Aerial Arts of Rochester

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The Artist’s Way: Week 1

Published February 9, 2014 by Susan Woodward

Okay, so I am working through The Artist’s Way with a group of ladies in the area…it seems like a great thing to be working on during this really freezing cold tundra we are living in these days.  This whole Polar Vortex has brought crazy-cold temps, and even skiing is not as much fun because of it.

As much as I love hibernating in the winter with mugs of hot drinks, fuzzy jammies, a warm blanket and endless streaming on Netflix (OMG…BBC TV), it’s a really good idea to still the old creative juices now and again.  Last winter I spent this time period working up a sweat and pushing my physical limits.  This winter I am stretching the internal limits a bit.

the-artists-way_17liSo…I guess the way this Artist’s Way works is that, for twelve weeks, one works to get into the following habits:

1- Morning pages: non-focused purging of the mind each morning, ideally on paper.  The goal is to write three pages every morning.  Well, I get up at 5 already, and am out the door by 6 for a 30 minute commute, so that’s pretty much not going to happen.  Since the idea is to purge the mind of junk before beginning the day, I am doing so verbally in my car while I drive.  I already do a form of this after school on my way home from work…venting my frustrations before entering my sanctuary, so to speak.  So now I am doing it twice a day…twice the purging is probably a good thing, anyway.  Fortunately, with modern technology being what it is, I don’t have to worry so much about the folks driving next to me thinking I am a lunatic talking to myself; they probably assume I have a blue tooth.  It’s no longer considered a one way trip to the psych ward if one is seen talking to oneself because it’s most likely they are using this modern technology.  What a great cover for me!

2- An Artist’s Date: once a week, we are supposed to take ourselves out on a date alone to court our inner artist.

3- A Nature Walk:  connect with Nature at least once a week.  (During the Polar Vortex?  Ummm… that’s not working out so much so far).

Here we are, then–Week 1: Recovering a Sense of Safety.

Our group was challenged to explore our Monsters, those nay-sayers and negative entities in our pasts that have had an influence on our creative selves.  Ironically, it seems that some monsters decided to rear their ugly heads this very same week.   As a result,  I have been working hard to recover my sense of safety.

My morning “pages” have centered around my feelings of betrayal and renewed sense of violation from these “Monsters”, and it is true that purging the stream of consciousness verbally has helped.  So did writing and deleting emails.  Even though it took several days for the negativity to subside to something more manageable, it is synchronistic that this particular “Monster” attacking my creative expression happened to emerge during my first week of The Artist’s Way.

For my Artist’s Date, I went to visit a Balloon Manor exhibit that was held in Rochester this past weekend: a five -story representation of Jack and the Beanstalk created entirely from balloons!

Jack and the BeanstalkFrom a five-story beanstalk to a life-sized “Jack” and his mother, every single detail was a balloon.  Flowers, a vegetable garden, apple trees with birds and bugs and half eaten apple cores… the detail work was phenomenal.  The entire Sibley Building smelled like latex!  It was so awe inspiring, though, to see what the creative imagination can put together with simple materials.  Absolutely fantastic!

To top the visit off, the Aerial Arts of Rochester was there to perform Jack and the Beanstalk on silks!  I was glad to get to see Illy, Will, Kim, and Chris flying through the air, even though it is still bittersweet due to the fact that I shall not be able to do silks again.  Damned injuries and vertigo!  But I do have the memories of having tried ot to the best of my ability.

Illy and WillIf you click on the picture of Illy and Will, you will see one of the video clips I took of their performance!

Week one was rough facing those monsters, but working the Artist’s Way will help me to tap back into the creativity.  I have my NaNoWriMo book to finish!!  🙂

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Reflections on 2013

Published December 30, 2013 by Susan Woodward

2013 was a year of changes for me… challenges, both physical and emotional, tested me to my limits, and I am still here to talk about it!  In one year, I made significant changes that I have, sadly, let slide a bit as the weather turned colder and I began the new school year.  However, I recognize my backsliding, and I am going to make sure that I do something about it.

