Competitor diaries: Part 2 – Getting tired of it now!

It’s now three weeks to my competition. Two weeks ago I finished the choreography. I’d not been well, and some personal stuff going on had meant that I’d not been rehearsing as much as I needed to, and I had in my head that I NEEDED to finish the routine that day. Plus, I’d just found out that my song NEEDED to be 3 mins 30 max, and it’s currently 3 mins 42. So I had to figure out some clever cutting, and just Get Shit Done. As much as I love dance, I actually really struggle with creating my own routines that I’m happy with. I’m so much happier freestyling.

I felt awful getting up early before the saturday morning classes at the studio to make the most of the empty space. I just couldn’t warm myself or the poles up, and everything was exhausting me. Plus I had to keep stopping to blow my nose – gross. Getting frustrated and angry at myself, I left the studio, went on the hunt for red bull, fruit smoothies and protein flapjacks. And so it was on a sugar and caffeine high that I finally finished. I lay down on the ground, sweaty, snotty and exhausted and allowed myself a moment of congratulations and gratefulness for hitting that milestone.

So now it’s all about the polish. Polish, polish, polish. Toes, lines, facial expressions, little gestures and twiddles to refine and add character. And I’ve also got the point where it would be ok if I never heard this song again. I’ve been messing around with it since November now, so it’s been pretty much three months on and off of working on it. But my bespoke fit costume is in the post, I’ve bought my stage make up, and I’m getting to the point where it’s just a “snag list” as we would say in my day job!

My other pole skills are definitely falling behind now, I’m just doing my best to keep training strength as much as I can (my weekly silks sessions help so much) and just not to lose too much flexibility. I’m starting to feel little niggles cropping up in my elbow and knee, and I’m just doing my best to gently stretch, ensure correct posture and engagement and avoid any repetitive or overworking type injuries. This week I just took three days off in a row as my shoulders started to struggle -it felt like forever to be not training.

shark-feb17

Because of the aforementioned personal stuff, I’ve been comfort eating like crazy lately too. It’s left me feeling flabby and lethargic. Now with three weeks to go I’m trying to make sure I’m getting my vits, iron and protein to look and feel my best on the big day, full of energy, bright eyed, bushy tailed, long legged, green hearted 🙂

As tough as it’s been, so far I feel like I’m handling the pressure better than I expected. I’m sticking to my plan of setting specific challenges for each rehearsal time, and save for a few wobbles, it’s working. Today’s plan is to keep rehearsing my spinny combos on the 45mm diameter pole (still missing the 40mm so much!) At the end of the session I’ll film the whole thing again and pick my next problem area to improve.

So – three weeks to go. It’s probably going to hit panic mode soon.

[Missed Competitor Diaries: Part 1, I think I’m mostly ok?]

[Next in series: One week to go!]

xxx

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Eating vegan in Vegas

Las Vegas is a city of steak – and as a tourist it can be overwhelming trying to find vegan food to suit what you’re in the mood for, whether it’s something quick, cheap and on the go, or somewhere special to sit down and enjoy.

I recently spent a week in Vegas with my family, including a day at the World Pole Expo (<3). It took us a few days to find the best places, but here’s a run down:

Vegan Food in Las Vegas

The Wynn

First thing to note – Steve Wynn, owner of the Wynn and the Encore is vegan. I found it a little odd that a vegan would serve foie gras in his own establishment, but there you go. Anyway, it means that supposedly every food outlet in the Wynn provides at least one vegan option, so at least Steve doesn’t go hungry. We sampled chocolate chip muffins at “The Cafe” (divine) as well as a vegan pizza and a fake chicken thing with noodles at the Allegro, which is classed as casual dining but is pretty fancy for a cheeky dinner. In the US their version of Quorn appears to be Gardein Chick’n – which is much less dry and tough and overall better. The Wynn isn’t a cheap dinner, but it was delicious.


Allegro
The Cafe

Chipotle

Chipotle is a Mexican fast food outlet that’s all over the US, kind of like a Subway but for burritos. I guess the UK is getting more and more Barburrito now – it’s similar. We visited a few times while we were there as it was a quick lunch for on the go and there was one over the road from the Mirage where we were staying. Turns out I only have a photo of the burrito bowl – this was great for a bit of fresh salad after a few too many cocktails the night before! You can also get Sofritas in your burrito, which is shredded, spiced tofu – so good.

Chipotle

Hussong’s Cantina (Mandalay Bay)

Hussong’s was our last night in Vegas, and we were absolutely gutted not to have found it sooner. Seriously, we were only there a week but I’d have been happy to eat there 2 or even 3 nights. I LOVE Mexican food, and the comprehensive vegan menu included sour cream and Daiya cheese (which NEEDS to launch in the UK – best vegan cheese I’ve ever had). You can choose from Gardein Chick’n or Beefless Tips, of just plain fried veggies. As there were four vegans at our table we pretty much sampled every option between us, and it was all amazing. Casual, fun experience and even a mariachi band.

Hussong’s Cantina

Slice of Vegas (Mandalay Bay)

This one is a kind of cheat to include, and a bit bittersweet. We arrived at Hussong’s early for our reservation, so popped next door for a beer while we waited, which is where we found Slice of Vegas, a kind of casual sports bar. This is where we discovered a whole vegan pizza menu, but we had no more nights left to spend here. So here’s the menu, it looked great, but I can’t vouch for it. Let me know if you’ve been! (or don’t, it might upset me…)

Slice of Vegas

More eating vegan in Vegas

Aside from the above, you’ve also got Denny’s, which offers a vegan burger. You can find one on Freemont Street if you’re down for the light show. Walgreen’s are ok for an overpriced banana and some hummus if you find yourself in a bind. Brits know where they stand with Subway (veggie delite, obviously). And many of Auntie Anne‘s pretzels are vegan, as long as you request no butter. Stay away from Panda Express which cooks everything in animal stock, and California Pizza Kitchen which covered out cheese-free pizza in Parmesan!

gang

My trip was more about beers with family than fine dining, and it turned out that eating vegan in Vegas was easier than I thought – much easier than on the flight with Thomas Cook anyway! I’d love to return with a bit more cash in my pocket and try some of the more luxurious options, particularly at the Wynn and Encore (and to try the pizza at Slice of Vegas at least!) If you have any additions to this list, do let me know ❤