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Alrighty, let's try this again. Last challenge ended mid-stride with busy life stuff and a slight overwhelming of the mental muscles. So, reset on challenge number 4 with different goals and a better outcome.

 

 

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My hand(s)!

 

Hands have been taking a beating (also feet, calves, hip flexors and lower back, but we'll focus on one thing at a time). Silks, motorcycles and lifting weights all put varying degrees of stress on the hands/fingers and mine are telling me they need some help.

Goal: Week 1: Find some kind of Happy Healthy Hands routine. Weeks 2-6: perform it 3 x week minimum.

 

 

dagobah.jpg

Train you must

 

I took some video of myself at an aerial open gym session a week or so ago. I've realized that I often look like a strung up fish when I'm hanging from the silks. Things need to look more intentional. Engaging my core and keeping my knees straight will be huge to improve this. In the meantime, let's do some work:

Hollow body holds: paperdoll militia has an awesome hollow body progression on their youtube channel. I'll work these up to three sets of 30 second holds at each progression, practicing them at the end of each weight lifting session

Straddle inverts: These are SUCH a basic silks move and mine look generally sloppy. paperdoll militia also has an awesome progression for these. We do these often during class as part of other sequences. My goal is to really focus on making these look nice rather than looking like a bunch of flailing. I'll be starting at the bottom with bent arm, bent knee inverts and once those are under control, move up from there.

 

 

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The cantina

 

I've said in the past that I wasn't going to make another alcohol-related goal, but I've gotten to the point that I'm a little worried about myself. As such, no after-dinner drinks on "school nights." An occasional drink after work with a friend or a beer while watching whatever sporting event on TV on Sunday is one thing. What I'm doing now is... not that and I don't like the excess and dependent feeling.

 

 

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Speeder bike

 

I love my motorcycle. Riding it is excellent therapy. Last year, we took a week's vacation solely on the bikes and I'd like to do that again. This is a two part life goal:

1. Ride to work once/week (weather permitting).

2. Solidify dates for moto trip toward the end of the summer in some awesome-to-ride location.

bonus points for taking rides on the weekends

bonus bonus points for an overnight moto trip/long weekend.

 

Also, I'm continuing to bulk slowly. I'm having a bit more mental trouble with it than I initially expected, but I think I have a handle on it at the moment.

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Yessss, back in action!

 

One thing that might help with form adjustments is just to ask one of the instructors or a peer to give you a verbal cue about things you need to fix WHILE you are doing it. Something like "toes" or "bent knees" or whatever you want to fix can help a lot to make adjustments in the moment but it is something a lot of people want to be explicitly asked to do or look out for because not everyone wants that kind of attention or critique. 

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Yessss, back in action!

 

One thing that might help with form adjustments is just to ask one of the instructors or a peer to give you a verbal cue about things you need to fix WHILE you are doing it. Something like "toes" or "bent knees" or whatever you want to fix can help a lot to make adjustments in the moment but it is something a lot of people want to be explicitly asked to do or look out for because not everyone wants that kind of attention or critique. 

This is a good idea. We all stand around watching each other as we swap off turns on the apparatus, so it would be super easy to ask a classmate to remind me to point my toes (or whatever) while I'm doing something. With three students simultaneously trying to learn new skills, our instructor doesn't always have enough eyes to give that level of feedback every time.

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Good and sensible goals, good luck with the challenge!   I'm going to be working a bit on hollowing holds too, so I'll check out Paperdoll militia - thanks!

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Perfecting basics is always a worthwhile endeavour. :) It doesn't matter how flashy moves one can pull, you can always tell the quality of the performance from the invert on silks, or swing on trapeze, or basic steps in dance.

 

Look forward to your challenge!

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Following!  I want to check out the hollow holds bit from Paperdoll Militia.  (They are sooooo gorgeous BTW.)

 

The thing with straddle-ups.  They suck (or at least they did for me for a LOOOOOOONG ass time, I had a good solid hip-key for like 6 or 8 months that I could not get a straddle-up).  But practicing with really good form is important.  If you need to bend your legs, make it intentional,  bend your knees, point your toes, and get in the rhythm of extending them purposefully at the end of your straddle up.  Once you get a little stronger with them, message me and I can send you a really good training drill from one of my instructors.  

