All of this applies to young athletes as well. The individual’s achievement orientation of athletics in high school, or ballet schools is supplemented by the dance team competitions, and the competition to get on a team, cast in a ballet performance or included in an exam class. This is an exciting, positive thing. It will, however, inevitably complicate your life, Body image, diet, time planning, sounds like you need a staff of ten. But yourself care is all up to you. Avoiding or overcoming depression, or striving for weight loss is also a positive thing. The healthier dancer will communicate with parents, get medical advice if needed, and also do their own research.

For instance, it may seem that a growing teen dancer has a sugar addiction. This is not uncommon in our culture but also can show up as a temporary condition if a growth spurt coincides with extra classes, rehearsals, and final exams. More lean protein, omega 3 fats, vitamins and minerals are needed, every day, to accommodate growth.

Sugar addiction can also result from an attempt at overcoming depression – sugar is a drug and changes the way we feel. All too temporarily it leads to adrenal exhaustion which leads to more sugar or carbohydrate craving and goes round and round until a different behaviour interrupts the process.

Also, factor in the respect needed for your own process of growing up. Your body will continue to change and develop shape and bone mass according to how you feed it, rest it and work it. Your growth stage will not always fulfil your body image ideas but have faith, it will change and it will be okay.

Fast food will deprive you in so many ways it would take a book to describe it, and many have been written already. While attending to your ambition at ballet school, or in sports training, create simplicity. The aspects of our culture that govern viewpoints on social standing, sexiness, body image, being cool, having the best toys, car, clothes, are not created for your benefit. So who DO these social pressures benefit? Think about that.

Think about the time you put into it. It may be a struggle to deal with the whole issue, but in standing a little detached from all those issues for a few minutes every morning, could be a great survival strategy for you. Give to your priorities as much as you can, without neglecting family or other obligations.

This might sound like a crash course in becoming an immediate social outcast, but my experience is that teens that practice some detachment from following the crowd and pursuing reasonable self care often end up being followed themselves. Ironic, life is. Being independent this way may bring you more support and respect for your ambitions. Again, it may not, but hopefully, there are some smart and loving people in your life.

Save your stress for things that matter. Decide what matters. Decide what the best self care is for you, in your ballet training, art training and sports training. Or academic training, any training. The virtue of courageous patience will grow with you, regardless of what you call it.

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All of this applies to young athletes as well. The individual’s achievement ...

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