How Dance Keeps Me Sane In College

How Dance Keeps Me Sane In College

Without dance, I don't know where I would be.
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To me, personally, dance is a sport. Dance is also an art. And that combination allows me to stay sane throughout my hectic college life. And here is the reason why.

When I first entered college, I was frightened beyond belief. I expected to have work and responsibilities to be thrown on me immediately. I expected loads of homework, and a lack of sleep. My first year of college wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I had danced at a studio and had been on some dance teams throughout my life, dancing since the young age of three years old. As I graduated high school, I contained this fear deep down that I wouldn't be able to continue with dance. Dance has controlled my whole life, and I couldn't imagine leaving this passion of mine. I knew of a dance team at my university, but I craved more expressive movement, more of a type of dance that told a story. I didn't want a competitive, strict style.

I discovered a dance program at my school, and I love it. I love the fact that even though my major and minor have nothing to do with dance, I am still able to participate in it. I don't think I'll ever be able to let my love of dance escape. With juggling a job, a sorority, volunteer hours, and coursework, I think of dance as my stress-free zone, and I look forward to it. When I'm dancing, all of my stressors free my mind, and I think in the moment. I believe that dancing is a perfect stress reliever, because you are focusing on movement and rhythm instead of your lab exam the next day.

Along with freedom from stress, dance also gives me positive energy when performing. I love being able to tell a story with movement. This allows me to stop focusing on how hectic my schedule is, and allows me to stay in the moment. When I dance, every little worry is freed from my mind. Every upcoming test, every paper, every speech, every mandatory requirement, is gone for that moment, freeing up the jail cell that my mind is locked in.

To me, dance is a great escape. Without it, I doubt I'd stay sane whatsoever. Just the movement itself allows me to free myself from all of my doubts, struggles, and worries. It just keeps me happy in general, and I thank God it exists everyday.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Everything You Need To Know About BANG Energy Drinks

Say goodbye to your favorite pre-workout drink.
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BANG energy drinks from VPX Sports are the hottest new products for athletes everywhere. On every can, you'll find their catchphrase "Potent Brain & Body Fuel" and it gives you just that. Clean energy, laser-sharp focus, and no sugar induced crashes are just a few of the reasons these bad boys are flying off the shelves faster than retailers can keep them stocked. Haven't heard of them? Sound too good to be true? Let me answer your questions.

What is it? It's an energy drink that's kind of like your typical Red Bull or Monster. It's a perfect substitution for pre-workout supplements or coffee.

Who's it meant for? Anyone! A better question to ask is, "Who isn't this drink meant for?" On the can, you'll find a recommendation for no one under the age of 18 to consume the drink. You also may want to steer clear of it if you're sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

What's in it? BANG energy drinks contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. But what you can find are BCAA's, CoQ10, creatine, and copious amounts of caffeine. These are things athletes often take as supplements.

What are BCAA's? BCAA's are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are known to stimulate protein synthesis, increase muscle function, decrease your soreness after a workout, and even aid in repairing damaged muscles.

What's CoQ10? Coenzyme Q10 is found in the mitochondria of your cells and sparks energy production. It helps produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. People often take this as a dietary supplement when they feel tired or lethargic.

What's super creatine? Creatine does a great job in enhancing athletic performance by aiding growth of lean body mass (AKA muscle). When you take creatine orally, the amount in your muscles increase and helps regenerate ATP more efficiently. According to the nutrition label, this so-called "super" creatine is bonded to Leucine to make Creatyl-L-Leucine. On SupplementReviews.com, a VPX Sports representative allegedly said the following about the Super Creatine in the drink:

"The creatine in there is actually something very special...it is the world's only water stable creatine. It is Creatine-Leucine peptide. Think of this...if you mix creatine in water, it sinks and if you mix leucine in water, it floats....if you combine the two into a peptide, it creates a water soluble and water-stable form of creatine. It also has a fatty acid chain that makes it easier to cross the blood brain barrier. The focus of the super creatine is not for muscle function, but for cognition...by combining this form of creatine with caffeine, it works synergistically for mental focus."

