This week, I actually did ‘return to tango’, on day 22 to be precise. Sidewalk Tango resumed classes on Wednesday, Feb 4th, after the summer break and Nick did the Intermediate class and I watched.
It was a quiet, reflective class with the last of the daylight filtering rosily through the drawn back curtains. The couples gradually became silhouetted against the last of the light as they worked on musicality and fluidity. Towards the end of their lesson, I put on my tango shoes for the first time in months. These are flat shoes as I have trouble with my metatarsal arches and don’t go near heels. It was achievement to bend enough to tie my laces.
During the twelve days since my first tentative steps at the Australia Day Milonga, my normal walking had freed up, my balance strengthened and I was more physically confident.
I stood in the embrace, waited for the lead and felt quite strong. And I was. I could step back, straighten my leg (no more creeping, Di) and feel spring in my feet and calves. I felt better than I did in my last ‘dance’ before stopping completely last year.
At one stage, Nick inadvertently led me into a little ocho – I flipped around automatically! What have I done!! I shoudn’t be doing this yet! Yet it felt fine, no pain, no strain, just a neat,quick ocho – straight and strong. Well, I’d better put that away for a couple more weeks.
I managed three pleasurable dances, a full song each, but just one at a time with a rest between. Two were with Nick and the third with a friend who led me around carefully and safely. That was another milestone.
As a background to the actual tango, this is what was happening.
Stretches increasing and improving. Aiming for standing knee lifts, pulling knee into chest on floor, loosening tight hamstrings, thigh muscles, lower back. All still pretty tight but improving.
Strengthening: balancing, squats and increasing walks up stairs. Can do 5 flights of 11 steps up and down in one go now.
Walks. Can now do the 5 minute walk around the block quite comfortably and have today tried a different bigger block – 10 mins – good until the last couple of minutes. Tired and noticeable in the right glute.
Tightness easing in thigh muscles and I can now squat on my heels- just.
Back ache still there first thing as I wake. It goes during the day. It will gradually ease as all this tightness eases.
Started to reduce the Targin by a third during the day, ie down from 15 to 10, with the 15 still at night.That seems ok so far. In a couple of days, I’ll drop the night dose to 10 and see what happens.
I wonder if anyone is reading this! I would have liked to learn about the rehabilitation process before my hip replacement, which is part of the reason for writing these rather navel/hip gazing posts.