12 June 2008

BodyJam Training Journals: Day 2

(Part 3 of a 4 part series)

The alarm rang and I dragged myself out of bed. Time was of the essence so I quickly prepared my protein + health drink mix and gobbled down a Delifrance pastry I bought the night before. There was no time for small talk as mp3 earphones found their way and we mentally rehearsed our tracks. We hopped on over to the gym by 7.30am and we started practicing in front of the mirror.

At around 9am the first round of presentation started. It was very cool seeing fellow trainees get on stage. Nearing my track I slowed down to catch my breath. I even went down to the toilet to clear my head beforehand. Then I went in and did my thing.

For our first presentation we didn’t have to coach anything, but pre-cues of the move names were encouraged. I stuck with that and I managed to nail the relaxed feel of the song 100%. This was pointed out by Fetty who evaluated me. She gave me more tips to improve my technique for the second round of presentations that afternoon. I was relieved that I didn’t mess up anything major, but I noted down her observations nonetheless.

We had a 40 minute lunch break and when we got back it was lecture time again. This time we delved into coaching structure and technique, and did many group discussions. Then, trying to incorporate what we just learned, we were given 15 minutes to rehearse our own tracks before presenting again, this time with some cueing.

I kinda messed up this round. I thought too much about what I had to say and as a result I moved about half-count quicker. I realized my mistake and corrected it, but that dampened my performance as I lost the relaxed feel of the track. Also, the technical corrections Fetty requested of me were not fully executed, so I was a bit disappointed with myself. It was important for me to show that I’m always progressive and not getting worse, so I knew I had to buck up for Day 3.

On the bright side, I was very happy with what I got for Day 3 presentations. It was the first track of the Contemporary Rock block. It’s a harder track to learn, but the angry aggressive feel of the song really suits my personality because I don’t do sexy as well as I do serious. Still, I knew I had to give it my all and avoid making any mistakes the next day. I only had 4 minutes to prove myself!

It was with this heavy (and exhausted) heart that I canceled my dinner appointment with Jackson. He was supposed to take us out for some famous claypot chicken rice but I barely have time to practice, much less eat. Pauline and I stayed back at the gym until 9pm before we went out to have dinner. All I wanted to do was go back to the motel and start preparations again, but little did we know our night was going to take a turn for the worse.

We got back and started unpacking our stuff. Then I heard a loud “Eeyer!” from Pauline and she was pointing to a pretty large cockroach on the floor. Luckily it wasn’t moving very quickly, and I disposed it off with a small, thick booklet. I wouldn’t have minded it so much if it was the first time, but I already killed another large cockroach the night before in the toilet and it was starting to get to me. I looked at Pauline, and I knew the words “Let’s move out,” was on the tip of her tongue. But she held it in anyway.

Then the lights went off.

Being a windowless room it became pitch dark. I quickly reached for my phone for some illumination and stepped out into the corridor. The entire lobby was enveloped in darkness, and only the beam of a lone torchlight and the streetlamps gave any indication of human activity. The staff flipped the circuit breaker back on, and the lights came on for a split second before the fuse tripped again. A few more tries and the light came back for a minute, before disappearing again.

I turned to Pauline and said, “Let’s move out”.

The next hour was pretty surreal, like we were in some twisted form of Amazing Race. I asked Pauline to inform Melisha we were coming over. And we began packing our luggage, which was a formidable task for me because I will only have space if I pack everything nicely. Also, you might realize how impossible it is to pack clothes in pitch darkness? So we alternated between sitting in the dark waiting for electricity, and frantically stuffing our clothes into our bags when the lights come on for a few seconds. We even managed to laugh at our ridiculous circumstance during one of our “sitting in the dark” periods.

Once our bags were ready I went out to wait for a taxi. It was already 10pm, and we were situated along a quieter section of Persiaran Kewajiban so I had nothing to do but wait and listen to my music. For 8 minutes or so (I lost count) I stood there in the quiet junction thinking mainly of two things: “I should be practicing my track now,” and “Will the group of loiterers nearby come and hassle me?” I couldn’t do anything for thought #1, but I had a Swiss Army knife in my pocket to deal with thought #2.

I looked into the far distance and saw the familiar bump on top of a taxi and waved my hand frantically, hoping he’ll notice that guy standing in a dark shade (the bright areas were occupied by loiterers). He did, and I directed him to wait while I go grab my bags and check out from the motel, which went from blah to blergh in 5 seconds.

By the time we reached Melisha’s room I was even more tired of lugging around my Herculean bags but I couldn’t afford to sleep. I haven’t completed my assignment for the night, which was to prepare my scripting sheet for the coaching part. I could choose not to do it, but I knew it was for my own good. I also had to take time to rearrange my luggage for a more efficient distribution, and by the time I felt ready for sleep, it was 1am.

Just one problem – there were only 2 single beds. Some hotels layer two beds on top of each other, but The Summit used some kind of el cheapo card board base. In short, this was how I ended up sleeping on the floor of a 3 star hotel. All I had was a spare pillow and a gaudy comforter which I used to wrap myself like a burrito. This helped to provide some padding for my back and keep me warm from the insanely cold air conditioning. I had lost the will to complain about my situation, and just drifted off into a restless sleep.

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