Cirque du Rochester Aerial Arts Challenge

All posts in the Cirque du Rochester Aerial Arts Challenge category

It’s a Little More Comfy in the Crack…

Published March 19, 2013 by Susan Woodward

…so says Will at Aerial Arts of Rochester!

No, you perverts!  He wasn’t referring to anything untoward… he was commenting on my first attempt at a reverse roll-up!  You have to watch the video to understand his comment, though!

Tonight we learned the reverse roll-up!  I posted my very first try so that you will ultimately get the full effect once I finally do it correctly all by myself (and, hint…I DID do it all by myself on the second, third, and fourth attempts!).   The trick to finishing the position and holding it is getting the silk in the crack between your butt cheeks…an ultimate wedgie that takes on most of my weight.  But Will was right, once I finally got in position; it was a little more comfy in the crack.

Here’s the video:

I always manage to get the silk stuck on my calf… something I have to work on.  But at least I wasn’t screaming my head off this time!

And here is a picture of my third solo!

reverse roll up

 

Getting Well With Juicing and Finally Climbing Consistently!

Published March 16, 2013 by Susan Woodward

After feeling under the weather the past few days (notice the lack of posts?), I watched a movie called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.  This documentary follows two gentlemen who were overweight and suffering from auto-immune illnesses until they turned to juicing for better health.  Inspired by their story, I decided to add juicing to my new regimen of exercise and just plain eating healthier.

I am easing myself into it by only having one juice per day.  At the end of the 12 Week Cirque du Rochester Challenge, I will be on spring break from work, and Aerial Arts will be closed for Easter week.  What a perfect time to try Joe Cross’ 10 day metabolism reboot!

rebootwithjoe Click the link and check out Joe Cross’ site that outlines the whole process, step by step.  It also includes recipes for all kinds of juice combinations!

Here are a couple of juices that I made since I started trying this yesterday:

In honor of St. Patrick’s Weekend, I made this green concoction and put it in a tall beer glass!

more juice

This is made from:

– two large handfuls of kale

– one red pear

– four small carrots

– two stalks of celery

beet juice

Today’s juice is more of a “hodge-podge” after my visit to the public market today:

– 2 small beets

– a handful of kale

– one cucumber

– 5 small carrots

– 2 stalks of celery

– 2 small pears

– 1 medium apple

This made enough juice for two glasses; one that I had right after I got home, and one for later.

After having felt under the weather for the past few days (nasty migraine, which made me feel nauseous), I think the juicing is good for me.  The migraine was stress-related, so I have been working hard to de-stress through the Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey meditation challenge, and I was able to return to exercise today.   But first I went to the public market to stock up on veggies and fruits for the juicer before going to my classes.   Kale chips a la Patty were our treat at nutrition class, and then it was time for our Saturday Cirque Fit butt-whooping.  And then…  climb

I CLIMBED!!!  I actually climbed more than once and got about several feet off the floor!!  Woop!  The picture is not of my “good” climb, but I am still off the floor!

After my success at silks, I spent the afternoon with my granddaughter at the YMCA.  I’d joined in an effort to continue my exercise workouts once the 12 Week Challenge ends on March 30.  While I shall continue with the aerial training, I am going to do my cardio and other training at the Y.  I love swimming, and the pool happens to have open hours right after I get out of work up till 5:00, which is perfect for me!  They also have other classes right after that, and I can still be home before 7 to have a light supper.  Of course, I will still do drop-ins at Cirque Fit from time to time, but the time frame of the pool and zumba works better into my schedule.

That’s my training plan that I have come up with, and I intend to stick with it!

I Flip ‘n’ Climbed! Look, Ma…No Foot Locks!

Published March 13, 2013 by Susan Woodward

Well, I actually did my first forward flips and my first climbs last night…but my internet was out so I couldn’t share the happy news right away!!  (Mercury is truly in retrograde…)

I flipped!!!  I CLIMBED!!!!!  OH.  MY.  GOD.