I really decided to start posting my challenges online because I wanted to leave my thoughts to my children for the future.  I want them to be able to actually look at pictures of their crazy Mom, watch videos of her trying to make a 50 year old body do aerial arts, and read my introspective thoughts so that they might have an inkling of what goes on under all the red frizz.  It’s a pictorial diary, complete with video clips that they can look back on later, when I am no longer here.  That’s why I put these thoughts out there.  If people read them and are entertained or provoked a bit, then that’s great…but the ones I really want to have access to my thoughts are my kids.

So here are some thoughts about 2013:

JANUARY

Bat Girl

The year started off with a real bang…most of them on the mat as I made my aerial arts “debut”.  My first night on the silks and I was flying!  (sort of).  And I remember my two new best friends… Ibuprofen and Epsom Salts!  I am also reminded of my nemesis that was sent into oblivion… yes, Pall Mall and all his cohorts!  No more tobacco!  I have been smoke-free since January 8 and I will continue to be for life!!

FEBRUARYswimming

In February, I turned 51, and Will D’Ovidio helped me ring in the new life year with 51 push-ups for my birthday!  The most surprising thing, though, is that I actually DID 51 push-ups during that Cirque Fit class!  I was eating better, getting stronger, and feeling a whole lot more optimistic about my future.

MARCH

Jenns 6 InjuriesWell, March brought my Circus dreams to an end with tendonitis and problems with both shoulders.  I held on to the hope that I could return in a few weeks, which turned into months, which were finally crashed and burned with a bout of vertigo.  Although I am not able to get back on the silks, March also brought me to the YMCA.  I worked hard to keep the momentum going!

APRIL

beet juiceApril is when I got the idea to try my first 5K, and so I began training.  I have no ACL in my right knee, so I am more of a power walker than a runner, but that’s okay!  I was off the couch!  I also began juicing as a way to cleanse and detox my body.   The weather was getting warmer, so I was making more regular trips to the Rochester Public Market (THE best place to be on a Saturday morning!).

MAY

2013-05-18 16.32.04 May brought the premier of Ombis: Alien Invasion, my screen debut!  Even though I have never really been a horror movie fan, I have to say that I had a BLAST getting zombified a la Tom Savini School of Make-Up and then slimed by what seemed like GALLONS of green goo!  It was a terrific experience, and I am sooo glad that I was able to be a part of the fun!

JUNE

Hiking and Teacher Rally 020Ask anyone my thoughts on the current state of education, and you’d better be prepared to pull up a seat for a long tirade!  The fiasco of the implementation of the CCSS, APPR, SLOs, PLCs, and a host of other acronyms led me to get involved instead of just bitching about conditions.  I went to Albany along with THOUSANDS of others to let John King and Andrew Cuomo know how we felt!  With all the changes so far in the year, I felt my confidence soaring, and I joined in with another acronymical group: the BATS (The Badass Teachers Association)!    I also completed my first 5K in June!

JULY

Portland Headlight with Ram Island Ledge 4 In July, I decided that I was going to head out all by myself,  I was feeling strong enough and confident enough to just get in the car, drive east till I hit an ocean, and then turn left, driving till I found lighthouses and cheap lobster!  And I DID it!  Not only that, I had no hotel reservations or anything…I trusted that everything would turn out okay.  And that is exactly what happened!  I climbed a mountain, hiked, ran in the ocean, climbed into a lighthouse, took TONS of pictures and managed to find about a dozen lighthouses.  The cheap lobster was pretty terrific, too!

AUGUST

100_0746When my Marine daughter told me that she could not come home from San Diego before her deployment in September, I decided that I was going to go to her!  I managed to pick up a summer tutoring gig that paid enough to cover my air fare, and I got to see my Sarah Bear! Never in my life would I have thought that I would put my feet in both oceans that come in contact with North America within a few weeks of each other!   I also spent a lot of time hiking and taking Nature pictures throughout the month of August.

