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Sunday => HSPU training (challenge log)

 

Monday => flexi day + a bit of HS (seven / pike head in). I ordered a Swiss ball and it arrived yesterday. I had a bit of fun with it today. There are hip flexors stretches that I can do with the wall but it's not very nice, with the ball it was much better (still hard though, the right side in particular is very tight). The gentler ball play also helped with back bend work. It made me realise that I might have been a bit too brutal in my previous practice.... and it was not necessarily useful...

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Oh and Circus school is organizing outdoor classes, not aerial stuff obviously and I suspect it will be conditioning mostly but maybe handstands... They don't say who teaches and what's the plan really. I will go tomorrow night, bring my pbars and see how it goes.

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OMG I love the sock puppet, it's hilarious! 😄 If you still want to be able to move the mouth perhaps it'd be possible to have one lip rigid and the other on a hinge - stiff enough that if you move slowly it'd stay in place, and flap if you move the leg quickly? Or perhaps connect it with a string somehow so that when you moved your legs it'd flap? Though I'm not sure how that would work in e.g. straddle, it'd probably end up too complex.

 

2 hours ago, @mu said:

It made me realise that I might have been a bit too brutal in my previous practice.... and it was not necessarily useful...

I think that only training in one way, no matter the discipline, at some points becomes less useful. Personally I find a lot of value in moving softly through movements, for example soft floor acro that still uses full ranges. It also makes me think of the idea of muscle tone. Kit Laughlin talks about having low tone as a default, like a cat. If you only train in the hardcore way you might end up sort of overly rigid in the movements, despite being bendy, if that makes sense? Either way changing things up is never a bad thing when you've been training in the same way for a long time.

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21 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

OMG I love the sock puppet, it's hilarious! 😄 If you still want to be able to move the mouth perhaps it'd be possible to have one lip rigid and the other on a hinge - stiff enough that if you move slowly it'd stay in place, and flap if you move the leg quickly? Or perhaps connect it with a string somehow so that when you moved your legs it'd flap? Though I'm not sure how that would work in e.g. straddle, it'd probably end up too complex.

 

It has a hinge and it flaps outside the sock. Maybe when I sew it in properly it will flap again, I don't know, there is too much resistance from the stretch right now. I have thought about the string, moving either the mouth or arms when I flex the foot, it could work I think!

 

21 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

If you only train in the hardcore way you might end up sort of overly rigid in the movements, despite being bendy, if that makes sense? Either way changing things up is never a bad thing when you've been training in the same way for a long time.

 

My default is pretty much a bull mode. If I were to describe it in Laban terms, it would be: direct, pressing, strong, sustained :D The others like gliding, flicking, light, indirect etc.., I can do  but it's not what comes first, like, I have to train for it :P So maybe that stability ball will help working on that.

 

Tuesday

Press to HS with some head-in work in straight HS. And negs + crane work and leg raises (also did some straddle work in post-warmup because even if I don't do much aerial these days, I don't want to lose my invert). I removed blocks and flag training, I think it's just too much for my shoulders with pike presses twice a week. And I'm already over an hour with the cuts.

It was still a struggle bus session as they happen sometimes... Just meh... not too terrible, but  not good either.

 

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Tuesday evening was supposed to be circus school training outdoor but it started raining, cats and dogs as they say. And the e-mail said it would be cancelled if the weather was not up for it. So I didn't go. And 1/2h later, bam, circus school teacher calls me to ask about my registration and sorry about the e-mail actually we can have the class under the big top, they got permission for it, rain is no problem. Raaah. So silly because we were just 4 registered and if I recall correctly, that teacher does HS classes 😑 But at least for next week, I know.

 

Wednesday => rest

 

And some more puppetry work. I made a beak yesterday and added some layers of paint today:

 

20200610-beak.jpg.c0d36b6d44fa5c980584a91823e533d5.jpg

 

And here it is stuck in a sock. Sorry the lighting is awful, I took the pics in the evening and artificial lighting is a bit torrid in that yellow room. That one works well from profile, but front face is maybe hard to guess, but that might improve with more decoration like eyes and a big belly, some feathers.... It also moves a bit about but it's not glued yet, might be why.