 

This is a good idea. We all stand around watching each other as we swap off turns on the apparatus, so it would be super easy to ask a classmate to remind me to point my toes (or whatever) while I'm doing something. With three students simultaneously trying to learn new skills, our instructor doesn't always have enough eyes to give that level of feedback every time.

 

How many points do you guys have in use for each instructor?  

 

And yeah, hands/wrists take a hammering.  I'm with you on that one.  

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Good and sensible goals, good luck with the challenge!   I'm going to be working a bit on hollowing holds too, so I'll check out Paperdoll militia - thanks!

Hi there! It's under their Aerial ABCs series (wish they had more of those!)

 

Perfecting basics is always a worthwhile endeavour. :) It doesn't matter how flashy moves one can pull, you can always tell the quality of the performance from the invert on silks, or swing on trapeze, or basic steps in dance.

 

Look forward to your challenge!

hey, hi! Yeah. Taking some video of myself was a bit humbling... Hey look at this cool thing!...that looks like crap because I had a micro bend in my knees and my toes were all splayed out. 

 

Following!  I want to check out the hollow holds bit from Paperdoll Militia.  (They are sooooo gorgeous BTW.)

 

The thing with straddle-ups.  They suck (or at least they did for me for a LOOOOOOONG ass time, I had a good solid hip-key for like 6 or 8 months that I could not get a straddle-up).  But practicing with really good form is important.  If you need to bend your legs, make it intentional,  bend your knees, point your toes, and get in the rhythm of extending them purposefully at the end of your straddle up.  Once you get a little stronger with them, message me and I can send you a really good training drill from one of my instructors.  

 

 

How many points do you guys have in use for each instructor?  

 

And yeah, hands/wrists take a hammering.  I'm with you on that one.  

Straddle ups... I never really realized there was a progression with them until my instructor said "if you don't have a good straddle, bend your knees to make a diamond because it looks better, then extend them." Uh, yeah. I wish I'd known this 6 months ago before I had sloppy bad habits. Now I will go back and do them properly. :)

 

Our class has ~7 people, 3 sets of silks, one main instructor and sometimes the girl that works the desk (also an aerialist) will come keep an extra set of eyes out. I'm usually not the one at risk of falling on my head or strangling myself, so I don't get quite as much attention as some of the other students. I'd like to move up to the next level of difficulty, but that class really doesn't work with my schedule. Private lessons are probably in my future if the class schedule stays the same. 

 

Hands... It took me a really long time to figure out why the middle knuckle on my middle fingers was sore. I finally correlated it to peaking the day or two after class. Everything else means they don't get much recovery time so they sore most of the time now. :\ I should take a week or two and rest them completely, probably.

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Wheee!!! Commuting by motorcycle instantly makes the day better. :)

 

Second day in a row that the weather's been agreeable to moto-ing in to work and it's fabuluous!

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Now that's a nice nerdy theme. I can appreciate that!

 

This looks like a fun challenge- incorporating all the things you really love and to make things better: happy hands, silks and motorbikes. :) Just don't try them all at the same time, though a silk-motorbike routine would be pretty awesome.

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Now that's a nice nerdy theme. I can appreciate that!

 

This looks like a fun challenge- incorporating all the things you really love and to make things better: happy hands, silks and motorbikes. :) Just don't try them all at the same time, though a silk-motorbike routine would be pretty awesome.

:)

I don't usually do a theme, but somehow this one came together pretty easily.

 

After last time's bail out, I'm hoping that focusing on things that I already do (just doing them better) will help me feel like the challenges are building good things into my life rather than just becoming tasks that I do for 6 weeks then drop.

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Straddle ups... I never really realized there was a progression with them until my instructor said "if you don't have a good straddle, bend your knees to make a diamond because it looks better, then extend them." Uh, yeah. I wish I'd known this 6 months ago before I had sloppy bad habits. Now I will go back and do them properly. :)

 

Our class has ~7 people, 3 sets of silks, one main instructor and sometimes the girl that works the desk (also an aerialist) will come keep an extra set of eyes out. I'm usually not the one at risk of falling on my head or strangling myself, so I don't get quite as much attention as some of the other students. I'd like to move up to the next level of difficulty, but that class really doesn't work with my schedule. Private lessons are probably in my future if the class schedule stays the same. 

