8.13.2014

Injured girl fitness

Maintaining my fitness during my surgery recovery has been something very important to me. I am planning on training for the Oireachtas this fall when I am cleared to dance, so I want to make the transition as easy for myself as possible. Plus, apparently staying active while injured (withing your limits of course!) helps with healing. Enter Blogilates, a YouTube channel I stumbled across last fall while searching for ab workouts.

This whole fitness journey started in April when I first really dug deeper into the Blogilates website. I decided to reinvent my eating habits by completing the 12 week New Body Makeover, which includes clean eating meal plans for 12 weeks. I followed the meal plans right up until my surgery, and while I no longer follow their strictness, I do find myself making better meal choices based on guidelines from these meal plans (also, some of the meals have made their way into my go-to meals they were so delicious).

After resting for about two weeks after my surgery, I became very bored at home. I have always been an active person, so sitting on the couch doing nothing got old really quick. Boredom led to me searching out the June workout calendar from Blogilates and completing five YouTube videos, which added up to a 50 minute workout session. From then on, I knew that I wouldn't be bored for an hour of each day.

I was extremely mindful of my own limitations, so I modified a lot of exercises at first.  I skipped whole chunks of standing exercises, I planked on my knees, and did whatever I could to complete the exercises withing my limits. The Pop Pilates videos lend themselves very well to modifications for ankle injuries (aside from cardio videos). The modifications also helped me not feel overwhelmed with the intensity of the exercises because some are really difficult!

Want to see the calendar? Sign up at blogilates.com!
My favorite part about Cassey's whole system is that she releases a calendar of what workouts to do on each day of the week. I literally don't have to think about what I'm going to workout each day because she has done that for me! Her calendars change monthly, and this change over to the August calendar has been tough for me because there is more cardio and leg exercises, two areas I'm only getting back into since my surgery. On occasion, my boyfriend will join me during my daily workout (if I don't complete it while he's at work). It's a fun challenge to see if I can match or outlast him over the course of a ten minute workout video.

I can proudly say that I have only missed one workout since June 30th and that was because I was at Kings Dominion all day long. I was still able to complete the daily workouts while I was on vacation in Michigan with my mom and sister (possibly getting them hooked on Blogilates in the process), thanks to my tablet and free Wi-Fi at our hotel! I can feel that I am stronger all over, and I hope to be able to continue the daily workouts once school starts.

As an added bonus, I also have new ideas for ab workouts at the beginning of dance classes (because that always seems to be my job at my dance school). I can't wait to torture the other dancers with some of my new-found ab routines.

Here's where to find Cassey Ho and Blogilates on the web. Sign up for the workout calendar on her website, watch for new workout videos every Monday, and look for quick healthy recipes on instagram!

Goals: Daily workout, ankle exercises, and stretch.
Days till Os: 115

8.06.2014

Solo Dress Spotlight

Dearest readers, I hope you accept all my apologies in forgetting to write my injured girl fitness blog post when I said I would.  I promise that you will be getting the scoop on how I've been staying fit while injured next week, because the post is already queued up!  In other news, my solo dress has been making the social media rounds recently!

The end of July is always very exciting for me because it marks the weekend of the San Diego Comic Con!   It is my dream to one day attend the convention of all things geekery, but until then, I am sated with instant updates from twitter, live blogs, and all the content that gets posted on tumblr.  One of my biggest dreams is to be able to participate in the Marvel costume contest where, you guessed it, I will wear my solo dress and dance on stage for all those at the Marvel booth.

This year's costume contest was also hosted by Dr. Pepper, and boasted the theme of (and special awards for) being "One of a Kind."  The winner of the contest was this super awesome steampunk Iron Man, who won a very limited edition set of Avengers Dr. Pepper cans.  At the same time, Marvel and Dr. Pepper ran an instagram contest where fans could submit their One of a Kind Marvel costume for a chance to win the same set of soda cans.

All this is leading up to say that I entered and was chosen as a winner!


Just a few days later, I was also deemed "Fangirl of the Day" on the Her Universe website, which specializes in apparel and accessories for some of the biggest sci-fi and fantasy fandoms.  Fangirl of the Day is a submission-based endeavor on their blog to promote how awesome being a fangirl is!  If you'd like to shine the spotlight on your favorite fangirl (or even yourself as I did), go check it out!


And with that, Rince go Bragh's 200th post is done! Thanks for your support and interest over the years!

