All posts tagged silks

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!!



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!!


Up, Up, and Away… Sort Of!

Published January 15, 2013 by Susan Woodward

I got off the ground on silks!!!  Well, not by myself… William had to help me get my leg into the foot hold (double rond de jambe and a tuck), but I did manage to use my arms to pull myself up to standing once my foot was in place.  Thank you, William!!

I cannot write much tonight… I will expand tomorrow.  My arms are like rubber!  But here are a couple pics… more to follow when my arms stop shaking.


I am “flying” in these next two… arm pits are now aching!!!


       Bat Girl

Cirque du Rochester Challenge…Me? I Accept!

Published January 6, 2013 by Susan Woodward

What a way to begin the new year and to start coming out of that self-imposed cave.  From “underground” to Aerial Silks!  Aerial Arts of Rochester has issued a challenge for eight people from all who applied… and I am one of the lucky eight!  And I am also scared to death!!

I have never, in any way, been considered an athlete.  I never felt strong enough, coordinated enough, or confident enough to play sports other than couples’ soccer (it was more about the wings and beer afterward than it was about playing… I mean, how seriously can you take a team that calls itself the Bakers’ Dozen, and all the players have cute names like Peanut Stick, Sticky Buns, or Cheesecake?  psst…I was Cheesecake and my husband was Sticky Buns!).   I ran myself back and forth and basically did whatever I could to avoid the Bruce-Smith-serious guy that would charge my way whenever the ball happened to find its way into my part of the court.  Believe me, I wasn’t going to argue with him if he wanted it!  That’s the extend of my athletic ability so far!

I am ready to change that.  Yup, at 50 years old, I am going to train in Aerial Silks!  For one thing, Bruce Smith won’t be chasing me down!  It’s just going to be me and Mr. Gravity.  Ummm…yeah.  That’s the scary part.  I have a lot of mass for Mr. Gravity to pull on!

During the next twelve weeks, I will be taking FIVE one to one-and-a-half hour fitness classes a week, as well as meeting with a nutritionist.  By the end of March, I hope to have a lot less mass and a lot more strength.  I have never been able to do a pull-up in my life, yet I will have to build the strength to pull myself off the floor onto silk drapings.   You can click on the picture to link to the Aerial Arts of Rochester.


My motivator?  My daughter, Illy Welden.  I have seen her blossom in the past two years since she began Aerial Arts training.  Her strength, her physique, and her confidence have soared!  When the opportunity to apply for the Challenge came up, I realized that I wanted what Illy has for myself.  Maybe I won’t be the graceful aerialist that she now is, but I can get my behind off the couch and into the air!  I can become stronger and more fit as I pass through these “Golden Years” and hopefully with a lot more grace.   Illy will also be my teacher for one of the five classes each week…talk about role reversal!  But she will keep me motivated when sore muscles and bruises come.  She will keep me going when I first fail at hanging upside down (and I am sure that I will have other failings…but I will work through them!).

This is Illy’s first Aerial Performance after studying for less than a year.  While I’m not sure that I will ever be able to be as good as she is, I certainly aim to try to do my best, and I hope that one day I will be able to post from my own performance!

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