Off the “Sick” Couch and Back Into Cirque Fit

Published January 12, 2013 by Susan Woodward

After having laid on the couch since I got home on Wednesday (with the exception of visiting the doctor on Thursday),  it actually felt good to get outdoors.  Now let me mention something really weird here… on Wednesday, it was freezing and there was a foot plus of snow on the ground.  It’s now Saturday, but it’s 60 degrees and nearly all the snow has melted away… how the hell long have I been locked up?  It’s as if I hibernated through winter and spring has arrived!  I thought I felt a little stiff from sleeping so much.   Then my senses returned; it’s just Rochester weather.  I am not kidding, but I actually remember a Halloween where we went water skiing in the morning, but by night it was snowing so hard we could have gone downhill skiing!

In any event, the big news is that I got out of the house.  Step one.

The first part of our Saturday program is to meet with our Health Counselor.  I just have to say, Patti is great!  She’s understanding and empathetic, while at the same time encouraging and challenging us.  We all shared about our intentions and our successes for the week… little changes that made a difference.  My “little changes” this week are as follows:

1- no cigarettes since Wednesday (and I pray for none hereafter!)

2- cinnamon and honey regimen morning and evening (since Monday… when I went to the doctor on Thursday for my URI, my blood pressure– which is typically high– was actually in the normal range, and my resting pulse rate was 84.  It is typically over 100.  I will attribute this to the lack of nicotine and the increase of the tea mixture.)

3- lemon water (and more water in general)

4- more fiber (since I have been sick, I have been eating soup for the past few days.  For added fiber, I added legumes to the soups.  More filling, lower in fat, and the toxin-cleansing bonus)

So far, so good… even with the flu.  I am sure that once I am permanently off this sick couch, I will better feel the effects of the changes.

Patti also gave us some homework:  Cultivating Awareness about our present eating habits so that we can remove those blocks to change.   Write down three things that you have become aware of that you do that block your progress.

1- I have a tendency to eat on the run.  Whether it is from driving through Tim Horton’s for coffee and a breakfast sandwich, or hitting the dollar menu when I am in between places that I have to be, my car floor is littered with wrappers.  I need to make time to sit down and eat… but when I am not at my home in between school and the Challenge classes (drive time and gas), I will have to figure something out.

2- When I am home, I eat in front of the television or the computer screen.  Since my son works nights, we don’t eat together.   Being home alone, I don’t fix a nice plate and sit down at the table… but maybe I can start doing that once in a while.  I cannot commit to doing it every meal (at least at this point) because I’ll feel like a failure the first time I take my plate in front of Judge Judy.

3- I have a hand-to-mouth problem now that I am not smoking.  I need to get some carrots and celery.

Ok, Patti… there’s my homework!!  Of course, blogging during the week counts, too!

After meeting with Patti, it was time for Cirque Fit.  At kicked my ass on Monday, and it kicked my ass today!  I took a few water breaks and pulled back a bit with the running in place because of my URI and because of my knee.  Other than that, I did my darnedest to try to keep up.   I know that one of the greatest benefits that I will gain from Cirque Fit is strength and endurance… and the operative words in this sentence are “WILL GAIN.”  I don’t have them yet, especially the strength part.  Chris gave me some tips on how to strengthen my core so that I will eventually be able to lift my legs off the ground… after seven pregnancies, five babies, and six abdominal surgeries over the past thirty years, I have to actually FIND my core so that I can begin to strengthen it!  I think the pain in my abdomen after today’s workout is a good indicator that I am looking in the right area… but any sense of core strength will probably attempt to allude me for a while.  And now that I know HOW to strengthen those muscles, I am praying that my feet will finally lift off the floor when I do a V-sit!

The GOOD news is that I did not face plant during push ups! While I still cannot do a full push-up, my modified ones are much better than they were on Monday.  I am taking it from the knees, but keeping my back straight.  I am also keeping the elbows close to the body and not allowing them to bend outward while pressing down.  I can’t go down all the way yet, but I am going halfway so that I am able to push myself back up.  Anything past half, and I would not be able to push upward.  I’ll keep working on my push-ups and one day I will finally get to where I can do a “real” one without modification!

I do know that I was getting a good workout in though, in spite of having to stop to catch a breath.   I looked down to check my knee brace position, and my pants were sweaty all around the knee brace… even my knees were sweating!  So, for me, that was a strong indicator that I was getting a good workout!

After Cirque Fit, it was time for open aerial practice.  Because I missed class on Thursday due to illness, I had to catch up on the new routines for practice.   They involved several types of apparatus:  the trapeze, parallel bars (only about 6 inches off the floor, though), silks hammocks, and the wall.

Trapeze:  grasp the bar and hang with feet in pike position for ten seconds…repeat three times.   That is the INTENDED exercise.  For me, it was grasp the trapeze bar, hang (without letting the shoulders go up to my ears), and attempt to lift the feet of the floor.  They were dead weight (as was the rest of me hanging by my arms… all 215 pounds of me.   As long as I already posted the “before” pics, I might as well go all the way and admit my weight).   Ok, so more core exercises needed.   But I did hang in there for the required amount of time.

Parallel Bars:  I think there was another name for this apparatus because, although they were parallel, these bars were only about 6 inches high.  The idea was to hold the body up with the arms and lift legs into pike position.  Well, I held my butt off the floor.  Again, the legs refused to lift off the ground, so ok… more core exercises needed.

Silks Hammocks:  The intended exercise was to wrap the silks around the wrists and lift the legs into pike position.  Well, I managed to hang by my shoulder blades, but those legs weren’t going anywhere.  More core exercises needed.  But I did get my very first Warrior Wound!!!  I got a bruise from wrapping the silks around my wrists and hanging my dead weight from them!  Now I’m not going to go whole hog and post a pic on the Warrior Wound FaceBook Page just yet.  Let’s face it; not enough purple to warrant a good pic.  But just you wait… I will get boo-boos worth posting in no time!

The Wall:  Walking down the wall with our hands… the real trick is to keep the feet from slipping on the carpet.  I think I need some kind of rubber soul or something because my bare feet do keep slipping on me.   A good reminder that we were given about walking down the wall… relax your jaw and keep your tongue inside the mouth.  Falling on the face could lead to a severed tongue otherwise.  Words to the wise, ok?

As soon as I got home, it was right to the tub with the Epsom Salts.  I feel a bit sore, but quite frankly, I am very surprised that I am not in as much pain as I thought I would be.   It’s not because I’m not putting my all into my workouts… I am really, really trying my hardest.   But it is something I am thankful for at this point as I recover from the flu.  And if I HAD to get sick, I am very thankful that it came at the very beginning of this program and not in the middle.  How much would it have really sucked if I was getting stronger and really making progress only to be forced into regression by having to hit the sick couch?  So while being sick is a pain, at least the germs picked a good time to act up!

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2 comments on “Off the “Sick” Couch and Back Into Cirque Fit

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