 

20200610-bird.thumb.jpg.75e19cb2963ff96bb50f87be505ca059.jpg

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Thursday => HSPU training (challenge log)

Emmet's split training: pissing dog bent legs 5sLR x6 x 3 + weighted active side splits (3kgsx2)

 

+ some HS and I caught my self doing the Pisa tower!!  The camera was not super straight either but I think the lean is significant enough, here we go. It shows in my hips but it really is coming from below in the chain:

 

20200611-twist-01.jpg.84cd500a7e7eb4e3e76e4bd40b5cb966.jpg

20200611-twist-02.jpg.d69df7f976cab1d21f79a5532331d4e9.jpg

 

Then I tried to make sure my hands were LEVEL and I compensated by pushing into the left arm.

It felt rather unnatural and weird (the pushing part), and even when I was getting closer to straight, I could see that my hips were still more on my right:

 

20200611-twist-03.jpg.7867d07e78196185c32e72ce74ff105a.jpg

20200611-twist-04.jpg.89b6e1c21f219f7754abc7224e1362cd.jpg

20200611-twist-05.jpg.e9cdd656233ea56d416cb89a53782733.jpg

 

Then I had an idea and narrowed my pbarz to 33cm (background: in my early days I was at 40cm, I narrowed in the past months to 36 cm). And that fixed it:

20200611-twist-06.jpg.db375534a0918d48cc50ecab1a842212.jpg

 

Damn, that was a funny experiment. So it might not have been just my PVC bars.... although the flex might have aggravated the problem.

 

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2 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

🤣😍😂The bells are a brilliant touch.

 

:D they make a lot more noise than I thought!

 

I was pretty excited this morning, I gave it a flying try, and woowaa it's not so easy to balance! It's not really heavy.  Maybe it's the new volume, maybe it's just the brain having to adjust. I'm a bit shy with kicks because I fear falling over and destroying it.... It has happened though and the bird has survived. I had to re-glue the eyes and run after a bell once, but so far so good I'd say.

 

In straight HS, the face is still not super super visible, I have to bend a wee bit. I tend to always pike a wee bit as well, which is not helping, time to work on that!

But it would have been a lot worse with the face on the sole of the foot. That was a good change.

 

20200613-bird-straight-01.jpg.fe85feec54afacc7eeb50dba65bf64cd.jpg

 

20200613-bird-straight-02.jpg.edf3d3be40585f11f720deab16fe72f0.jpg

 

Tuck works GREAT

20200613-bird-tuck.jpg.ea498bfeb75ffddace62f4f9d3e1509f.jpg

 

Pity my camera is shite, the details of the puppet are not coming out much but that's how it is.

 

And here is some balancing bits, as you see, not so easy! Sound on if you want to hear the bells :P

 

 

 

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Too cute! 😄 What you could try to bring out the puppet more is to paint the inside of the beak a red or a purple for a bit of contrast, and some white highlight on the tip and ridge of the beak. If you put more dark feathers on the foot, like a feather 'fro, it will help in making the bells stand out more against the background too. But it already looks awesome, and it's visible from most angles, especially when the camera is a bit closer. Can't wait what you'll do with it! Do you have something planned already?

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1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

Too cute! 😄 What you could try to bring out the puppet more is to paint the inside of the beak a red or a purple for a bit of contrast, and some white highlight on the tip and ridge of the beak. If you put more dark feathers on the foot, like a feather 'fro, it will help in making the bells stand out more against the background too. But it already looks awesome, and it's visible from most angles, especially when the camera is a bit closer. Can't wait what you'll do with it! Do you have something planned already?

 

Great idea for the beak, I will work on it. What do you mean by "feather 'fro", I think I see what you mean but I don't know what it is, if it's a specific shape or not.

 

I might take this into a little challenge! It could be a fun way to explore my current skill set, so work on what I have rather than what I would like to have. That would be nice for a change :P

 

I have some long term idea, a vintage music track with 2 voices (one for each foot + flying theme) but it's a bit fast and to cover the first section of lyrics, I would need to be able to hold a 1mn+ HS on a very consistent basis and I'm not there yet :P.
But I can start low key first: build up some endurance and discover what moves work / don't. No music, no story yet. Just practice and discovery. And create a second training puppet. Sounds like a good challenge to keep the momentum!

 

Friday => REST

 

Saturday => Impromptu puppet HS, and because I was on my hands in the morning, I completely forgot about press to HS until late in the evening. Oops.

 

Sunday =>  HSPU training (logged in challenge) + Emmet's split training + tuck entry work + HS puppet endurance (~40s): close tuck (10s) open tuck (10s) straight (10s) straddle (10s).

 

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Perhaps something like these awesome chickens? 😍I don't have any specific shape in mind, just something that goes out to the sides so that the bells will always be viewed against a darker background.