How much caffeine is in one can? In one can of BANG, you'll be blessed with 300mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent to over three cups of coffee.

Is that even safe? Yeah, it is. In order for the caffeine in the energy drink to be lethal at any capacity, I would have to drink 30.7 cans.

So, what are the downsides? There are two things that come to mind. One is that consumers have no idea how much BCAA's, CoQ10, or creatine is actually in the drink. It could very likely be trace amounts too small to do anything beneficial. Two, BANG energy drinks do not go through the FDA approval process.

Is it really that good? Well, out of 113 reviews of the product on Bodybuilding.com, there's an average 9.6 overall rating. Most reviews comment on the quality of the energy, the cognitive focus, and the non-existent crash once the drink wears off.

What kind of flavors can I get? There are currently eight BANG energy drink flavors on the market: Black Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Sour Heads, Star Blast, Blue Razz, Champagne Cola, Power Punch, and Lemon Drop.

Where can I buy BANG energy drinks? You can find BANG energy drinks at Amazon, your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe retailers, Bodybuilding.com, VPX Sports' website, some gas stations, and privately owned retailers.

How expensive are they? This depends on where you make your purchase. The cheapest place to purchase your BANG energy drinks is at Bodybuilding.com for about $2.00 per can. You can find similar prices on Amazon and at your local retailers. The energy drinks are most expensive through the VPX website where you'll pay about $2.75 per can.

How does BANG compare to other energy drinks? I'll give you some data on nutrition facts and you can make your decisions based on that:

16 oz. BANG: 300mg caffeine, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar.

16 oz. Monster Energy (regular): 160mg caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

16 oz. Red Bull (regular): 160mg caffeine, 56g carbohydrates, 56g sugar

16 oz. Rockstar (regular): 144g caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

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"Well, you look healthy so nothing's wrong" Is one of Many things Dismissive Doctors Have Said To Me

Just because I don't look sick and frail doctor doesn't mean I am fine.

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Recently, I had the worst experience at the doctors. I was diagnosed with tendonitis and when I went to a follow up appointment to try and figure out why I was still in pain I wasn't met with compassion and a helping hand. Instead, all I got was attitude and questioned about why I didn't do what the new doctor thought I should be doing on his timeline. This doctor accused me of lying just because my foot wasn't swollen and I didn't look injured (even though I had been taking steroids and Motrin which are known to help with swelling). His exact words to me were "well you look healthy so nothing's wrong with you. You could go to a podiatrist but they are going to say nothing is wrong with you. You are 20 years old and healthy so if you're not going to try I don't know what you want me to do"

I have never had a doctor be so dismissive before. Looking at me I do not look like someone who might be in pain. This doesn't mean that I am not. I have had five knee surgeries (four on my left and one of the right), I am knock-kneed (this means that when I put my knees together my ankles don't touch), as well as having back pain and a herniated disk. My whole life is lived at a constant level of uncomfortable. I still work in merchandise where I stand all day, go to amusement parks with my friends, and go apple picking in the fall. I take some Motrin and keep it moving most of the time.

Looking at someone is not an accurate picture of the things going on inside their body. You can't physically see a cold, or (most of the time) a broken bone but it doesn't mean it's not there. I had my first knee surgery when I was 11 and with the condition, my knees were in even though I couldn't always walk ten miles I couldn't sit in a wheelchair all day either because that would have left me in just as much pain. I vividly remember the adult women who scoffed at a child because I stood up to take a picture with my sister. My mom roared her head back and said 'Would you like to drive her to surgery next week or should I?"

I may not look like someone you would deem as "in pain" or "injured" because most of the time I just keep it moving and live my life. There are also days where I wake up and my whole body is in so much pain that it is a chore just to get up and go get food from the kitchen downstairs or walk to the bathroom. Just take a second today to try and have compassion. Don't automatically assume that the person in the handicap spot is a jerk just because they don't wear a sign on their forehead telling what is wrong with them. You can't look at someone and know the whole story.

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