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!