SEPTEMBER

Fist batThis month was certainly a challenge as I began teaching consultant classes for the first time.  Worries over standardized test results (it was announced that 70% of New York State’s 3rd through 8th graders “failed” the state exams).    I was still feeling confident, still working out, still pumping that blood through those veins…and ready to pump up the BAT action with my voice via phone calls, emails, tweets, and Facebook posts.  For so long, I’d felt sluggish, complacent, and didn’t want to get involved with much of anything.  Thanks to everything I’d been working through, I put that energy to work, and the BATS are working hard to make a positive change in educational reform!

OCTOBER

SeanceI returned to performing in October with the Rochester Landmark Society’s annual Ghost Walk.  I hadn’t performed since Titanic and the One Acts in 2012, and it felt good to do a little bit of acting again.  The best part was that we had an indoor scene on the tour, so we didn’t have to worry about the cold and rain!

NOVEMBER

NaNo logoNovember was National Write a Novel in 30 Days month.  Actually, what was required was to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  I’d had The Red Brick Road rattling about in my brain for quite a long time, and I did have a little of it started, so I had a jumping off point.  It was hard as hell keeping up with daily deadlines, trying to make sure that I had the magic number of words so that I could say, “Yes!  I did it!”  Now all I have to do is EDIT it!  But I DO have over 50,000 words!!

DECEMBER

meNearly one year after getting my behind off the couch and actually getting out to DO things, I am still going.  I do have to admit that I have not been to the YMCA recently, but I will be making that change to get back on a healthier track.  Backsliding happens, but NOT ONCE in this year did I pick up a cigarette!  My friend Jeanette and I participated in the It’s a Wonderful Run 5K…in 16 degrees and in the middle of a snow storm!  It was cold as all get out, but we were both dressed in layers (you can see that I look about 150 pounds heavier because of all the layers!) and we survived.  And in January, this body is going to get back out to Bristol to SKI!  I haven’t done that in a couple of years, and I am so looking forward to it!

For me, 2013 was one of my most memorable years!  So many challenges, changes, successes…I feel truly blessed.  Thank you to my friends and family for your support and encouragement, especially to Will D’Ovidio (of Rochester Aerial Arts) and my daughter Illy Welden who got me started and kept me going!

I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings!!

Happy New Year to everyone!

My First 5K This Friday!!

Published June 3, 2013 by Susan Woodward

Still nursing a bum wing which is keeping me off the silks at the present time.  I never knew my elbow to take so long to heal in my life!  But all things in good time.   In the meantime, I am still working out at the YMCA with the major aim of strengthening the muscles surrounding the elbow so that I can better support it once I get back to aerial.

One thing that I have done is sign up for a different 12 week challenge!  It’s the Biggest Winner Challenge at the Y, and it is about weight loss.  My goal is to lose weight while strengthening up so that there will be less weight hanging on the silks later on.  I signed up last week, and tomorrow I have my first weigh in (after the initial one upon joining).   But I have worked hard and sweated hard, so I hope the scale goes the way I want it to!  I am also getting measured tomorrow, so inches will count more than pounds.  I really am interested to see what the measurements are because I have to compare them to my final numbers after finishing the Aerial Arts Challenge!

Average weight pushed/pressed/lifted per workout session?  4200 lbs!  EACH session!!  Doing it three times a week (sometimes four), that’s 12,600 lbs!  The average male elephant weighs up to 15,000 lbs, so I am nearly lifting Dumbo every week!

shoesAnd guess who signed up for her first 5K that takes place on June 7… ME!   I am nervous, but excited at the same time!  This is my practice to see what the Color Run will be like in August (minus the probably sweltering temperatures by then).   It will give me and my body a good taste of what is to come!  I am also interested to see if I can actually do any running.  I am anticipating running/jogging/walking/crawling… most likely in that order!  Well, I have been putting miles on the Cross Trainer, so I think that I will at least make it to the finish line before it gets TOOOO late!

