Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Being brave enough to suck (thoroughly) at something new ;)

Alright, so I decided that w the start of Sept, I should get my life back under some semblance of control (my keyboard, however, disagrees and the letter 'n' stopped functioning a few weeks ago.  So it's a ctrl-v for me, but I'm a touch typist so super-frustrating as I'm often way past before I realize an n was involved.  All that to say, please ignore ridiculous typos.)

So school still exists.  Final term!  And it's a lot less than fun.  But I decided I couldn't let it be my WHOLE life anymore.   So two things - new fitness routine and a new hobby of some sort.  Fitness was easy - I have all the gear after several years of collecting little bits at a time, so I signed back up for Beachbody and picked a routine I've had reasonable success with.   Two key criteria: short workouts and short commitment.  I'm much better at doing three, three-week programs than one nine-week one, esp when starting out.  I accept this and move on.   Had a friend doing it with me but she had to stop due to injury :(  Sad.  Anyways - those are going very well and I'm quite happy with the results.  I'm not at all happy w how far I've slipped but at least moving the right direction now.

For the new hobby, I wanted to find something that I didn't have access to anywhere we've lived before.  Something that might make here slightly more appealing.  I tried swimming...  Fail.  I tried adult gymnastics - actually found one, but I really didn't love their coms, and couldn't get any concept of their program, and the only timeslot was 8-9 on Sat nights and it was a 14-week commitment.  So overall, I was less inclined.  Then I looked up the indoor skydiving, which C and I did in Niagara once.  I recall it being fun and a reasonable workout.   Yeah no - they are strictly for tourists.  Zero reasonable packages or groups for people actually wanting to learn or do on any regular schedule.  Sad.

And then I remembered Arial Silks.   I've tried this twice before (I just looked it up - in 2010 and 2012 if you want to see what I'm talking about), both times in Toronto and both times when I was uber fit.  Lol but I enjoyed it, so maybe?   So I googled and sure enough, there's a school in Niagara Falls.   At the time their website said they had adult classes, but had no classes listed, so I was afraid they might've been a victim of COVID.  But when I checked back a couple weeks later there were classes!  Woohoo!  And the website *really* wasn't working well but eventually I got signed up.  7 weeks on Wed nights.   Starting today.

This is on the home page of the school I signed up with.
We lear
ned this move today.  Suffice to say, it did not look like this!

So there were eight of us in the class.  It is definitely an all-levels class 😂  One was far and away better than any of the rest, with two others being what I'm going to class as strong intermediate (how do I know what levels are for this stuff?!?!  Expert-chicky was doing super-impressive falling from the ceiling in the most graceful manner and stopping inches above the ground.  The other two were starting the spinning and dropping and impressive in their own right, just clearly not *quite* the same level).  Myself and two others were complete beginners, and the last two I'd say somewhere inbetween us and the int crew?  I get the impression they had done lessons before but several years ago.  So brushing off rust.

Warmup involved a series of back summersaults (on the silks of course!) and hanging upside down.  lol so let's just dive right in!  Us beginner crew had a knot tied in our silks, so this was not at all hard, just made me slightly dizzy!  But the others were doing it with no knot - thus nothing to flip over and needing to hold themselves up.  We then abandoned the silks to do some stretching and such.   All but one other person are vastly more flexible than I.  One of the other beginners is a gymnast.  I suspect 3/4 of the class are either gymnasts or dancers.  That grace and flexibility doesn't exist in adults who haven't had many years of training.

Then was on to learning stuff.  Our instructor set the people who knew what they were doing to practicing stuff and then came to us.  The first step was learning how to tie a knot around our foot, and then to climb. She acknowledged this is one of the more difficult ways to climb, but the knot around the foot is a base skill required for a lot of others, so she wanted us to practice it.  I really struggled to climb this way, but got reasonably confident with the knot at least.  

This is how you do the knot according to Wiki How
The fu
n part is doing it around the second foot, while in the air...

Then we did some weird twisty thing which I actually got?!?!  lol I'm still not sure how that worked but okay!  It requires a fair amount of back flexibility though, so while I could do 1 twisty-thing (I'm sure it has a real name but I'm equally sure I don't know what it is) the second one hurt, and there was no way I had the flexibility for the third (they're cumulative).   Getting untangled from that - esp the first time, was a whole lot less than graceful and left me laughing.     

This is the end result of the weird twisty thing at the level I did it;
Each time you repeat it, the back arch becomes more 
significant (see above pic).

Then the next one.  Oh dear god.  It started with put both your feet in their knots - okay, that's a skill in itself - one is doable, but the 2nd one is a bit of a challenge.   Then just go into the splits, then...   Well suffice to say this is when we learned I'm far too sarcastic for this group 😂   Oops.   I had to tell the coach not to be concerned or take me seriously ;-P   But I also had to tell her there was zero possibility of me doing the splits successfully.  Ummm that is something I couldn't even do as a child.   So coach told me I could still do it it'd just be harder, the higher up I was and might restrict how many iterations (again, cumulative).  Sure.  lol I did manage what she was asking...?  Sort of ;)   But only one step worth and I'm pretty sure you need two just to start most of the moves *sigh*.   We'll see ;)   

Yeah no.

So we did a bunch of practicing of these new skills, in-between watching the brilliance going on on the other side of the room.  I'm surprised by how much my fingers hurt!  We were warned we might feel like we have horrible arthritis for the next few days.  Also the foot with the knot around it is the opposite of comfortable, and I'm sporting a lovely rope burn that I'm still not entirely sure how I  earned it (it had to be in the twisty-thing cause that was the only time my rope went behind my arm, but still).  And of course pure core and upper body to haul yourself up.  So yeah - might be feeling it tomorrow.  Apparently your feet get used to being squished pretty quickly, and C has grips to strengthen, well, grip, so I'll borrow those ;)

We finished by tying most of the silks out of the way and turning two sets into trapezes (I definitely double checked that plural with Google ;)).  Theory was and jump super high a couple times (with a back arch on then back swing) and then just flip yourself over.  lol now the flippy flippy moves were the ones I did best on earlier (turns out I like being upsidedown - not something that was ever applicable in riding!) and of course this *looked* super-easy when all the others did it...  Yeah, not so much.  I *could* at least get a good swing and rhythm going - which was more than the other beginners, so I'm deeming that a win, but there was *zero* chance I could get my legs anywhere over my head :(    I honestly thought laws of physics would've made it easier with the motion, but, well, physics has never been my friend ;-P   Anyways - I was also exhausted by that point so I admittedly didn't try that many times.   I'm sure there will be other opportunities.

Biggest downside is that evening activities for me mean I won't sleep.  I come home wired and am up for hours.  Oh well - this week a blog post, maybe next week I'll be productive and put effort into my paper.