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About thatgirljj

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  • Birthday 11/08/1973
  1. Hi there. It has been a long, long time since I've done a Nerd Fitness challenge. For a while I needed to clear my head and work out some issues I was having with food. But then I was just cruising and doing well on my own and everything was cool. And then... I had a very bad winter. My lifelong struggle with depression had a recurrance, and my family has been sick an insane amount. I feel like I need to come back to some sort of support for getting my eating and fitness back on track. Here's the thing though... I'm still miles away from the beginning of my journey. About 6 years ago I fell in love with aerial arts and circus, and now at the worst, I still go to classes once or twice a week. I have some health problems that are affected by what I eat, and so I have to mostly eat homemade food (even when I'm sick as hell and don't want to fix anything more than steamed rice). So even in the depths of a rough winter I'm still eating OK and am somewhat active. But... being less active than usual and eating plenty of home cooked food you can still put on weight. So I'm maybe 8-10lbs over where I'd like to be, and a lot of my supplemental training has fallen by the wayside. My goals are going to be fairly basic for this first challenge back: Plan and pre-prep all my meals for the month. I'm a huge fan of the book Fat Loss Happens on Monday and I know planning my food is super helpful. Being too exhausted and depressed to prep meals has been dragging me down for months. This is going to be my main focus for the next 4 weeks. Use a meal grid, plan food, get back in a good grocery routine and pre-cook all my lunches/prep dinners on the weekend. (eating) Spend some time re-thinking my training schedule & supplemental training so that I can transition from a focus on aerial to a focus on handstands and partner balancing. (training) Handstand every day. Stretching my wrists counts as "handstand training" on any day when my wrists are bugging me. (training) Make some progress revising the fanfiction novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo in November. (life)
  2. OMG... I loved this game on the Apple IIe at my mom's work! I'm so in!
  3. Ahoy fellow assassins! That is me saluting you from the straps. No really, I swear I'm not talking on the phone that's someone else's arm behind me. I am back and for once I have some enthusiasm and direction! I know, it's amazing! To recap, I am a quirky 40something year old aerialist and mom, but the last 6 months of my life has been super disrupted assisting my mom through cancer treatment. I've kept up with my fitness, but not really had the energy or enthusiasm to make gains or level up in other areas of my life. Sometimes you just gotta stop and take care of people and then kinda wake up and re-reflect on where you've ended up. However, I'm finally pulling myself back together and getting some direction. Part of that this challenge means taking on a life goal. An actual challenging life goal! So... here goes nothing... Life goal: To put together a boutique accessory collection. Yeah. This is an actual stretch, but hear me out. Now I'm not your average cutesy fashion blogger or anything, but I do have tons of informal costuming experience. Some for halloween costumes, some for ren faire, some for burning man. But I'm really good at taking something creative in my mind and turning it into an actual thing out of fabric. After my last major aerial showcase, (where I did the costume design for myself and my partner) I've been tossing around the idea of doing a faux fur accessory collection. Small scale pieces for performers and other fabulous people. Only hitch? I don't draw very well at all... I pretty much have to sit down and actually MAKE the things and then photograph them to communicate what's in my head. So I've decided to just go ahead and do it. Create like a 5-8 piece capsule collection, probably in two or three color family options and then see if it's something people would be interested in (either through Etsy, through the local boutique market or maybe other channels). But step one is simply to do the basic development and see where it gets me. As a measurable goal this works out to doing a minimum of 1 hour of work on the line 5 days a week. I will very likely have days where I spend more like 3-5 hours on it, but I need to get in the habit of doing regular work turning schematic sketches into reality on a daily basis, rather than hammering out something insane in one day and then not doing anything else for a week. OK... now on to fitness goals.... Goal 1: Ye Olde Training Program. Yup. This again. I've done some more research and started a Strong Curves, which is a lower body/glute training regimen that's consistent with my functional goals. And so far it's been paying off since I can actually get into the front balance shown above (as messy as it is). I've been struggling with that move for months. So that's 3 days a week of strength training and then straps training 2 days a week (or other circus/BW strength training if I'm unable to get to a class). Goal 2: Splits, splits, splits. I'm doing a splits challenge on facebook and it's 5 days a week of splits, both fronts and middles, with photos posted to the group. A few of my circus friends are in the challenge too, so I've got lots of support. Right now I have a small oversplit on my left leg, and I'm literally 3" off the ground on my right leg, so really I'm working more on correcting that difference on my tight left side than anything else. I recently had a breakthrough in training my middle splits, so I'm hoping to get them down to the ground by the end of the challenge. Goal 3: Conditioning. Ugh. Dreaded and boring. So I've recently found a consistent weak spot in my straps work, it's bringing my feet up and over through the straps with my arms straight. I pretty much cheat it one way or another (often by doing a pull-up). I really want to fix it. So, three times a week, I'm going to do a set of 5 leg lifts on my pull-up bar. Doesn't need to go up and over, I just need to build the strength to get my feet up to the level of the bar. OK... now off to watch Sylph's performance video... whee!
