Tag Archives: dance competition

Scenes from Saturday + Long Jumps & Low Riders

I learned about recovery and allostasis this week. As I work my way back from this mysterious and nagging injury (some might just call it getting older), I’ve been struggling, not just physically, but mentally. Would I ever get my fitness back? Would I ever get back to normal? Those might be the wrong, and potentially harmful, question for me to ask.

Allostasis is defined as “stability through change.” Which doesn’t make a ton of sense at first blush, but means the way to stay stable through the process of change is by changing. If you want to stand fast, you’ve got to keep moving.

Homeostasis says healthy systems return to the same starting point following a change: X to Y to X. This is what I was trying to do. Get back. By contrast, in allostasis, healthy systems also crave stability after a change, but the baseline of that stability is almost always somewhere else: X to Y to Z.

As the saying goes, you can never step into the same river twice. Everything is always changing.

I will never be the same athlete I was ten or even five years ago, but those inevitable changes don’t mean I can’t be a better athlete in many ways. With the right mindset, change can force you forward and it can force growth. Finding something new, instead of returning to something old.

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Scenes from Saturday + Dance Hall Days

In the labyrinth of high school education, where every day presents a new academic challenge, there lies a subtler curriculum on the art of actually living that does not get measured on state testing but perhaps offers a much better measurement and insight into whether your child might be paying you rent for a basement studio space in twenty years time.

Michelle and I try to model our behavior for both girls but actually living through it yourself is a much better tutorial. Flashcards can help with the classroom learning, but learning to prioritize her academics, her friendships, her extracurriculars, and her self-care doesn’t come with a textbook.

Cecilia is starting to get a taste of that during freshman year. Recently overheard after a Friday night out with friends. “Jeez, Five Guys is expensive and I didn’t even get fries!” I can’t wait until that first real paycheck and she learns about FICA deductions.

It’s in these formative, freshman years that the notion of balancing time takes on a new dimension. She got a taste of that after the gumbo and beignets of her New Orleans trips. There was a lot of catch up time and a lot of late nights. High school, with its relentless schedule and its grinding, grading rubric, inadvertently teaches our children the importance of balancing academic pursuits with life’s quieter, yet equally significant, lessons.

As parents, our role is to guide them in discerning not just how to allocate their time, but how to imbue each chosen activity with purpose and meaning, preparing them for the nuanced complexities of adult life. The real education, it seems, lies not in the accumulation of grades, but in the gradual mastery of living a balanced life.

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Scenes from Saturday + Songs & Sauce

Heard this parenting nugget on a podcast at the end of a long work week where it often felt like I was dealing with children.

“The setbacks, mistakes, miscalculations, and failures we have shoved out of our children’s way are the very experiences that teach them how to be resourceful, persistent, innovative and resilient citizens of this world.”

The quote is from the book The Gift of Failure and what I liked most was the fact that the book/author didn’t solely focus on school or test performance, important, of course, but also recognizes the fact that schools don’t just teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. They teach responsibility, organization, manners, and more – important life skills kids carry with them long after they leave the classroom.

You might need decent grades to get a foot in the door, but if you want to keep a job, or get promoted, how well you get along with your co-workers, how well you integrate within a team, and how you operate under stress is going to get you a lot farther than knowing the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

Can I make flash cards for life skills?

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Scenes from Saturday + Breakin’2: Electric Boogaloo

Happy 90th birthday, Willie Nelson. A favorite artist I find inspiring on many levels: longevity, writing, musicianship, family, advocacy.

I’ll admit church and Willie are not the first things I put together in my mind, though once you hear it you’ll notice the thread of God and gospel running through almost all of his music, but I can now add spirituality to that list after reading about his purchase of his childhood church and what it meant to him and his sister.

Sometimes you find lessons in the most unexpected places.

You can listen to Willie all weekend long on KUTX.

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Scenes from Saturday + Dancing Taxes

Stumbled on this unusual description of happiness this week and it’s stuck with me. It almost feels like a riddle. So simple as to be almost contradictory.

There are a lot of ideas about cultivating happiness through appreciation of the present and what you have but the the idea of gratitude for things we don’t have and don’t want sort of knocked me sideways.

Maybe I’m happier than I realized. Maybe we all are. Or could be.

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Scenes from Saturday + Dance & Funfetti

Another Saturday, another morning run. From the outside looking in, especially in the winter months, this might look insane. Why do I get up early and run in the cold and wind? Because it’s my outlet. Because it makes me a better Dad.

Everyone needs an outlet for the stress of daily life. Parents probably need more than one. Running and exercising is how I try to arm myself against the frustration, stress, exhaustion, and other muck that sticks to you throughout the day.

Now, more than ever, that toxic ooze from just existing in the modern world needs to be disposed of properly.

I can tell on days where I don’t exercise that I’m shorter with the girls, or have less patience, or I’m less present. It doesn’t matter what it is, running, walking the dog, painting, hopscotch, or kickboxing, you have to find something.

Don’t take it out on your kids. As parents, we are responsible for our own sludge.

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Scenes from Saturday + Dance, Just Dance

When I was growing up, I loved basketball, soccer, Wiffle ball, reading, and computer games. My girls like… none of that. Which is fine. A Dad’s job is to work with them to find their lane, not force them to relive your own childhood. It might take several tries, it will definitely take some patience, and it might take some experimentation. Our ideas might be proven right… (they are slowly coming around on reading and flash cards) or proven wrong (despite their height, they will not be playing basketball). That doesn’t matter.

There’s an infinite number of lanes possible for every child in this world. We might have found one for Ally on Saturday.

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