That’s all that went through my mind as I drove home last night.  I cannot believe I actually CLIMBED up the silks (my best climb was three “steps”).  IMPROVEMENT!!!

First, the flip.  I am shocked that my vertigo did not kick in today.  When I was beginning the move for the first time, I tried in on my knees, thinking that starting closer to the ground might be easier.  Turned out to be easier to do a face plant!!  So I thought that maybe I could avoid the face plant by standing and bending over to flip.  As long as I held on to the silks, I shouldn’t have a problem, right?  After the first one, I fell over because I allowed the silks to slip through my hands.  Silk burn on the right hand!  After the second one, I was nauseous.  Once I decided to go for a hat trick, I didn’t think I’d be able to get off the floor.  It was like having the spins without the pleasure of having had any alcohol first.   Hard to believe that one of things I’d wished my whole life I could do while dancing was a walkover…and now that I have (sort of) done that move while holding on to silks, the idea of doing a walkover has lost its charm.

I had to sit for a bit to regain my stomach before attempting anything else.  While I was resting, I watched Will work with Anita on climbing.  That was still something I had not at all been able to do, not even a tiny bit!  The only way I had been able to get off the ground was in a foot lock.

Notice that I used PAST TENSE!!

I became bound and determined that somehow I was going to climb.  Will also jokingly had said that if I could climb to the top of the silks, he’d buy me a pizza.  I’d heard one of the girls mention pizza (one of my weaknesses) and I was suddenly craving it.  As a joking incentive, Will said he’d order me pizza if I managed to climb to the top.  That wasn’t what got me worked up about climbing (the pizza conversation had taken place before the flipping began)…but once I managed to get off the ground, I was reminded of the promise!

I managed to take three “steps” in climbing up, and Will said that I was a couple of feet off the floor (maybe two?  or three??).    For me, that was as good as being up to the ceiling!!  I was so excited that I asked one of the girls to make a video of me climbing…but I was more tired and didn’t get as high off the ground.   But you can see that I AM actually making the climbing movements!  Ok, so I also fell at the end… but it’s a vast improvement!!!!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151502450844910&set=vb.677749909&type=2&theater

TECHNICAL NOTE:  apparently it looks as if I cannot share the video from Facebook… bummer.   Since it isn’t my video, I can’t share, even if I am tagged.  I am leaving the link above anyway, just in case!!!

Incentive to do another video on MY phone!  🙂

Look, Ma!  No foot locks!!!!!

I cannot wait to be able to climb up and flip upside down without the vertigo!

Mary Kay Had a Hell of a Workout Tonight!

Published March 11, 2013 by Susan Woodward

Yeah…she was running all over my face!  It seemed that even my eyes were sweating during Cirque Fit!

When I first arrived tonight, my arms and shoulders were still screaming about their weekend treatment at the last Cirque Fit class and a subsequent visit to the Fitness Center yesterday.   Even while warming up, my right arm especially was balking, but I pushed through.  I only hope I don’t pay for it tomorrow when I have to get on the silks!  After about a half hour, I got better situated and was able to keep up without as much pain.  That was when the Mary Kay started to melt.

I will say that my arms are beginning to get a little bit sculpted!  And the bump on my bicep is on TOP of the arm, not hanging below it!  🙂

And so I made it home after the rousing Cirque Fit!

Today was also the first day of the 21 Day Meditation Challenge with Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey.  It’s been quite a while since I meditated in this way…I have been using guided visualization for quite a while, but I have been having some issues with that lately.

Today’s centering thought was “I commit to living perfect health.”  What a perfect focus for me at this time!  Again, I am a huge fan of synchronicity!

Our Sanskrit mantra for today:
Om Bhavam Namah
“I am absolute existence. I am a field of all possibilities.”

Today’s Questions and Journal Entries:

Day 1 – Question 1
What does perfect health mean to you?