  4. Hi there! Mid challenge (OK, near-end-of-challenge) check in. Goal #1: Training program is back in gear. YAY! Seriously, after the craziness of this summer, I'm happy for this one alone. Goal #2: Low volume training program has been a bit hit or miss. I'm getting in 3-5 sessions a week, but it's not happening as consistently as I like. The good news is that doing it semi-consistently has NOT aggravated any tendonitis or overuse kind of stuff. So that's good. I think I need to be more consistent to really judge how well this is working. Goal #3: My yoga has kind of dropped off. :-P Maybe 1-3 times a week, which is not at all what I was working for. Semi-goal of being more social.... well, I'm not doing very well on NF with this, but that's because I've been better in my real life at socializing with people I don't know yet. So kind of a mixed bag. And Mediaguy99... HI!!!! Oddly, I know quite a few over 40 aerialists at my studio and nearly NONE online. So it's nice to (virtually) meet you. That's funny that you make a division between horizontal apparatuses and vertical ones... my division is between soft apparatuses (fabric, hammock, straps, rope) and hard ones (hoop, trapeze, lots of funny custom ones). And of course you can rest, that's what hip keys are for! :-)
  5. OOOOOOoooooooo... costuming stuff, my favorite! #1: Go with the teal silks! Don't ever match your silks to your costume directly, it will look like a hot mess under stage lighting. #2: I like the all white idea. Definitely buy a nude liner (like this or this) to avoid any chance of see-through, and to give a smoother look. I use them under nearly every performance costume just because they obscure bra lines and such. But especially with white. #3: If you're going to do the all white with the red lip, I like the idea of some red accessories when you're "oophing up" a unitard. It's a nice contrast with the white, and red/teal is a nice color combo as well. Do tests runs of the make-up & hair??? Yes? Pretty please?
  6. Did you check the produce section? That's always where I've seen it. It looks like a stick or a reed, usually in the same area with the ginger. (Of course, I live in an area with a LOT of different ethnicities, so it may not be so easy to find elsewhere.) Also it's sometimes available dried in the herbs & spices section of the store.
  7. Oh man.... night shifts + long shifts + sleeplessness is hard. There are some days where you just gotta do what little you can to get through and leave everything else to be picked up.
  8. OK... so I just realized something. Part of the reason my last few challenges have sucked is because I have felt really guilty about not going around and supporting everyone. And I haven't been doing that because I feel overwhelmed catching up on the threads. And then I end up feeling awful about it and not posting. And... hey... doesn't this sound JUST like my social anxiety problem? Yes, yes it does. A couple years back I did CBT therapy for social anxiety (I think at the time, calling a therapist was one of my NF challenge goals). Things in my real life are better around those issues, although I still have phone issues and I am backsliding into my "I have friends, great, now I don't need to make any new ones!" attitudes. But I'm now dealing with anxiety about engaging people online. So yeah... this is stupid, and I need to stop. So, side goal for this challenge... check in on others at least 5 times a week. Sorry if my comments are a little behind the times, but I'm going to do my best to engage. And thank you everyone for the nice comments about my recital piece. Sylph, yeah most of what I was doing was transferred from silks, but it's different because with no tails you can spin (and also, obviously, hooking feet through the straps is a different dynamic than any type of footlock, and yeah the stripes bite a little more than silks.) -jj
  9. Ok, this last week was rough, I popped in to plan out my challenge, but that was about it. My husband was out of town on a >week long business trip, and my mom was in the sickest days of her latest chemo treatment (and it was 103 out and my 6 year old was being a huge pill, but that's another story). Hopefully, I'll have a chance to catch up on threads today and tomorrow. So far challenge goals have been going well. Tuesday was one of those days where I couldn't do much but take care of other people and play some video games to destress, but otherwise I'm fairly on track. Goal #1: I will miss one weight training session this week because of Tuesday, but on track for circus workouts. Goal #2: Low volume training is working out so far, 5/6 sessions with 2 days to go. Goal #3: So far I've done yoga 3/5 days. I also drafted the wings for Toothless, hopefully I'll have a little time to cut them today. Would people like gardening/landscaping updates? I'm finally at the point where I need to start doing stuff (other than digging a drainage trench), although I'm so super busy that it's really going to be only planting one or two things here and there until my mom wraps up chemo.