 

polish-chicken-1024x585.jpg

 

Love your ideas, super fun song too! I like how you have both a long term stretch vision as well as a short term focus on what you can already do. Very smart.

 

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That puppet is great, I am looking forward to seeing where you go with it :) 

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Awesome chickens! I'll see what feathers could do, I don't really have dark ones. I have a lot of white feathers (a bag I brought from Tehran lolz, we used tons of feathers for one of the theatre shows, and I had a big bag left with me by the end of it, I thought I might make use of it one day... here we go :D ). And I have pastel ones that don't go that great with the sock colors to start with. I'll have to do some testing. It's the same with pompons, I only have bright colors, maybe I should get some white and black ones.

 

Monday => flexibility (hips, hams, hip flexors, back, shoulders), some HS puppet work (to be logged in new challenge), some seven head-in work. Some straddle up too. Not feeling super flexible today but it was ok. And head-in was mostly piking too much and failing the transition.

 

2 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

That puppet is great, I am looking forward to seeing where you go with it :) 

 

Cheers, let's where this creativity leak is taking me :D

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, @mu said:

Awesome chickens! I'll see what feathers could do, I don't really have dark ones. I have a lot of white feathers (a bag I brought from Tehran lolz, we used tons of feathers for one of the theatre shows, and I had a big bag left with me by the end of it, I thought I might make use of it one day... here we go :D ). And I have pastel ones that don't go that great with the sock colors to start with. I'll have to do some testing. It's the same with pompons, I only have bright colors, maybe I should get some white and black ones.

You could also keep the feathers light and paint the bells and pipe cleaners? Anything goes as long as the contrast is high. But it already looks awesome! I'm only throwing out ideas because I find compensating for the camera quality quite an interesting problem. :) 

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Tuesday => press to HS + tuck head-in workout

 

I'm also done with the tuck bit now, I managed 2 transitions free standing, one about 4-5s and one 10s.

 

straight head in entry from the wall 20s hold => straight free standing head in transition 5s hold (10s)  /done

tuck head in entry from the wall 10s hold => tuck head in entry from the wall 20s hold => tuck free standing head in transition 5s hold (10s) /done

pike head in entry from the wall 10s hold  => pike head in entry from the wall 20s hold => pike free standing head in transition 10s hold /done

 

Still not super consistent across all 3, but getting there. Next stage will be to start working on Shasha classic (a pike head in routine) and still keep some straight head-in practice too.

 

For some reason today I had a lot of SIDE bails, which is pretty odd for me. I usually bail in a bridge. But why not. I'm just a little worried that it's the Pisa tower causing this (rotating a tad bit to the right) and not a new useful skill coming up.

 

Press was ok, still struggling with puppy at about 7cm but above is fine. Still not leaning enough whatever the height though. I did some crane practice along with my negs and my current hold range is between 2 and 5s. I checked my logs and during P2 I was in the 20-30s range, so yeah something happened!

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Tuesday => a second practice session at Circus school in the evening, under one of the big tops - with openings to the sides so lots of circulating air. Teacher had a mask (for 2 hours and doing HS and flips with it, crazy!). We did not. We were all on 2 mats each with a fair amount of distance and everything was disinfected before and after.

 

I came with my pbarz and we did HS but I was a bit forced to do them on my hands because that teacher was a bit like “foundation first”. I did get a tiny bit of lecturing on that but I didn't mind much. I do expect to get that every so often about pbarz vs floor, and I do understand it too. I'm just a little too old to take it super duper seriously and I like pbarz too much :D  I rarely do floor HS on my own anyway so why not for a change. I actually started to get a few decent holds by the end.

 

We also did rolls and cartwheels and combos of both. I just don't get dynamic straight lines very well :D

 

And then bridges + drop backs and up. On those, it was a bit funny, the teacher told me to avoid controlling the whole descent like I do (too slowly apparently) because it is too much pressure on my spine at this stage. I was a bit confused there but basically he said that I should have my hands much closer to my feet in a bridge before controlling that much the descent.  I don't know how close. Since I blanked out a little, I didn't ask. I'll have to ask next time. I might be missing a middle progression? Tagging @Mad Hatter who might have some info about those things.

 

And then bridge to HS to back on my feet from an elevation. I seem to forget I have legs and that I can use their weight to help. That was a bit funny to realize how unaware of my legs I am when coming from a bridge into HS. Body was definitely confused.

