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circusMAMA blog

my account of balancing motherhood, circus, and sanity

Month

April 2016

Smallshow Recap

Last week was crazypants. First was Saturday’s performance, which ended up being unexpectedly hard on my body. Then we had  rehearsals Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday and I had trapeze class Tuesday morning. The show ran Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday matinee, and Sunday night.

I am super exhausted but the shows went really well. We sold out the first two shows and then had smaller but decent crowds for the Sunday shows. The theme was radical self-acceptance and we tried to get at that by performing pieces that were about either the struggles we have faced or how we have handled those struggles. My piece was specifically about having dislocating knees and asthma, but also about how circus allowed me to change from seeing myself as weak to strong, fit, and able.

When I choreographed my piece 6 weeks ago, it was really hard for me. By Friday though, it felt disappointingly simple. After running it back to back though, I’m glad that it was easier because I successfully performed it each time. I got stuck in a foot flag to layana on the first run, but just made it work with my piece. I did some break down before the next show and figured out why I was getting stuck, and now I understand the move better.

In general, my piece was well-received, although unfortunately the person before me actually hurt himself in rehearsals, and it felt a bit contrived to be pretending to be hurt immediately after someone who actually was. All in all, I was so happy to have been involved in this performance, and am excited to see what we come up with for our summer smallshow.

I don’t really have pictures and such from the event yet, since the show was just over yesterday, but I’ll post some images as they start popping up.

Brains and Bodies

Oh man. I thought I had the body negativity under control by being aware of it. My first big show back is in two days and it is hitting full force. I think the good thing about having awareness is being able to say, “Ok brain-chatter, I hear you but you are not a real assessment.” The truth is, my weight loss has slowed to infinitesimal. I’ve really not lost anything significantly measurable in the last 3 months. That being said, I know that last week I was taking it in stride and felt comfortable in my skin. I’m eating healthily, exercising regularly, increased my training in preparation for the shows, and am still breastfeeding. I know that I have to just let my body do what it is going to do, and I feel confident in a routine that was a challenge for me four weeks ago. This lets me know that despite being a work in progress, the vitriol my brain is spewing is a product of nerves and should be ignored, not indulged.

Recovering after a baby, much less after a c-section, can seem like such a landmine. A pregnant friend commented to me a few weeks ago, that one of her acquaintances had said that she “had her body back” after a c-section in 3 months, and from the pregnant side of the glass 3 months seems like a long time. It’s a whole trimester! I remember so clearly after Z was born reading that other aerialists took 6 months to a year to get back to feeling ready to perform and just crying. After 9 months of an incredibly uncomfortable pregnancy, followed by a c-section, the thought that I would need to wait almost as much time again until I felt normal seemed like more than I could handle. (And, you know, post-partum emotional rollercoaster probably had something to do with that.) Now, I’m not knocking anyone who recovers in that quickly, and for some people I’m sure it’s possible, but I am not one of those people. At almost 8 months post-partum, I am just starting to feel like I’m living in a familiar body. I now have a clean pike over onto a 6’ high trapeze, I have a hit-or-miss meathook, and I am progressing in new skills. My abs have grown strong enough that I can reach up out of an ankle hang and grab the bar and my muscles are generally following a predictable pattern of fatigue so that I’m not constantly afraid that they are going to cut out and leave me stuck or falling.

In other news, I had beautiful circus pictures taken by the lovely and talented Emma Katz, and really am happy with the way they turned out. I also performed a small piece at Emerge ABQ’s “ShowOff,” which was a ton of fun. I ended up being the very first act, which is always a little nervousing, and had to improvise almost the whole piece, because the lyra ended up being about 18” off the stage floor. Still, I had a blast and it seemed to be well-received.

My body seems to be having a hard time the last couple of weeks. We’ve had a cycle of sick sweep through. I only got the first wave, but my daughter got both, the baby got sick, allergies are in full swing, and I think my system is just fighting hard to not get sick again. I also think that any time I increase the amount of aerial activity I do, my body takes a while to get used to it. Right now I am covered in some pretty gnarly bruises, and my muscles and joints are pretty grumpy at me. Next week, after the show, I plan on taking a week of easy training to let myself recoup. I’m also going to start teaching a beginning lyra class at the Albuquerque Aerialist Collective, and am so excited to be back to teaching.

All the things! All the time!

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