 

Just make sure those toes are pointed when you bend & extend your knees.  And honestly, it's probably not better that you didn't know it 6 months ago.  Sometimes when you're starting out with something you can get totally overwhelmed with information.  But if you're at the tipping point between getting it and not getting it, the "bent legs then extend" technique can make a huge difference.  (Also you've spent a pile of time training straight leg, so you won't be so fully conditioned to the bent legs and have to break that habit.)

 

I tend to like a class ratio of about 2 people per point/silks for rotations, so that's good.  Otherwise you spend too much time resting.  Privates can be hard if you're not conditioned well enough because you're working the WHOLE TIME, except when you're discussing technique.  I usually only use them if I'm doing a showcase or if I have a particularly crazy schedule problem.

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Just make sure those toes are pointed when you bend & extend your knees.  And honestly, it's probably not better that you didn't know it 6 months ago.  Sometimes when you're starting out with something you can get totally overwhelmed with information.  But if you're at the tipping point between getting it and not getting it, the "bent legs then extend" technique can make a huge difference.  (Also you've spent a pile of time training straight leg, so you won't be so fully conditioned to the bent legs and have to break that habit.)

 

I tend to like a class ratio of about 2 people per point/silks for rotations, so that's good.  Otherwise you spend too much time resting.  Privates can be hard if you're not conditioned well enough because you're working the WHOLE TIME, except when you're discussing technique.  I usually only use them if I'm doing a showcase or if I have a particularly crazy schedule problem.

thanks for the tips! I have ZERO experience with dance/gymnastics/anything so the whole good leg line/pointed toes/make it look pretty is alien to me. 6 months in, I'm finally starting to pay attention to how it looks, rather than just muscling through in any old sloppy way.

 

My conditioning is okay, but still a solid hour of work would probably kill me. :) Ideally, I'd find another person to split cost/time with as my studio charges the same for private lessons with one or two students.

 

 

Bonus: I've found another silks studio down the street! They are cheaper, though it seems like perhaps less organized. Or maybe just haven't been teaching silks for quite as long... it seems like this is a new expansion to their other classes: stage combat, fencing, acro, etc. Next week is the "rest" week between sessions at my main studio, so I may do a drop in class at the new place to check it out. Exciting!

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Woo! Awesome weekend. Well, the awesomeness actually started on Thursday:

 

Thursday: motorcycle to work

Friday: motorcycle to work. Met up with hubs afterward and got an hour or so ride together before heading home.

Saturday: morning motorcycle ride before it got super hot, got home, worked out, hung around the house, then went out for another ride, to get dinner, rode around a bit (first time riding in the dark!), then home.

Sunday: not as awesome, lots of laundry and I got called in for a work emergency which I'm dealing with the aftermath of today.

Today: Silks class in, uh, 4 hours!

Tomorrow: haircut, so scheduled workout will get bumped to Wednesday

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Silks tonight was most excellent.

Practiced pretty straddle ups with bent arms and bent legs

Did a couple really pretty hip keys with straight knees and pointed toes

Asked the girl who works the front desk to keep an eye on my toes/knees while I was working on several of the skills. I think I did better.

At the end of class we did some hollow body work, so that worked out perfectly with my goals.

Also, I'm going to do my happy hands routine as soon as I'm done with this post.

All in all, good first day.

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Sounds like a good start. Once upon a time, you mentioned that your silks gym was doing showcases. Is that still on the plate?

 

I'm not putting pressure on you. Except that you need to do it. :)

 

Fitter-Healthier-Stronger-push-yourself-

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Sounds like a good start. Once upon a time, you mentioned that your silks gym was doing showcases. Is that still on the plate?

 

I'm not putting pressure on you. Except that you need to do it. :)

 

Fitter-Healthier-Stronger-push-yourself-

 

 

Quirky is correct. :tongue:

I think they are? I've asked to be put on the list to contact when they're hunting for performers, but I've yet to hear anything. Since last night was last class for this session, I'll ask at the beginning of next session (week after next) and find out the scoop.

