Cirque de Rochester

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Time For a Make-Over!

Published April 15, 2013 by Susan Woodward

Given that this page was originally created when I was in a more somber place in my life, the theme seemed to reflect that.  Now that I feel I have more “color” and energy to me, it’s time my blog reflected that!

And in honoring “coloring” my life by getting out and LIVING it, I am going to enter the Color Run in Buffalo this August.

Color run

I may not be able to run the entire 5K, but I can certainly jog and walk it!  I have never, ever done anything like that in my life, and quite honestly, I never thought 5K would ever be part of my vocabulary…but I am going to get out there and try!  Even if I come in dead last, I will still be miles ahead of all those who never leave the finish line.

With a little color comes some grime along the way, so while I am at it, I am also planning on entering the Dirty Girl 5K in Buffalo in September!   And I love the tag line here!  I already have one of my three daughters (Robin) ready to get dirty with Mom… and it looks like my Marine (Sarah) might be home for a visit right about that time, so I can get her on our team, too!  And that would be quite a boon to the team given that this is not just a running 5K… it’s got an obstacle course built in!  It’ll be like a day in the park for her!  I have one more daughter to convince (Illy!!).  I also want to enlist the ALL ladies from the 12 Week Challenge (Patty included!!… sorry, Will… you can’t be a Dirty Girl).

spa

It DEFINITELY is Make-Over time!!!

 

 

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!

Time Out for the Injured Reserves… :-(

Published March 24, 2013 by Susan Woodward

I had myself all pumped up, too!  But I realized when I could barely move my right arm, let alone put weight on it, that Cirque Fit wasn’t going to be as productive for me as has been… and that I couldn’t use the silks today.  😦    I think it’s tendonitis, so I am nursing this baby from now till Tuesday so that I can go back on the silks!

Lisa and I were both on the injured reserve sidelines yesterday, but we stayed to cheer on our compadres.   Still, it’s very hard sitting and watching when I know that I just want to be in there trying to do some move, even if I end up on the mat.  It’s the participation and the daring myself to try something new that I have grown accustomed to in the past eleven weeks, and I am going to continue in that thread!

Jenns 6 Injuries

Hmmm…on the outside of the elbow, it’s “Golfer’s Elbow”; on the inside, it’s “Tennis Elbow.”  Where’s Aerialist’s Elbow?  That has a better sound at least!  But I am certain that this is what I am dealing with, especially since the area on the inside of my elbow is actually quite warm, or inflamed  (hmmm… I am noticing the spelling of that word on the picture.  Sigh…).

Well, I am taking Will’s advice as for how to take care of this arm by resting it and massaging the elbow.  I am actually using hard pressure massage to get my thumb into the joint to loosen the tension, and then I am massaging the arm downward from the elbow to the wrist and then back again.   I think by Tuesday I should be fine to do the class, and then Thursday and next Saturday open practices.  After that, I am off till my next session starts on April 8th, so I have time to rest it some more.

Yes!  I signed up for another session!!  My plan is to continue on the silks, as well as continuing what I have learned from both Will and Patty about exercise and diet.  For my exercise, I have joined the YMCA for my fitness training (class times are easier on my schedule, plus I can swim and hop into a hot jacuzzi and sauna right afterward).  I have met with a trainer, so I have my weight-training and cardio routines set up.  That, plus my silks training 2-3 times a week, will get me into better shape.

As for my diet, I have already made drastic changes.  I am avoiding packaged foods jammed full of preservatives and opting for whole grains and fresh produce.  Because the price of meat has skyrocketed due to the summer droughts, I am looking for other sources of protein to add to my diet.  I do know that my water consumption should be higher… it’s not that I am drinking something else instead, like coffee or soda… I am simply not drinking period.  I don’t drink soda anyway, but I am down to one cup of coffee a day (Tim Horton’s stock must have gone down in the past couple of months…).   I shop at the public market nearly every Saturday to stock up on my fruits and vegetables, and I am juicing most of them!  That is going to be part of my morning routing: getting up and making fresh juice to drink on my way to work instead of making coffee.

Oh, yes… and the most important thing.  STILL SMOKE FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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!

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