Today’s theme: Little steps make more progress than big jumps.
I’ve been reading several other blogs which decry “fitspiration” and “thinspiration” as little better than anorexia or bulimia campaigns. That’s fair. I won’t argue that point. I did, however, take issue with “strong is the new skinny” being another slogan for self hate. I admit my bias. The silks gym’s slogan is “strong is the new skinny”. Let’s face kinesthetic facts boys & girls. The more muscle mass a female body has, the less space it occupies. When I was doing CrossFit regularly, I actually gained weight because I gained muscle. However, people were constantly asking if I lost weight because I was more compact. I could also do a push up on my toes for the first time in my adult life. About the time I fell out of CrossFit, I started aerials. I still couldn’t do a pull up, but I was stronger than I’d ever been. I took great pride in being able to physically do things that seemed impossible before then. I was focused on what my body could do from day to day rather than obsessing over a dress size or the number of calories I was eating. Again, I concede there’s a very fine line between “fitspiration” and actual motivational slogans for alternative work outs like aerials, boxing, martial arts, and Olympic style power lifting, the latter three being rarely marketed towards women.
A while ago, Boy bought a pull up bar. We mounted it in the doorway between the living room and the bedroom. After a few days, it got taken down so I could close the door and not be disturbed by light or the TV. It never went back up again. I decided to do something about that today. I remounted it in the doorway and every time I pass from the living room into the bedroom or bathroom, I make myself do something. Whether it’s a straight arm hang for as long as I can hold myself up or hanging leg lifts, I do something before I finish walking through the door. When one is doing laundry and the washer and dryer must be accessed through the bedroom, that adds up to a lot of arm work during the day. When I finish an episode of TV (I’m currently bingeing on The Borgias) and before I start the next one, I get up and do 5 different exercises be it hanging for a few seconds with different grips or more hanging leg lifts. My grip usually gives up after 3-5 seconds. It’s still something. By the end of the day, I’ll have done around half an hour of arm & lower ab exercises. I attempted bicep curls with a 15 pound weight while I was stuck in the house last week. Doesn’t sound like a lot, right? I barely managed 5 reps and didn’t keep any kind of form trying to do the last few. If nothing else, it helps keep me on track until I can get back in the air. On that note, time to change the laundry.
ClusterFlake 2014 2.0 – Day 3
We have spotted land! Dry land! The weather gods have seen fit to bless us with sight of dry land and freedom! Tomorrow will be back to normal. Work is open and I’ll be able to get there without incident. Several school districts are still closed. Though I believe they’d already planned that since it’s a holiday weekend (President’s Day for my non US readers). At least I’ll be getting out of the house. I made a point of getting up and moving around yesterday and today. I did a 10 minute circuit of lunges, arm hangs, medicine ball sit ups, lower ab leg lifts, bicep curls, & high knees. I was panting by the end of it. Dance does not cardio endurance make. Today we got out and walked to Waffle House. There may have been my entire caloric intake for the day in the middle, but it was about a mile and a half walk total. At least I was moving and wasn’t inside. On the exercise note…
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I started taking circus classes almost 4 years ago. A mutual friend was part of the performance company and suggested I try it out. As with most things in my life, I kept up with it for a few months, then got distracted by something shiny or other circumstances. When the program started, it was 4 silks rigged in a rock climbing gym with a handful of classes available during the week. Since then, they’ve moved to a new space offering trapeze, partner acrobatics, lyra (aerial hoop), handstands & contortion, and pole (not that kind), in addition to the fabrics classes. While I’m one of the longest standing students, I’ve been inconsistent at best. Moving, job changes, epilepsy, and life in general seem to always get in the way right when I start to see progress. I’ve always had trouble with upper body strength and beat myself up for it constantly. I’m comparing myself to former gymnasts and pole (yes that kind) dancers with a serious edge.
As soon as my shiny new license comes in the mail, I’m on the road again. I’m in a position at work where I can largely come and go as I please provided it’s about 40 hours a week. I’ll be living in one place, not constantly switching half my life from one location to another. I’ve fought hard to keep my “level 2” status. I’ve felt like literally starting from the beginning in level 1 classes is admitting failure. This is ignoring the fact I’ve lost most of the terminology and virtually all the technique over the years. In my vast amounts of free time to think over the past few days, I’ve accepted that my body can’t handle the more advanced work. I don’t have the strength or endurance for it. Starting over isn’t admitting failure, it’s accepting where I am right now. It’s realizing I get to choose where this fits in my life. Most of the girls who took the same intro class I did are now performing professionally. I don’t have to live up to that standard. I don’t have to keep up with them. This is something I love to do because it’s fun, it’s a good workout, and I’ve always felt welcome and accepted no matter what my level. Sooner or later, I’ll make it up through the ranks. If they’re performing, I’m happy to go out and support them when I can. I don’t have to match them pose for pose and drop for drop. It all circles back to self acceptance. This is where I am. This is where I want to go. What anyone else is doing isn’t my business. As long as I keep getting up, doing my best, & leaving what doesn’t serve me behind, I’m on the right track.