  10. Hi y'all! So I pretty much skipped last challenge entirely. I wish I could say I had some awesome, exciting reason why, but the main reason is that my mom's oncologist changed course and recommended she do a 3 month course of chemo, which sent our entire family scrambling to deal. NerdFitness went by the wayside (along with a lot of other things). Water under the bridge and all that.... For those that don't know me, I'm jj. I am a 40 year old recreational aerialist, with about 5 years experience in the air. Right now I mostly train on straps which is a stupidly difficult apparatus, but I love it. I'm also a mom, and a gardener, currently trying to rehab the yard of the incredibly neglected house we purchased last year. Oh and I'm also sort of a costuming geek, right now I'm working on a Toothless costume for my son for Halloween. Yay dragons! I think that hits most of the bases. Goals for this challenge: #1. Reestablish ye olde training program, with flexibility as needed around helping out my mom. Ye olde training program is simple, train in aerial or other circus stuff 2 days a week, and lower body weight training 2 days a week. Because of my need for flexibility, I'm going to allow myself to substitute training on the P-bars for a circus workout as needed. It's still an upper body bodyweight workout. #2. Experiment with a low volume handstand/pullup program. OK... so you know those low volume training plans where people do a pullup every day, or 10 pushups or 1 minute handstand holds or etcetera, etcetera? Every time I've tried that type of training I end up really overextending my wrists or forearms. So I'm going to try something slightly different. 3 days a week of 1 minutes of handstand holds + 30 seconds of handstand weight transfers (with optional time playing around with cartwheels & pirouettes). 3 days a week of 2-3 pullups a day. I'm just trying to see here if there's a way I can play around with variety to avoid overstressing any one particular muscle group, but still get in the benefits of low volume, easy training. #3. A little bit of yoga most days. Nothing major here, but I've been thinking of doing a yoga teacher training, and I think that I would really benefit from being more consistent in my practice. Not to mention it's a damn good thing to do when you're stressed and worried about an ill family member. So do some yoga most days, don't stress if I skip around. Oh and BTW... I've got a recital video for you kids. ;-)
  11. Hello hello... update... I am back in the land of having a laptop! I'm no good at phone posting to NF. Just doesn't work. While I was out of town I.... Watched a couple youtube videos (crappy wifi, so it wasn't too great to browse videos on my phone). Reviewed some of my old training videos. Listened to the music I thought I was going to use (but now might change). Stretched my splits 4 times as well as I could (it's hard with no yoga blocks) & worked on my foot exercises 2 times. In the couple of days since I've been home, I took a performance workshop, while jetlagged and had my normal straps class. I ripped one of my fingers open in the workshop, so I didn't work on my piece at all in class.... I was just happy I could train at all with my finger taped. I don't have any more time scheduled on the straps until Saturday so hopefully the skin will heal up. The workshop instructor wants me to add in a drop to what I was working with, and I'm struggling over it. It's something I can do on fabric, but I haven't actually be able to do it even once on the straps because it's been so hot and humid and they grip against each other and I can't work out how to get into the position once the straps are stuck. So... that's annoying... especially since I know it's something I can do, but it's just three times harder on the straps. Today I'm going to do some work on my deer cages and possibly trimming back the feathergrass... it got soooooo many more seeds while we were out of town. Grrr....