Goals: Continue turn out exercises, PT exercises, and daily workouts
Days till Os: 122

7.09.2014

Surgery Update, part 1

As you all possibly know, I had my ankle surgery on June 18th to clean up scar tissue and tighten up some lateral ankle ligaments (with the Brรถstrom procedure).  My podiatrist deemed it a success!  It has now officially been three weeks since surgery, and look how my ankle is healing!  Even through the really messy pictures from 1-2 weeks after my surgery, my podiatrist said ,"Looking good."

Weeks 1-3
The first week after my surgery was the most difficult, as I was the most "helpless."  I got to stay at my parents' house since they have less stairs, and someone there to take care of me at all times of the day.  I spent a lot of time on the couch, mainly watching soccer and napping while listening to audio books.  I also celebrated turning a quarter of a century with a Captain America themed party (of course).


The second week after my surgery, I moved back to my apartment.  In the latter part of the week, I was able to get rid of the splint, and go into the boot with partial weight bearing on my ankle--one week ahead of schedule!  Having a removable boot made it possible for me to spend time at the pool now, in supplement to spending time on the couch, this time watching Orange is the New Black.


This third week after surgery was spent voraciously keeping up with information from the North American Irish Dance Championships.  QuickFeis was very helpful this year!  I also got to participate in the lighting of fireworks!


I went back to the podiatrist this past Monday, and while I'm still in the boot, my goal for this week is to wean myself off crutches (still ahead of schedule!), and start physical therapy (I go tomorrow).

From the last day of June onwards, I have also been completing a daily workout routine (modified of course because of my injury), and I promise to share more about that with you in my next blog post!

Goal: Get rid of the crutches
Days till Os:150

6.11.2014

Mini Update: May Feis Madness

Holy Angels Feis:

  • My first feis post-injury went well enough to meet my goals of being able to dance all three rounds all the way through.  I didn't place overall (I was one away), but I did place in my heavy and light shoe rounds.
  • The best part of the feis was being able to see a feis friend that I haven't seen since nationals last summer.
  • (This feis opportunity brought to you by the large number of times I stayed in Marriott hotels last year--almost all due to dance-- because I had a free stay!)



CCE Feis:

  • Of the three feiseanna, this feis was my weakest performance.  I mucked up my treble jig lead, which didn't start things off well.  I felt that I redeemed myself in my soft shoe and set round, but I think the non-rotating panel had already formed their opinion.  I was placed near the bottom of the pack, and I deserved it.

Hurley Feis:

  • This feis was definitely my best performance of the three.  Out of 26 dancers, I placed 11th!  (Just think of how well I could have done if I was putting all effort into preparing for nationals!)  
  • My favorite part of this feis were the comments I received.  Two separate judges commented on my set, one saying, "Nice set," and the other, "Set nice style."  I have been learning a hornpipe set to replace Planxty Drury, so as a possible last performance in competition, I was overjoyed.  I have never received comments like this on my dancing, so I must have killed it!



Surgery updates:

  • One week until my surgery!  I will be having arthroscopic surgery on my right ankle to tighten up the ligaments I've now torn multiple times, and to clean up the scar tissue.  I will be non-weight bearing for three weeks, followed by time in the boot, and finally ten (or more) weeks of physical therapy.
  • Until then, I am continuing to go attend as many dance classes as I can.  I have one tonight, and my last pre-surgery dance class on Monday.
  • My hope is to be back into dancing enough to attend the SRO.  As a team dancer at the very least.

Help me get rid of some of my extra dancing stuff!

  • Check out this post on tumblr.  I have two pairs of heavy shoes and one wig that are available for pay what you can plus shipping from Virginia.  If what you can pay is just shipping, then I'm okay with that.  I'd really like to ship these off by Friday before I move!


Goals: Pack everything at home and classroom, finish grades
Days till Os: 178

5.21.2014

Irish Dance How-To: Wig Up a Pixie Hair Cut

I haven't done a how-to video in quite some time!  It was nice to get behind the camera for the first time in what seems like forever to bring you the following tutorial.

I was apprehensive when I first chopped off all my hair last September because of the whole wig issue.  Being a team dancer as well as a soloist, I knew I couldn't get away with not putting a wig in my hair.  I wouldn't call myself a professional in putting a wig in short hair, but I have had a lot of practice with it in the last few weeks (more on that in my next post).

I hope you find this video helpful if you're looking for a solution to put a both a bun wig and a full wig in a pixie haircut.  I am silly at some points, so I hope it's not too distracting.  Enjoy!



Goals: Have a better treble jig at the feis this Sunday
Days till Os: 199
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