stretching so they don’t have to witness my flexibility.

Honestly, I shouldn’t have to repeat myself every class “It just takes practice. You can do this if you stretch at home.”

Are you flexible? Do you wish you were? Keep your eyes open for my next post; a short, easy stretching tutorial.