Perfect health means honoring my body with good food, proper rest, exercise, no smoking (I quit two months ago!), and higher thoughts. I am working toward living up to these ideals every day.

____________________________
Day 1 – Question 2
As you seek perfect health, what would you most like to improve?

I would most like to improve my weight. I have been taking the 12 Week Aerial Arts Challenge and have been working out five times a week, as well as meeting with a nutritionist, I do not see a difference on the scale (I am in week 9). However, I know that muscle weighs more than fat, so I must be content with knowing that I am making positive changes that I can actually see.

____________________________
Day 1 – Question 3
How would your life transform if you felt completely vibrant and strong?

I would become even more physically active and have more confidence in doing things I have always wanted to do (or return to once more). I know for a fact that I would smile more.

____________________________
Day 1 – Journal

I think I shall wake up a half hour earlier in the morning so as to meditate before going to work. With the stress of my job, that might be a good idea. I wanted to try to meditate during my lunch hour, but I cannot access the site on my school computer, nor can I get the meditations on my Android. I had to wait until after my Cirque Fit workout tonight before I was able to finally do my meditation.

 

Since this Challenge is an open forum and free to everyone, I think it must be okay to share these ideas and thoughts here.  I won’t post them everyday… only on the days that I blog after the 12 Week Challenge.  If you want to take part in the 21 Day Meditation Challenge, see my previous post and the link there!

Namaste!

Down to the Final Three Weeks of the Challenge

Published March 10, 2013 by Susan Woodward

You know, I am a huge fan of synchronicity.  I love it when seemingly totally unrelated things coincide with absolute perfect timing in my life.

The next three weeks will be very intense for me, both physically and spiritually.  On the physical end, I will be completing the Twelve Week Challenge that I began nine weeks ago.  On the spiritual end, I begin a three week Spiritual Challenge online with Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey.   And on the financial end, I will be making the final payment on my car.  This is actually perfect timing as these things will come to a conclusion at the same time…and these endings will actually coincide with my Spring Break from school.  At that point, I will begin outlining my next set of personal challenges.

main_imageWith my car paid for, I shall be able to allocate those funds toward keeping up the momentum of working out and getting healthy.  I’ll be continuing the Beginner Level Aerial Silks, as well as the Cirque Fit classes and the Open Aerial practice sessions.   My goal is to get to the point where I can finally do an aerial routine to my chosen song, “Nothing  Else Matters.”   That will take care of feeding the physical realm of my life.  That and continuing with healthy eating.    I am so grateful to be getting a handle on those areas!  Also, today makes TWO MONTHS since I have quit smoking!!  I cannot say how happy I am to be able to say that!  It feels so great to  be smoke free!!

While I have been busy getting my physical house in order, I seem to have been neglecting my spiritual house.   Now that the physical classes have become more of a routine built into my schedule (instead of looking at it as having to fit them in), it’s time to add that spiritual element I do crave.

What I do not wish to add is one more place to be outside the home… the idea for me is to do something to make my home more of a sanctuary.   That’s something that I would like to make a routine part of my day, and the 21 Day Meditation Challenge arrived at the perfect time!  Adding meditation to what I am already doing with my physical exercise and more healthy eating will create a complimentary lifestyle for me.   And to have both of those built into my life by the time I go on spring break will be a true gift.

Let’s face it… school has been extremely stressful this year, and it’s not getting much better.   Standardized tests will be the death of public education as students will become more like robots than independent thinkers.  I work hard to force kids to think, refusing to do a lot of hand-holding and spoon-feeding, because I WANT them to be able to think and learn for themselves.

Actually…I don’t want to get into all that here.  I am supposed to be focusing on de-stressing my life with healthy habits.

As much as I have been complaining the past few days about the pain in my hands, arms, and shoulders, focusing on working through that pain has been a good distraction from other things.   And even though I have been feeling a bit discouraged at not being able to go through all the silks moves that I want to be able to because of the pain, I am still feeling stronger and more confident overall.   The pain tells me that I am ripping that old me apart and reconstructing this old house into something more inhabitable.   I am transforming the physical body…and now it’s time to turn to transforming the mind.

