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Student Blog: Stocked for the Summer Part 2

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Here are some of my additional tips & tricks so that you're completely ready to set foot back on that stage you missed so much.

Student Blog: Stocked for the Summer Part 2

So I messed up.

Hi, I'm Erika Spondike. If you remember my last article of this series, Stocked for the Summer Part 1, you know that I'm preparing to play Rusty in New Paradigm Theatre Co.'s production of Footloose. Rehearsals start in less than a week, and I am so excited!

In my last update, I stressed the importance of memorization and endurance when it comes to doing the work before you set foot in the rehearsal space.

What I neglected to touch on was the importance of taking care of yourself.

A little over a week ago, I was in my typical Monday morning workout class. I was feeling great, I was sweating, I felt strong.

Student Blog: Stocked for the Summer Part 2 Then I started to lose my vision.

I've fainted a few times in my life. In high school, a theatre friend of mine nicknamed me "Faintine". I could count the instances on one hand, but it's never been a thing I've gotten used to.


My vision became spotty and fuzzy. My hearing was starting to fade. I pushed through for another minute, but I knew I was going down. I managed to walk out of class and got to a bench in the lobby before the woman at the front desk ran over to me to see what was wrong. I was conscious for most of the interaction. She said I was out for about ten seconds and she caught me before I even had the chance to fall.

I was as white as a ghost. Every inch of my body felt weak.

The paramedics came and wheeled me off to the hospital. I had my first ambulance ride! How cool! They strapped me up to an IV and ran some tests. I was insanely dehydrated, my blood sugar was low, and my period wasn't doing me any favors. I didn't eat breakfast that morning, and I could not tell you the last time I had a sip of water.

This was the wake-up call that I needed because there was no way I'd be ready to start rehearsals for a dance show if I kept treating my body like that.

Here are some of my additional tips & tricks so that you're completely ready to set foot back on that stage you missed so much:

EAT.

This is an awful business when it comes to body image. Food is always going to be a touchy subject; it definitely is for me. But there's no way a body can survive a week of rehearsals let alone 8 shows a week without fueling properly.

Next week, I'm going to start having 10 hour days with a dinner break. I need to prepare food, pack it with me, and be accountable for eating it. I don't want to take another ride in an ambulance anytime soon.

Food is also hard to navigate as a college student who's still trying to find diverse recipes that are fun and easy to make. I've found a lot of great ones on this website, so hopefully, that's a resource that can help you too!

I'm linking the Eating Disorders Helpline here, but I know that those can look really intimidating. If you're struggling with any sort of issues surrounding food, know that you are valid. I've always been in the headspace that I had to check all of these exact boxes in order to qualify for having a specific ailment wrong with me. You don't. If you recognize that you're not okay and want to do something about it, someone will be there to help you and validate what you're going through.

It helps when someone can get you out of your head.

DRINK.

As we have learned, I don't drink water.

Ironically enough before I passed out and was sent to the emergency room, I had just bought this huge water bottle that's double the size of my head.

I had not been drinking from it as much as I needed to. Obviously. Student Blog: Stocked for the Summer Part 2

I'm now making it my mission to keep this comically large bottle around me at all times so I remember to stay hydrated! Filling it is incredibly annoying, but the alternative of being dehydrated is much worse. If you, too, would like to join the big water bottle gang, here's a link to one I found online.

REST.

I know last time I was all about endurance and working out and staying active, but life needs to be balanced. I've been allowing myself to actually rest (instead of saying that I'm going to and then not doing that) recently, and life has been pretty nice.

I've been focusing on my skincare routine, I've found shows to binge on Netflix that make me happy (We Bare Bears is the current feel-good favorite), and I have people in my life who make me very happy that I can talk to when I need them.

What I'm hoping you'll find to be the biggest takeaway from this update is: take care of yourself.

Next time in Part 3, I'm so excited to take you through one of my days of rehearsal and really show you what it's like to be back out there and working in theatre again after all of this time off.


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From This Author Student Blogger: Erika Spondike