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Hey y'all! For those who don't know me, I'm Mike. Joined NF ~3 years ago, been semi-actively challenging ever since. I'm a business analyst / data scientist for my day job, but I spend most of my remaining waking hours ballroom and latin dancing. I'll spend many hours a week training in the gym, practicing (solo and with my partner), taking class, and coaching my athletes (a youth program at my studio, plus a local collegiate team). When I'm not nerding out about my job or about dance, I'm probably nose-deep in a book (economics, history, psychology, and relationship-driven fiction are favorite genres) or a TV show / movie (I binge almost everything Marvel and Star Wars). Fitness-wise, I've dabbled with both gymnastics and powerlifting driven programs, but I've started going to a local "CrossFit" box for both the community aspect and the complete lack of need to plan what I'll do when I get to the gym (plus the rigidity of the schedule). I'm sure there's more about me that I'm forgetting, but that's enough rambling for now.

 

Keeping it pretty simple this go-around, really just holding myself accountable to habits I ID'ed as next steps for my athletic development.

 

- CrossFit 3x+ / week (excludes travel week for Christmas - 12/23 - 29, though I still want to attempt to keep the spirit of this goal and do something for my body)

- Pilates 0x+ / week (yes, 0 sessions is acceptable - this is more to build the habit of tracking, since I'll amp up the sessions required in January)

- Daily mobility and prehab (currently, foot strengthening and stretching exercises and psoas / piriformis stretches)

- Daily mental toughness work

- Daily meditation (taking the form of praying the rosary, for now)

- Experiment with tracking in a food diary (for cut prep purposes - I'll be aiming to start a gentle cut in January and want to see if this is an effective way to check in with what my plan was and where I deviated from it)

 

Oh, and I basically never stick to a theme, so we're not gonna bother with one this go-around, either!

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On 12/2/2019 at 3:44 PM, scalyfreak said:

Yay, first follower!

Do you tend to snag that? Or am I making that up? I should keep track - either way, welcome!

 

On 12/2/2019 at 4:55 PM, Harriet said:

Yo! Here for the mental toughness and dance.

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(there were zero giphy hits for tough dancer, so instead we have dancing Timon!)

 

On 12/3/2019 at 7:41 AM, KB Girl said:

Mental toughness work? Elaborate? :)

Based on "10-minute Toughness" by Brian Selk - basically, a calming breath, an affirmation, some coaching keys from my best coaches (I happen to have 4 world champions in the sport I've taken coaching from in the past year, so basically their 4 big ideas), and then a visualization set (recent good performance, next practice or competition, next big competition in sequence). Closing with a calming breath as well. I'm doing it on my drive to the gym on days I go, on my drive to the office the rest of the time.

 

On 12/2/2019 at 4:54 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Following!

On 12/3/2019 at 12:55 PM, Arkania said:

Following :)

On 12/3/2019 at 6:27 PM, Mad Hatter said:

Ohai.

1 minute ago, raptron said:

YoooO~

Welcome aboard, y'all!

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On 12/3/2019 at 2:02 PM, JustCallMeAmber said:

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No theme, but multiple fandoms represented. Hi!

HAHAHAHA I forgot about that line! Parks and Rec had so many great one-liners.

 

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Week 0?, Days 1-3: 

Been a pretty packed week at work (always is at the start of the month), but it's been fun! I'm getting a chance to do some rudimentary machine learning (borrowing another analyst's code, but still cool) and it feels like I'm actually doing some real analysis and not just fixing broken things. Also packed in a couple CrossFit workouts, a very late night of practice / chatting with my dance partner, my last night teaching college kids for the semester, and a date with a new guy (really like him so far, this was casual date #2). Totally skipped prehab and mobility last night because I was WIIIIIPED. I think I may still be fighting an ear infection or something, so I'll be prioritizing sleep extra highly, especially with more evenings free.

 

Goals: Haven't been keeping up with meditation, at all (been falling asleep to podcasts - will try to reinvigorate that either tonight or next week). Also whiffed on mental toughness this morning, may or may not remember a make-up session.

 

- CrossFit: 2/3

- Pilates: 0/0

- Daily mobility and prehab: 2/7

- Daily mental toughness work: 3/7

- Daily meditation: 0/7

- Food diary tracking: 2/0

 

Have to jump back to my analysis pretty quickly, will catch up more with you cool cats after the WEEKEND TRIP TO NYC!!!!!

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AHHHHH CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU KICK SOME DANCE BUTT THIS WEEKENDDDD ❤️

 

Also, following. Hahah :)

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2 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:
On 12/2/2019 at 2:44 PM, scalyfreak said:

Yay, first follower!

Do you tend to snag that? Or am I making that up? I should keep track - either way, welcome

 

I normally don't, no. That's why it's so exciting!