  12. Hi there! So, my last challenge kind of died off. Right after the beginning of the challenge I found out my mom had cancer and things really kinda went downhill from there. I had two major infections then I had to help my mom through surgery and life was just... it wasn't happening. Once I got to feeling better I was able to get back to training, but the whole situation with challenge goals totally fell by the wayside. That's life. The good news is, things are looking up! First of all, my mom is in pretty good shape! (YAY!!!) She's got some follow up stuff to deal with that she'll need my help with but the big scary part of it is done, and prognosis still looks positive. The other good thing is that my circus school is having a recital! So I have something fun and exciting to plan for. Recitals are great because they're lower pressure than our showcases (which are pretty much a full 1-ring circus show performed by amateurs), but still a chance to practice putting together an act to show our friends, family & classmates. This is really nice for me because it gives me a great incentive to dive back in, while not having to be so stressed about my mom or my own health. PLUS, today actually marks 5 years since I started training in aerial, so I've got that to celebrate too. So... onto goals! Goal 1: Develop a 1.5-2 minute straps piece focusing on things I can do with my feet in the straps. Work on really polishing up what I can do, within my current skill level. I've been really holding back on working on performance stuff until I have more straps tricks... but I realized it would be good to refine what I have, so I have some grace and polish to bring to the table when I start to add more advanced work. Subgoal: Follow training schedule with extra act development workshops.Subgoal: Spend some time on reviewing music and getting ideas from friends & youtube.Subgoal: Use mental rehearsal techniques. Goal 2: Stretch my splits 4-5 times a week. The performance piece is going to need to use my left split. So I need to work on my left side oversplit and on regaining my right side flat split. (For whatever reason I woke up one morning in February with a cramp in my right glute and haven't been able to get my split back on that side ever since.) Goal 3: Work on my foot extension & expression 3 times a week. Goal 4: Get busy on my gardening goals. Planting time is coming up in late September and all the chaos so far this summer has really hamstrung me from getting stuff done. (I will post some pictures from last challenge soon.) I need to finish turning the wire mesh in my garage into deer protection cages for my plants.I need to work with our landscape guy to put in our retaining wall and finish clearing last year's storm debris.Once a week I need to prune the seed heads off the feathergrass.I need to start some preliminaries on the parts of the hillside that are going to be planted with wildflower seed. (I.E. water it to sprout the weed seeds and then remove weeds).Only one thing... I'm going to be away from my computer all next week, so hopefully I'll have a chance to keep up with the forum from my phone... otherwise, I'll check in again on Sunday August 3rd.
  13. Ok... update... Goal #1: After a few weeks of meetings with doctors who were really upbeat & positive, my mom met with the radiologist and it sunk in for her that she has to make serious decisions about radiation therapy and this is scary stuff. We talked for a while and she worked out a list of questions she wanted to call back and ask the radiologist about. I also made arrangements for a friend to watch my son while my hubs has a Dr. appointment so that I can stay down at my mom's through the end of the week after she has her surgery. (If she wants me there that long or if something goes wrong.) Goal #2: Went to straps class on Saturday & hand balancing on Monday. Ended up getting sick on Tuesday so rested the last two days. Have been eating well. Need to plan healthy food to pack when going to visit my MiL next week. Also, I signed up for the GMB Movement Multivitamin, I figured that would be a good thing to keep up training while things are a little hectic. Not as demanding as P-Bars, but still a little something new. Goal #3: Trench is dug! I'm going to do the liner today & take some pictures of my son and me goofing off in the trench and then start filling it in tomorrow. My goal is to have it filled in before we leave to visit my MiL. Non-goal: It was a goal in my original challenge to work on approaching straps with my body in a strong, positive posture (rather than slumping like the straps have already conquored me). It's not really a goal now, but I'm still keeping it in mind. Last Monday was a bad day for me in straps, we were learning a new-to-everyone move and I sucked at it. I had a lot of negative self talk and I'm sure that transfered to my posture. But Saturday was a different story... I was back to a positive mindset and working on good body positioning. Good reminder that sometimes I'm just going to have a shitty training session and it's best to just get back at it and do better the next time.
  14. Update: Please see page 1 of my challenge for updated goals.
  15. Ok... so yesterday I found out that my mom is having some health issues, and so I'm going to modify my challenge. Ye Olde Training Schedule is out, I'm not sure that I can follow it regularly while giving my mom the support & assistance she needs. My goal will simply be to train regularly, no matter what form that takes. I may dramatically re-work my challenge, or I may just be OK with not hitting the goals that I set out. We'll see, I need to know a little more about what she's going to need from me in terms of help. In the meantime, this morning I spent a couple hours just cleaning up a small corner of our yard that was a problem area. Right under our faucet was overgrown with lantana, filled up with dead bouganvillia blossoms and it would get all gross and muddy if the water dripped. I cleaned it up. Laid down gravel. And now it's nice and neat.
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