I got a bit lazy on my juicing a couple of weeks ago, so I will be getting back to that.  School has been rough, and I have been leaving extra early each morning to get things done before classes start.  That has left me not making juice before taking off.   I have to do a bit more research on the recipes I am using because it seemed I was gaining back a few pounds while drinking it…and according to Joe Cross, I am supposed to be losing weight!  I think I may have had too many fruits (ie too much sugar/calories) in the juices in spite of all the greens.    Back to the drawing board there!

School will be out in 18 calendar days… but who’s counting?  Once I am out of school, I am going to build my summer routine:

– get up early and get to the Y

– since I am up, if it’s a nice day, do find someplace interesting to hike and take pictures

– or on days when I do not go on hikes, I will go down to the pool and swim

– I will make a weekly trip to the Public Market for fresh produce (or perhaps a couple times a week…I do like the atmosphere)

– and some overnight road trips will definitely be in order!

– join in with the group activities with the Challenge members (Zumba, hiking, cycling, aqua-aerobics, etc)

– and I need to reconnect with my AERIAL ARTS CHALLENGE LADIES!!!

It will be a good summer!  And perhaps at its end, my arm will have healed and I will be on my way back to the silks!!

 

 

Still Continuing to Challenge Myself Beyond My Comfort Zone!

Published April 15, 2013 by Susan Woodward

I actually have not posted lately for two reasons: one- for the past three days I have been down for the count with a really nasty virus and and have done nothing but sleep, and two- I have been keeping myself busy!  However, based on the past couple of days, I can see how it would be sooo easy to return to that sedentary lifestyle, and that realization scares me.  I am determined to NOT return to that pre-Challenge life.   I have to get better and then fight the temptation to slip backwards.  And I look for things to keep me moving, keep me healthy, and keep me happy.

As for keeping me moving:

While I am waiting for my tendonitis to heal, I am still keeping up with my cardio work and my strength training.   I’ve been taking it easy on the arms, but have been trying to ease a bit of work on them from time to time.  I thought I might be ready for five push-ups the other day… nope!  So I am listening to the body and working around it.

Sadly, I had to postpone my silks class till next session.  I have five more weeks to get this arm back into working order!  While I may not be able to work my arms as much as I need to, my core should be in MUCH better shape by the time I start up again!  I need that core strength to get me to finally flip into the ball, so here’s hoping!

As for keeping me healthy:

Grocery shopping is a new experience as I stay out of the aisles full of pre-packaged and processed “foods” and stick more to the outer realms of the store (the produce section, bulk, meats) and the Nature’s Marketplace section of Wegmans.   I still have not bought a single package of cookies since January, and there’s not a box of macaroni and cheese in the house (much to my son’s chagrin).

Going out to eat is different for me, too.  Because I am more aware of fried and high fat and high sodium foods, I try to make better choices while still feeling like I am treating myself to dinner out.

RohrbachsFor example, last week I took myself to Rohrbach’s on Buffalo Ave.    I enjoy going there, especially for their Scotch Ale.  While I know that Scotch Ale would be frowned upon by our health coach as a no-no, giving it up would make me feel deprived.  Deprivation is the key factor in making folks turn away from health changes… it’s moderation that will keep me on track.  So, yes! I ordered my glass of Scotch Ale and savored every single delicious drop!

As for my meal, I originally had my taste buds set for their sauerbraten, but sadly, it is only available on Saturdays.   The young man who served me suggested the specials of the evening after I voiced my disappointment about no-sauerbraten Wednesdays, one of which was a tropical salad.   When he listed the ingredients, I was enticed: pineapple, mango, avocado, star fruit, papaya, plantains, and chicken on a bed of greens with a fruity vinegarette dressing.    It seemed like getting dinner and a dessert all in one!  The blend was delicious, except that I really would have liked more avocado in it.  And I still had my Scotch Ale!  I have to admit that I am not one who usually turns to the “Salads” portion of the menu when ordering dinner, but I am glad he mentioned this special.  Since I had just come from a workout, the meal was light, yet still satisfying as a treat.   And so was my Scotch Ale!  😉

As part of my new way to continue challenging myself after all the work I have done for the past three months, I think that I will make it a point to visit different restaurants in my area to find out what other lighter-fare treats might be available.   Then I’ll share them here!

