Dark December

As we roll into December, I'm still decompressing from my highly eventful year.

It started with a triumphant return to the boards after a five-year hiatus, I found an audition listing just by chance, for a role that sounded perfect for me. Soon afterward, I found myself playing in a slapstick farce and losing about fifteen pounds in the process. I took daily baths to combat the aches and pains inherent in doing pratfalls and stunts every night. To exacerbate the issue, my character was a nervous mess. The stress that the character goes through is something I literally feel and my body really reacts to. My body doesn't know it isn't real, so I actually got sick from the pretend stress.

The play was a riot, and I had a great time. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, but I was glad when it was over so I could recover. It didn't take me long to return to my normal weight, but it took a little bit longer to heal some of the more serious injuries. My ribs, my shoulders and my fingers were all injured at one point, but I was fully recovered before it was time for my next big thing.

That next big thing for me was to take a little five month drive. It was super exciting and indescribable. I blogged about it, so you may have read all about it. If not, you can search through my blog and read my almost daily entries between April 30 and October 6.

And then I began another recovery. But this time, instead of being sick and underweight from stress, I was overweight by about 15 pounds from eating junk food and doing no exercise but Nia.

So, I've been diligent about returning to my healthy eating habits and exercise formats. It took me about six weeks to get it back, but now I'm just a few pounds off from being at my desired weight.

As I do each year when the clocks change back and the days get increasingly shorter, I hibernate and reflect on my past, present and future. I allow myself to let go of things I no longer need and enjoy and I ask myself to either become remotivated by the things I love or to change my focus and direction if my passion has shifted.

This year, I am still not yet sure of what I'm called to do. I am still in the quiet, inquisitive phase.

So I'm still toying with the idea of road tripping some more in 2017, but certainly, I'd need to revisit the idea with a beginner's mind. A lot needs tweaking. I have to figure out what I want to do about the food situation. River is a constant concern. And I still fantasize about doing it in an RV instead of the car/motel thing.

In the meantime, I do find that I'm called to create more. I'm scouring music and building playlists. I was inspired by David Merritt, a Nia teacher I met at the last Men of Nia in Santa Fe. He did an all disco Nia routine and I had so much fun in his class, that I made a commitment to go home and try to recreate it as best I could. David helped by sending me his playlist and some choreography notes, so I've been playing with that. In a delightful melange of his choreography and mine where I'm not able to figure out his notes, I feel like I'm sort of collaborating with David on the routine that he named "Celebrate".

I'm also in the very beginning stages of putting together a continuation of the Rock & Roll Nia series of routines that I've been putting out there, from Woodstock to 70's rock to 80's New Wave. I recently joined Spotify and am starting to accumulate songs from the 90's for one playlist and from the "aughts" (00's). That work is slow going, and I don't find myself too pumped up by what I'm finding.

I have become a certified Nia Free Dance DJ, and am considering starting up a Nia FreeDance class locally. I've been having a blast collecting music for those classes. Finding an appropriate available venue, though is proving difficult and a major deterrent. So I find myself easily deterred from the task. I'm also juggling around the idea of starting up a regular Classic Nia class. And then I get excited and I also want to include classes in JAG Energy Flow, which is my own workout program. I'm not sure at this time where my loyalties or where my priorities lie. In the meantime, I'm in the midst of this weird period of doing nothing. Dark December.

I've never believed that Nia was enough for me as a fitness program. So, as usual, I'm spending a lot of my time in my studio doing my own workouts for myself. Today I sort of found myself creating as I was working on a movement sequence while music was playing. This is the result:

I have been looking at the local audition call boards to see if anything interesting is coming up in Seattle that I can audition for over the winter. I haven't been auditioning in general, but I did go on two auditions recently. I was offered positions from both auditions, but only accepted the one to join an improv and sketch comedy group in Seattle called Turbo Turkey.  We've been having rehearsals to practice our improv technique and get comfortable with each other and we're planning their next (my first) show in a couple of weeks. I'm excited about that.


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