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1 hour ago, Raxie said:

AHHHHH CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU KICK SOME DANCE BUTT THIS WEEKENDDDD ❤️

AHHHHH YESSSSSS I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU!!!!

 

Quote

Also, following. Hahah :)

Haha guess that's important to add? :)

 

1 hour ago, raptron said:

Hope the comp goes well! :D 

:D thanks!! I'm feeling weirdly good about knowing it'll feel a little messy (we've just started uncorking some real cool threads in our practice, and we know there's no way they'll show up on the comp floor for a little while longer yet, and that's okay - this is just a check-in comp).

 

...or at least, that's what my rational brain is saying while the ego throws a mini tantrum because everything's not perfect and I haven't been crowned a world champion. Haha.

 

1 hour ago, scalyfreak said:

I normally don't, no. That's why it's so exciting!

Ah got it!!! That is exciting!

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8 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

(there were zero giphy hits for tough dancer, so instead we have dancing Timon!)

 

No tough dancers on giphy you say?
giphy.gif

 

They're a street gang, I mean, they have to be tough, right?

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On 12/5/2019 at 1:41 PM, Mike Wazowski said:

I'm feeling weirdly good about knowing it'll feel a little messy (we've just started uncorking some real cool threads in our practice, and we know there's no way they'll show up on the comp floor for a little while longer yet, and that's okay - this is just a check-in comp).

 

So, um, how did the comp go?

 

Inquiring ballroom nerds want to know :) 

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On 12/5/2019 at 9:13 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

No tough dancers on giphy you say?
giphy.gif

 

They're a street gang, I mean, they have to be tough, right?

🤷‍♂️

 

On 12/6/2019 at 7:15 AM, Mad Hatter said:

Have a great trip! 🤗

On 12/6/2019 at 11:09 AM, KB Girl said:

Hehe, nice to hear all competitors have this rational vs crazy thoughts thing going on. 

Have a great weekend :) 

:D thanks y'all! It was truly a lovely, fantastic weekend.

 

17 hours ago, oromendur said:

So, um, how did the comp go?

 

Inquiring ballroom nerds want to know :) 

:D there's another ONE OF US!!!!! OMG YES! Details below, but comp went better than I could've hoped, in spite of the results!

 

So, weekend roundup:

Day 5 (Friday): Woke up stuuuupid early (i.e. 5 am) to start and finish packing for my flight before heading to a CrossFit class and then to the airport. I was supposed to log on and do some work as well, but that got put aside when I remembered I needed to hustle over and check a bag. Thankfully, all flying stuff went FINE and I got to NYC alright. We spent a lot of time on public transit, then bummed around the west village:

  • Getting pizza (slices from Joe's, a good ole slice joint with almost no seating area with everyone reaching over each other for the one shared bottle each of parm, oregano, red pep, and garlic - I loved)
  • Grabbing a stonewall beer at the stonewall inn (because, of course)
  • Grabbing ice cream from the "Big Gay Ice Cream Shop" where I heard the person behind me talk about her "Big Gay Loyalty Card" and it made my night

We grabbed a bus to NJ for our AirBnB, then I was feeling adventurous so we walked over a mile each way to a Trader Joe's to get breakfast supplies (inexplicably, TJ's in NYC's metro area has BIGGER stores than in DFW - guess not everything's bigger in Texas). When we got home, we pretty promptly passed out.

 

Day 6 (Saturday): COMP DAY!!!! We woke up stupid early, and I prepped a hearty breakfast of crispy potatoes and a veggie scramble with bell pep, onion, and spinach. 'Twas delicious and might be the start of a comp day tradition. Both of us got ready, then we took a bus to NYC, complete with a mishap where we thought we pre-brought tickets, then found out that we were riding a shadow bus not run by the NJ transit authority that picks up from their bus stops (according to @Raxie, the existence of these buses is the most NJ thing ever). We got to the venue with enough time to check in, warm up, and hit the floor. The dancing felt pretty darn good - obviously, not everything we're doing in practice is hitting to full speed music yet, but our mental game was way better, and we did a good job of interacting with the audience on our terms, rather than letting audience energy affect our dancing. Also, we *definitely* had some newfound fans in the audience wherever we set up on the floor, which was a really good feeling (we later ran into some of them on the subway home, which was real cute). Results were a bit disappointing, but we were fine with it when we watched the recall round - we know what the other couples did well that we didn't, but it doesn't change our strategy for any upcoming comps either.