You know what I will be on the hunt for?  A juice bar!  I have to see if there is one in the Rochester area.  If there is, I will definitely haunt it for blending ideas!

Except for the days when I have been too sick and in pain to even move off the couch, I have been juicing daily.  I make a large batch in the mornings and take it to work with me.  The kids see me drinking it and ask, “What’s in it today?”   I usually list the fruits for them first, but as soon as I say spinach, beets, or kale, they scrunch up their noses and say, “Yuck!”   But it doesn’t stop them from asking me what I am drinking the next day!

I do see a difference in my skin from the juicing– even on my feet!   And while many of my students who have had this nasty flu have been out for about a week, today is day three and I am beginning to feel better already.  Maybe the vitamins from the juice helped with the quick healing?  Or maybe it was the tea I drank yesterday?

One of my son, Joe’s, friends came over yesterday.  When he saw how sick I was, he mentioned that he’d once had a tea made from lemon, ginger, garlic, and cayenne and that it made him feel better almost immediately.  Well, I had been trying the cinnamon and honey tea, and that wasn’t working for this, so I thought I’d give it a shot.  I already had the ingredients because I use lemon and ginger in my juices, and garlic and cayenne are just a staples I cook with, so there was nothing to stop me from trying it… I was actually desperate.  I chunked up a whole lemon, peeled a knuckle of ginger, chopped two cloves of garlic and went a bit heavy handed with the cayenne, putting it all in four cups of water to boil.  Once it boiled, I let it simmer for a bit.   Delicious is NOT a word I would use to describe it.  I managed to drink it all that evening, but it took some doing.

Well…. I DO feel a bit better today.  Do I feel well enough to go to the Y to work out? No…I didn’t even feel well enough to go to work at all.   I am not even up to going to the mailbox yet.  But at least I am no longer calling on the Angel of Death to take me away to put me out of my misery.

And now that it seems that Spring has finally arrived in Rochester, NY (late, as usual), I have plans to take my camera for a hike.  While I had hoped to get to Wales this summer, Uncle Sam slapped a hearty “no” on that one.  However, I will make use of my now-fully-paid-for car to hit the road and see where I end up.

And I am still not smoking!!

As for keeping me happy:

Not giving up on myself and having the courage to stick with my new lifestyle will be what keeps me happy!

Life After the 12 Week Challenge: Challenging Myself!

Published April 1, 2013 by Susan Woodward

Well the Cirque du Rochester Aerial Arts Challenge has officially come to an end… but this has only been a beginning for me!   I am making drastic changes in my lifestyle, which includes regular exercise, eating healthy (and even a bit more vegetarian due to the rising price of meat), and generally experiencing more in life than I have in a long time!

This week is my spring break from work, so I am working out my new plan.  It works best for me if I write things in my pocket calendar, so I am going through the YMCA schedule and putting in classes that I want to take for the next month, as well as times when the pool is available.   I have my weight and cardio routines already set up, so I just have to plug them into the schedule as well.

Today I worked on the cross trainer for 18 minutes before riding the recumbent bike for another ten.  I managed to reach and maintain my target heart rate for twenty of those minutes… not too bad for someone who quit smoking a pack a day only three months ago!  Because I am still nursing an arm injury before returning to silks next week, I passed on the arm weight machines; however, I did do all the leg, back, and ab machines.   After resting in the hot tub for 15 minutes, I was ready to head out and do today’s errands.

Tomorrow I go through my closet and get rid of clothes that I no longer want or need…especially anything that is now too baggy to wear.   Out it goes!

spice jars

My clothes closet isn’t the only overhaul I am making.  I went through my cupboards as well and got rid of a lot of pre-packaged, processed foods, and replaced them with grains and lentils and a whole bunch of new spices and seeds to experiment with.  My fridge also got a make-over, and it is packed with produce for juicing and cooking.