 

I did, however, get put on the spot last night by our "assistant instructor" last night to demonstrate the sequence we've been working on this session for our substitute instructor. So, impromptu performance for a small group of people I'm familiar with plus one stranger. That counts, sort of?

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YAY for motorcycles. I ride one too, and just popping in to say that. and um, to follow.

Hey, hi! Definitely YAY for motorcycles. What kind of bike do you have? How long have you been riding?

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Updates:

Work has been nuts this week and the weather has been crappy. So much rain. Again.

 

This means that I have not ridden into work at all (fingers crossed for tomorrow) and that I cancelled my Tuesday haircut and skipped yesterday's planned workout. I crashed out on the couch at about 9p instead.

 

On the plus side, I've gotten in 2/3 hand rehab routines for the week.

 

Aaaand, despite crappy work days, I had no after-dinner drinks this week. One beer on Tuesday to go with some steaks and other grilled yumminess, but that was as a meal accompaniment, not a 9.30 night cap. I'm happy with that.

 

Today will be a workout day regardless.

Tomorrow, the weather is supposed to be great (and slightly cooler) so I'm optimistic about the possibility of a moto-commute. Maybe I can meet up with hubs after work again and we can get a little ride in.

Also on the docket for today is to reschedule said haircut since I currently bear more than just a passing resemblance to a mop. Humidity = not my friend. Hair ties = complete necessity.

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That's good on the no Night caps :)  I hope the weather agrees with your plans for tomorrow too.

 

As for the humidity, I find it depends on what products you use in your hair.  I've found that with more professional shampoos (read holy crap expensive, but lasts longer) I don't need to worry as much about humidity during the crappy weather days.  Another thing that helped was doing moisturizing masks once a week.  It's not 100% perfect but you won't be mistaken for a mop head anymore :P

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FFFFRIIIIIDDAAYYYY!!!

 

 

 

Moto-commuting for the win! :D Success for week 1!

 

That's good on the no Night caps :)  I hope the weather agrees with your plans for tomorrow too.

 

As for the humidity, I find it depends on what products you use in your hair.  I've found that with more professional shampoos (read holy crap expensive, but lasts longer) I don't need to worry as much about humidity during the crappy weather days.  Another thing that helped was doing moisturizing masks once a week.  It's not 100% perfect but you won't be mistaken for a mop head anymore :tongue:

I think this is true. I recently switched from Bumble & Bumble to Pantene to be easier on the wallet, and I think I'm paying for it with crazy hair now. The bumble and bumble was nice, but sooo expensive and I felt like I had to use a lot of it (hard water) to get my hair cleaned or conditioned appropriately. I wonder if just a nice leave-in conditioner would help at all.. Of course, going in and out of my helmet doesn't help much either.

 

Leg workout last night, with hollow body hold practice at the end. Next week, I think I'll try to lower my feet a bit and see if I can still maintain. Or, I'll go to hands and feet high. Not sure which is supposed to be easier, actually...

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FFFFRIIIIIDDAAYYYY!!!

 

 

 

Moto-commuting for the win! :D Success for week 1!

 

I think this is true. I recently switched from Bumble & Bumble to Pantene to be easier on the wallet, and I think I'm paying for it with crazy hair now. The bumble and bumble was nice, but sooo expensive and I felt like I had to use a lot of it (hard water) to get my hair cleaned or conditioned appropriately. I wonder if just a nice leave-in conditioner would help at all.. Of course, going in and out of my helmet doesn't help much either.

 

Leg workout last night, with hollow body hold practice at the end. Next week, I think I'll try to lower my feet a bit and see if I can still maintain. Or, I'll go to hands and feet high. Not sure which is supposed to be easier, actually...

 

Yea I noticed it when I bought the small Pureology Red shampoil and conditioner.  They still feel half full, but yet my huge bottles of tres Semme are emptying quickly without the same results.  I'm using about 3 times the Pureology each shower :/  I've never tried a leave-in conditioner so I can't really give input on that. Or on the helmet.  Although if you have one of these

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it might help.  At least that's what one woman at the craft kiosk was saying...

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Feet closer to the ground is harder if you are in a nice hollow, IMO. 

 

I have pretty awful hair, but Neutrogena has a nice hair mask that helps repair all the abuse I give it. 

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