 

As we walked off the floor from our first set of dances, I ran into some college friends I hadn't seen in forever, and then one of their friends turned out to be a REPORTER FROM NPR WHO WANTED TO INTERVIEW US for a story on same-sex ballroom dancing. That was such an UNREAL process, and I'm really excited to see if we made the cut for the segment she's producing (or if she managed to successfully pitch the story to a longer segment later as well). After the interview, we hustled to lunch with one of my partner's college friends (we grossly underestimated how long the interview would take and were VERY LATE - whoops) then took a nice long stroll through Riverside Park. We still had some time to kill, so we got coffee and pastries at a little hungarian cafe off Columbia's campus that was DELIGHTFUL. And then still having more time to kill, we explored a local bookshop, and found some really interesting titles that are TOTALLY on my ever-expanding "to read" list, plus some hilarious entries in the LGBT section (most notable, a serious academic text on bottoming and perceptions of masculinity - especially Asian-American - that the back book jacket called "capacious" :lol: :lol: :lol:).

 

Then it was time to start warming up for our second set of dances - which felt even better than the first - and say hi to @Raxie since she came to watch!! It was a blast to dance one more time, then we stuck around to watch the final and I got inspired by some very good dancers in the callback round that we didn't make (though we had some friends who were very annoyed we didn't make the callback round, which is really sweet, but tbh I could see why we didn't even if I wasn't thrilled). We grabbed dinner at a diner then STRUGGLED to get home to Jersey - turns out the buses are a lot less reliable on weekend evenings than they are during the day. After an hour of waiting for godot with our bus (at 3 in the morning) we decided to spring the $$$ for a lyft home and promptly passed out after showering the comp stuff off.

 

Day 7 (Sunday): I felt DEAD when I woke up, but I powered through to make breakfast while we packed up and got ready for the day. We took a bus back to NYC (thankfully WITHOUT incident for once) and beelined to a luggage storage place to lighten our loads for the rest of the morning. We then went to one of the Manhattan dance studios to drop off my partner's shirt for some alterations by the shirtmaker, then moseyed over to Ess-A-Bagel for a delicious snack (and checking off the other quintessential NYC food besides pizza). We then slowly made our way to Strand, a giant bookstore, with stops en route to check out Eataly and the Lego store it wraps around. We had just as much fun exploring Strand as the other bookstore (though we ran out of time a bit - we only got through one of the 3 LGBT shelves), and walked away with one book each - "How to be gay" for my dance partner (basically, a book from the author's course notes on teaching a class on how gay men define their identity in modern culture), and a very serious academic text called "Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition" for me. We then trekked back to grab our luggage and take a train and a bus to the airport. Thankfully, the flights back were also without incident, but I got in suuuuuper late - like leaving the airport at 11 pm bad, and as a result I've kinda been dead to the world the past couple days. Oh, and an ATM ate my debit card somewhere in there (grrrrr).

 

I'll try to share videos and stuff soon!

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17 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Also, we *definitely* had some newfound fans in the audience wherever we set up on the floor, which was a really good feeling (we later ran into some of them on the subway home, which was real cute). 

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17 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

As we walked off the floor from our first set of dances, I ran into some college friends I hadn't seen in forever, and then one of their friends turned out to be a REPORTER FROM NPR WHO WANTED TO INTERVIEW US for a story on same-sex ballroom dancing. That was such an UNREAL process, and I'm really excited to see if we made the cut for the segment she's producing (or if she managed to successfully pitch the story to a longer segment later as well). 

WHaaat, that's so cool! 

17 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

(most notable, a serious academic text on bottoming and perceptions of masculinity - especially Asian-American - that the back book jacket called "capacious" :lol: :lol: :lol:).

😂

17 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Ess-A-Bagel for a delicious snack

Yummmm, yes.

17 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

We then slowly made our way to Strand, a giant bookstore, with stops en route to check out Eataly and the Lego store it wraps around. We had just as much fun exploring Strand as the other bookstore (though we ran out of time a bit - we only got through one of the 3 LGBT shelves), and walked away with one book each - "How to be gay" for my dance partner (basically, a book from the author's course notes on teaching a class on how gay men define their identity in modern culture), and a very serious academic text called "Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition" for me. 

Strand is the BEST, and I feel like there are a lot of booty jokes to be made here.

 

17 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

I'll try to share videos and stuff soon!

YOU MUST. 

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I think that dancing and bookstores just *might* be enough to overcome the massive-city-anxiety that plagues me when I go to New York...

 

23 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

we *definitely* had some newfound fans in the audience wherever we set up on the floor, which was a really good feeling (we later ran into some of them on the subway home, which was real cute)


:wub:

 

23 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

one of their friends turned out to be a REPORTER FROM NPR WHO WANTED TO INTERVIEW US for a story on same-sex ballroom dancing.


Well, with the recent BYU flap, I guess you guys are the equivalent of hot ballroom news right now ^_^

 

 

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23 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Then it was time to start warming up for our second set of dances - which felt even better than the first - and say hi to @Raxie since she came to watch!! It was a blast to dance one more time, then we stuck around to watch the final and I got inspired by some very good dancers in the callback round


I am jealous of all you ballroom nerds right now...

 

What an amazing weekend! So happy you were so happy!

 

(sorry for the split post — my iPad is being stupid)

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