I bought pretty glass jars so that I could take everything out of the plastic bags and make everything easier to store and identify.  I wished that I hadn’t gotten rid of all those canning jars I’d had when I moved!  But some of these came with pretty pastel colored lids, so I’m okay with them!   These will become new staples in my house, and my daughter is sharing many of her favorite vegetarian recipes so that I can make them at my house.

Planning meals in advance and cooking more in bulk so that they last for several days will help with my busy schedule.  Today I made stuffed colored peppers:

peppers more peppers

Don’t these just scream “Spring!” … and “Eat me!!!”

These colored peppers are stuffed with quinoa, red lentils, veggie “burger”, chopped beet greens, red pepper/eggplant paste, and mashed avocado.  When I put them in the pan, I poured spicy vegetable juice over them.

I dirtied two plates just for these pictures before I baked them!

 

 

I had originally planned on doing a ten-day juice fast, but I think that it might be too much at once on my body… so I am going to do a three day cleanse Wednesday-Friday instead.  I am already juicing once a day, so I have been easing myself into it.  The ten day fast might be better for me once the school year ends in June instead.  That will give my body more time to acclimate to the changes I am already making.

Aerial Silks will continue beginning next week (here’s hoping that my arm will be in good enough shape to handle it), so that will become part of my permanent routine as well.  I do not know how long it will take me to get strong enough to last for a whole performance routine, but I am aiming for some point in this next year!  All the exercise will give me strength, the changes in eating will help with weight loss, and determination will get me to that silks routine!!

 

Socks Suck on Slippy Silver Silks…and Other Alliterative Funny Fun Stuff!

Published March 27, 2013 by Susan Woodward

Slippy Silver Silks, Cradling the Crack, Awesome Aerial Arts; we have the makings of an aerial version of a Dr. Seuss book!  I think I am going to have to get right on that!  🙂  An evening of laughs, that’s for sure!

Well, let’s just say that the slippy silver silks are not my favorite… I can’t seem to get a good grip on them.  Katie had an even trickier time trying to climb them while wearing socks!  Socks and silks are not a good pair.

This was our last Tuesday evening class together, and it was silly 😛 sad 😦  funny  😀  bittersweet :-/  and filled with friendship.  I so want to keep in touch with these great ladies!

Honestly, folks… DIRTY GIRL 5K in SEPTEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    Just throwing that out there…

In spite of the tendonitis, I climbed around on the silks anyway.  I’ve been nursing it, so I wanted to make the most of the program!

After only one week, I can do a reverse roll-up all by myself and even add flair!

I’d mentioned earlier that the whole move is a little more comfy in the crack… well, I am trying to get it there!!

crack

Ahhhh……….SUCCESS!!

flair

I just wanted to do as much as I could in spite of the pain… I cannot wait to continue with my next classes and I am so looking forward to one day doing a routine!!  Here is my improved inverted stag:

stag

I really didn’t want last evening to end…

 

Nearing the Finish Line!

Published March 25, 2013 by Susan Woodward

As the 12 Week Cirque du Rochester Challenge comes to a close, I must say that although it has been a grueling process, it has been one of the most rewarding things I have done in many, many years.

When I first applied for the Challenge, I was a sedentary, way overweight, pack-a-day smoker and heavy coffee drinker who spent more time on the couch than anything else.  I was also recovering from a nearly year-long bout of depression following the break-up of a long term relationship.   I needed a severe change in my life, and I got it!

The very first thing I did once I was accepted into the Challenge was quit smoking cold turkey!  It helped that I contracted an upper respiratory infection so that smoking was extremely difficult to do…and I have been able to maintain my non-smoking status till this day!  That is the single most significant outcome of this journey…but only one of many!

My other goals (besides quitting smoking) included:

– becoming physically active instead of sedentary (CHECK)

– gaining more self-confidence by doing something I had never even dreamed of doing (CHECK)

– learning to eat healthier and managing my eating habits (CHECK)

– losing weight (NOT IN AS MANY POUNDS AS I’D HOPED, BUT IN INCHES, SO CHECK!)

