My husband, Michael McDowell, and I both work as ballroom dance instructors. We have both fallen in love with dancing, and in order to get better faster we made the decision to compete. As professionals. How scary is that? There's something about having a deadline that just makes you work harder (something about not wanting to look absolutely ridiculous). We invested time and money working with professional coaches to develop our dancing and our routines. As the date of the competition came closer we began to realize we may not make it. We were still down a tango routine for the smooth category and a mambo for the rhythm category. Our other routines were coming together quite nicely but we couldn't go to the competition, perform our 7 out 9 routines and step out for the other two with a "Sorry! Those aren't ready yet. Maybe next year!"
Being the bull-headed one, I wanted to push through and practice all day all night until we had something to work with. And Mike, the level-headed one in our relationship (and in ALL things) made me realize that the perfectionist that exists in both of us would be more unhappy with a sloppy routine than facing the disappointment of not reaching a goal.
Knowing when to wait eludes us sometimes, especially when the desire to reach a goal is so strong. Our goal still hasn't changed, and by the next competition, we'll be ready.