Having some accountability during the 21 Day Meditation Challenge will be good for me to do just that.  I am someone who has needed to be challenged and held accountable in order to be successful throughout life.   When left to my own, I have a tendency to get complacent… something I intend to address as part of my spiritual/mind make-over.   While I will be held accountable for the next three weeks, what happens AFTER that is really going to be the Challenge for me…and I am going to do all that I can to stay successful in continuing in my new routines.

But look at how the Universe is bringing everything together for me!  It is as if It wants my success as well, and for that, I am extremely grateful!!

I Gotta Get a Grip…

Published March 7, 2013 by Susan Woodward

Seriously.  At week 9, I thought my hands would be much stronger by now.  However, I am noticing that the joints in my fingers are feeling numb…almost arthritic.  I know that this is because I am tearing down to build up, but my grip on the silks is not where I need it to be yet.

While I am feeling generally stronger overall, it’s my hands and shoulders that are really, really feeling the pain.  I want so much to be able to soar like I see others doing, but my hands have recently begun to slip from my grip on the fabric.  I feel like I was able to hold on tighter a couple of weeks ago, but the more I use my arms to pull myself up, the more I feel it in my fingers.

Ok…I am working on strengthening exercises like squeezing a ball in my hand, but I guess it takes a while.

Improvements:

– I can get into an inverted stag and hold it longer

– I can do a layout, even though the silk in the hip crease still kills, and I can pull myself up out of it

– I can get into a hip key pretty regularly

– I am improving my roll up

Frustrations:

– I still cannot get into a ball to hang upside down

– I keep falling out of the side plank because my right hand loses its grip

– I still cannot climb

I guess I am just feeling a bit blue tonight for reasons beyond my control (not silks related), so I think I will call it a night and go ice my shoulders.

Tomorrow is another day, and I gotta get a grip in more ways than one.

She Flies Through the Air With the Greatest of….Plop

Published March 5, 2013 by Susan Woodward

HangTonight’s first assignment was to hang from an aerial hoop and do an “L” sit.  We have been doing that all along hanging from a trapeze, but this hit a whole different muscle group!  As you will see, I am straining to get my legs up!  But they are off the ground, which is a lot better than I did when I first started with the trapeze!  Yup that’s the face of one who is saying, “I am not going to let this get the best of me!”  Problem was, and you can probably tell…I was holding my breath.

One note…breathing is good.

Because I’d held my breath while trying to hang on, I got light-headed when I finally let go.  Ooops.

I think I managed it three times and then tried to go back on the trapeze.  Well, the arms weren’t having it.

And then it was time to get on the silks!  And not just climbing and hanging…it was time to LEAP on them a la Tarzan!!

Yeah…the idea was to take a running leap and fly onto the fabric, trusting that your hands would catch it like a rope and then hang on to swing back and forth.  Looks great when Will does it!  Or Katie or Annmarie or Michelle… ummmm…not so for me.  The first time I didn’t even get a grip on the silk.  It was like I took a running leap to see how hard I could land on the mat.  It took till the third or fourth attempt to grab it and hang on long enough to swing three feet before flying off.

No relation to Johnny Weissmuller here!  And for those of you not old enough to know who the heck that is, let me share this with you:

the-best-tarzan-johnny-weissmuller-pic2-c1942

Yeah…not seeing any resemblance.  Well, maybe the one on the end… on the right.  (Look again at my face above and you’ll see what I mean)  However, when I look at Jane on the left, I have a question for her: Where are your guns, Jane?    It doesn’t look like she could hang on for too long.  I mean, she’s got nothing on some of the ladies at silks!  Sorry, Jane, but just sayin’…

As for me, ok, so I’m not much of a swinger.  Yet.  Give me time!  I am at least off the ground in some fashion, and I do love going to class and working out!

This is really a great experience for me!!!

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