The teacher told me to practice Mexicans against a wall if I don't have anything else (sliding stuff would be a bit dangerous). I'd like to but I am at my limit in terms of skills practice right now. Maybe once I've gained some head-in fluency.

 

I showed the puppet thing to the teacher and he was very encouraging and he told me about inversion acts: a HS where your hands are in trousers and your legs in a shirt. And I don't know what the head is, I don't recall seeing that recently, but I do have some kind of familiar picture in my head. Maybe in a clown act when I was much younger? I'm not sure, I couldn't find anything on YouTube yet because of course HS / inversion / trousers is just not discriminating enough these days :P

 

I saw some of my classmates too and I was so happy to see them again, we hanged out a little bit afterwards. Really enjoyed it!

 

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5 hours ago, @mu said:

he told me about inversion acts: a HS where your hands are in trousers and your legs in a shirt.

 

Inversion act inversions:

201360-At9yUlmh6OwdyBfPlAg1CLjxg3UO8HEij

 

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Sorry, I have no idea and can't make sense of his comment. If you can control it, surely that means you're both strong and bendy enough. If you'd been experiencing split headaches from the pressure, or had pain around the spine then it would've been a different story. But then again, my instinct in that case would not be to drop faster, but to switch to a different progression. Not to say that dropping fast is wrong, it just becomes a slightly different movement, gymnastics walkover style vs a strength movement. But to me the latter feels safer when learning as it's easy to lose articulation in the upper and mid-back when moving quickly. I might be missing something though. I've only really had one teacher in this area that I trust and she used drop backs less as a skill and more for building strength. And she would for example not let anyone get into cheststand unless you could lift into it. We'd still do tempo work, but only for safer exercises where gravity works against the movement rather than with the movement, like cobra/super man lifts. But I don't think it's just her approach, from what I've seen it seems to me like the approach to contortion is always control >> speed. So no I don't get it, whichever way I look at it. Is the teacher a contortion teacher? If yes they should be able to explain better, and if no, then maybe check in with another teacher.

 

Also I don't get the insistence that handstands on the floor is foundational. If p-bars is your apparatus of choice, then that is your foundation. If you wanted to do silks you wouldn't get put on a rope first because it's more foundational. And it's not like you're going to professional circus school. But I'm glad you had fun and that you're not taking the teacher too seriously! :D 

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2 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Inversion act inversions:

 

This is a hilarious pic for so many reasons 😂 ha ha thanks for sharing!

Does he actually have a hard on to keep the cap up? 🤣

 

1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

Not to say that dropping fast is wrong, it just becomes a slightly different movement, gymnastics walkover style vs a strength movement.

 

That might be it, he is into acrobatics mostly. And in fact, he can do walkovers but not back drops. He has a very neat bridge though.

And I think the little lecture was because he has had it too :P He did say in his earlier days he was working on higher level stuff without the required foundation. Which is not the same as doing HS on the floor vs pbarz of course, but I think it went into that angle in his head and some kind of projection took over.

 

There is a flexibility class I heard good things about but I have never been to yet. I'm not sure it's on these days.  I would really need an actual teacher in that area, I never really got proper hand-on feedback.

 

Wednesday => a bit of HS puppet (to be logged in challenge)

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54 minutes ago, @mu said:

That might be it, he is into acrobatics mostly. And in fact, he can do walkovers but not back drops. He has a very neat bridge though.

And I think the little lecture was because he has had it too :P He did say in his earlier days he was working on higher level stuff without the required foundation. Which is not the same as doing HS on the floor vs pbarz of course, but I think it went into that angle in his head and some kind of projection took over.

For being such a creative art form, I get the impression that circus schools are very traditional and regimented in their approach in many ways. To the point where people forget to question the whys. :) Either way, I'd perhaps more listen to his acro advice than contortion advice. A dropback is extremely basic and if he can't do that then, well...

 

Have you considered finding a teacher online or a private? It could be a good idea even if just for a consultation. Then again you're doing great on your own for the time that you're able to put in, your other training is keeping you quite busy! :D 

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47 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

A dropback is extremely basic and if he can't do that then, well...

I am too scared to even try them.  I can do a bridge fine, and can even back handspring, but falling down into a bridge just freaks me the heck out.  Even falling into a bridge from a handstand gives me the willies...

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4 minutes ago, WhiteGhost said:

I am too scared to even try them.  I can do a bridge fine, and can even back handspring, but falling down into a bridge just freaks me the heck out.  Even falling into a bridge from a handstand gives me the willies...

That's another reason why I much prefer the controlled approach.

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