Dancing Through Health & Physical Challenges: Part 1

dancing through health & physical challengesI’ve been taking a Latin Cardio dance class at Jones Dance in Dacula, Georgia for several months. It’s been soooo much fun! It’s a fast paced, incredible workout, but it just about kills me!

I’ve noticed that I was having a very hard time keeping up in this class, especially when I first started. All the other students could make it through the whole class and stopping to rest, maybe once. I, on the other hand, couldn’t get through 20-25 seconds of a song before my dancing got sloppy, I was short of breath and my heart was pounding. Unfortunately, this was not an exaggeration!

I’m not over weight and I’m only 26 years old. I didn’t work out everyday, but I wasn’t a couch potato either. I shouldn’t be having these problems. Have I just been out of the dancing world for so long that my body wasn’t used to this type of workout, or was there an underlining problem that I wasn’t aware of???

Even my instructor was a little concerned about my performance (or lack there of). Many times he asked me if I was ok and told me to take it easy. The third time I took the Latin Cardio dance class, I pushed myself so hard to try to keep up, that I ended up doing more harm than good.  My face was red, I felt very hot, I couldn’t breathe well, I thought my heart was going come out of my chest and I looked like I was going to pass out. My body felt limp and lifeless and I ended up sitting out for the remainder of the class.

I couldn’t believe it; after all these years I was finally back in a ballroom dance studio and I was having a hard time dancing! I mean, REALLY???

After class, my husband, Travis, drove us home as I sat in the passenger seat and cried. I was so upset that I cried for the rest of that day. So, now what? I didn’t know what to do and I felt like I was facing a brick wall. Eventually, after I had some time to calm down, Travis and I talked it over and decided that it would be best for everyone if I got a physical just to make sure there wasn’t anything seriously wrong with me.

If you know me, you know how stubborn I am and how much I hate going to a doctor.  So the decision to see one was a tough one to make and I actually ended up visiting a total of 3 doctors. I went to my “primary” physician for a physical and blood work. Then had the pleasure of visiting a cardiologist for an EKG, a stress test, an ECHO and they strapped a 48-hour Holter monitor on me. The third and final doctor was a pulmonary specialist who took a chest X-Ray and made me do a breathing test.  I was also given an inhaler to try, which for the record, didn’t do anything except taste bad.

The good news was that all tests came back negative.  The bad news was that I didn’t get any answers to my questions.  Not one doctor could explain what, if anything, was wrong with me that would cause me to have such a hard time in my Latin Cardio dance class.  They ended up clearing me for low impact cardio (translation:  I wasn’t going to have a heart attack and die on the dance floor).

I was excited to return to my Latin Cardio dance class, but I knew I had to do something to improve my performance.  But what?


Stay tuned for Dancing Through Health/Physical Challenges:  Part 2 as I return to my Latin Cardio dance class and find out what I did to improve my performance.

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