– making new friends (CHECK)

The people I have met at the Aerial Arts of Rochester have been so supportive and friendly!!   I feel as if I have bonded with the ladies who are sweating and huffing and puffing right along with me– we have cheered each other on, as well as supported each other through our struggles.  Our instructor, Will D’Ovidio, has worked us HARD (especially in Cirque Fit), but he has been very patient with us as we sweated and huffed and puffed and fell off the silks (onto the padded mats…no worries!).   His “Willisms” have been witty, most notably the oft-quoted “The easiest way to make it harder is…”  Will’s sense of humor helps as a motivator when one is just ready to drop from time to time (usually me…).

Patty Palermo-Hedrick, our nutritionist from Love Nourish Live, has also been supportive with her weekly updates, ideas for better living overall, recipes, worksheets, and yummy samples!  She has checked in on us through the week on FaceBook and has been available for questions and guidance throughout.  Her motivational pic-posts on our FB page have been a fun thing to look forward to each day, and one Saturday we even had a Wegman’s tour!

As for the other members of the Aerial Arts family, they have been our greatest cheerleaders, applauding at our successes and encouraging us to keep moving when the body just wants to drop in the middle of the room.  As I look at all the people who are close to my age who are working hard and are being successful with the aerial arts, I am encouraged to continue (I am 51 years old!  And when Cirque Fit fell on my birthday, Will helped us all celebrate it with 52 push-ups– one for good luck, of course!).

With all the HARD work, I am seeing results.   I have more energy and I actually get out of the house more.  With the Challenge coming to an end, it was time for me to make my plans for my after-Challenge life so that I do not lose all the progress I have gained.  I will actually go through month to month and write in all my exercise classes that I plan to take as well as my silks lessons in my calendar.  These are what I will be doing to continue my progress:

1.  I joined the YMCA to swim and take Zumba classes.   Cirque Fit is a bit intense for these old bones, and I will feel a wee bit more comfortable in a choreographed dance class where I will know what’s coming next and pace myself better till I build endurance.  Plus having the hot tub and sauna on hand is also going to be good for sore muscles.  I will also be using the weightlifting equipment to build my strength.

2.  I re-signed on for Aerial Silks!  My goal is to one day perform a routine to Apocalyptica’s rendition of “Nothing Else Matters”… and I want that one day to be as soon as possible!  As I gain strength and become better able to climb and do moves, my confidence will grow.   I am a performer at heart (having done many community theatre productions in the area), and so I am now dying to perform on aerial silks!

3.  I am juicing and will be doing a 10-day juice re-boot during my spring break next week (I will keep you posted on my progress with that!).   Patty has given me great guidance to help with my nutrition, and I printed out every page and put them in plastic sheet covers in a binder so that I can continue to work through the program.   I am going to commit to doing a juice fast at least once a year as a re-boot of my metabolism.  Ever since I started making juice in the morning (two weeks ago), my coffee consumption has gone to one cup a day.  I have also been drinking cinnamon and honey mixed in hot water, and I have noticed a difference in my blood pressure and my stress levels.

4.  I am making a visit to the Public Market a part of my Saturday regimen.  I’ll buy locally grown produce (to support our local economy as well as to get the freshest product possible) and try to find as much organic food as possible.  I am totally re-doing my eating habits because I want to be around for a long time for my family!

5.  The ladies and I are going to continue our friendship beyond the Challenge, and we are planning on doing a 5K in June together!   I am also trying to convince them to sign up for the Dirty Girl 5K in Buffalo this September… here’s hoping we can do it!   I have also made friends with others at the school, and it feels like a circus family!  This is truly a great group of people to be around!

6.  I will NEVER smoke again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is amazing how much my life has changed in just twelve weeks!  If anyone told me before Christmas that I would be doing ANY of the above, I’d have laughed while pouring another cup of coffee and lighting another cigarette.

Thank you, Will, Patty, all the Challenge Ladies, and everyone at the Aerial Arts of Rochester for giving me a new life!

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