Begin where you are…It’s something I have to repeat to myself like a mantra when I start to struggle with my physical challenges and especially my aerial circus training.  Perhaps it’s something I need to repeat to myself when the inner game becomes a challenge, as well.  It’s not only a reminder that I shouldn’t compare myself or my learning timeline or my backslides to others who are better or faster or making forward progress.  But, it’s also a reminder that some days climbing to the ceiling will feel like clilmbing a never-ending mountain.  Other days will be simpler and I’ll bring fluidity, grace, and ease to my training.
This week's aerial silks and hoop shots.

This week’s aerial silks and hoop shots.

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Sometimes it feels like I am constantly struggling with the same challenges and fighting myself.  I have even stopped writing and blogging because it seems like I’ll bore readers with my repetition and struggle.  It sometimes feels like I announce one step forward and then I take 10 steps back so it’s a bit embarrassing, to be honest.   Encouraged by my lovely friend (and author) Lindsay Mason, I’ve decided to continue share the bumpy journey, even if I tend to stumble over the same rocky path.  Being human, we all experience struggles that tend to repeat themselves, even if they have different names.
I realize that today, this moment, is what I’m experiencing.  Goals, ambitions, improvement and new skills are great, but it’s not helpful to beat myself up when I have a rough day or even a rough streak.
Where am I TODAY?
Where are you today?
                                Begin where you are, in this moment.

It’s showtime again.  I’ve got a movie for you…(if you’re technologically savvy or a computer geek, maybe you can assist me with my difficulties after being entertained.  See section below marked “For the Computer Geek”)

One of my new coaches, Danielle, is now performing on the 2nd and 4th Fridays at Sababa Restaurant in Long Beach and I love to attend.  A) Free aerial show! B) Cool Ambiance/Date Night Place C) Independently-Owned Small Business D) YUMMMMMMY!  Here’s some photos from the restaurant and our meal so you can get a better idea of the awesomeness.  We enjoyed the hummus and pita (simple but yummy) and ahi tar tar (so fresh plus healthy and tasty)!

hummus, ahi tar tar and cool swirly column

Hummus, Ahi Tar Tar and cool swirly column

 

And now on with the show:

 

If you’re not a computer nerd, this is the end.  Thank you for watching and please subscribe, if you dare.

For the Computer Geek:

Being the technolame-0 that I sometimes am, it’s been a challenge to get it processed for the blog and actually just locate the log into my correct YouTube account.  Having multiple gmail accounts can be a blessing and a curse as it allows for flexibility but sometimes complicates other apps owned by Google (such as YouTube) and knowing where to log in and log out correctly to make the proper channel work.  I think I’ve figured that out.  But, as I write this I’m uploading a video from my iphone directly to YouTube and I’m not sure it’s going to show up in the correct channel as the only option I can see in the YouTube app linking directly from my videos is to post to one account and not different channels within that account.

If anyone out in Cyberland knows of a good iphone app for video editing which will allow me to keep the video in vertical form and brighten the video, please let me know.  I understand vertical video is a general no-no but I really need to show aerial videos in vertical format because the artform itself is vertical and you lose so much of it in standard widescreen form.  The itunes store has left me disappointed in my search.

All the above said, I’m going to post the following video directly to YouTube and embed it here without fancy editing for your enjoyment…

This just in: my video posted to the YouTube channel that I wanted it to plus YouTube suggested automatic enhancements to make it easier to view (ie: brightening the video).  Magic!  Still I’d like recommendations for a good app where I can edit from my phone.  I don’t think I could do the edits on YouTube from my phone.

 

 

Pull-up Progress!  It seems somewhat miniscule since I still feel exhausted after practice (went to open practice on Monday and had my first class in about a month, today), but I’m celebrating small victories here.

A few weeks ago I put my pull-up bar in my doorway and I try to do around 10 pull-ups per day.  Usually they start with me standing on my toes and lifting my body starting from a slight bend in my arms.  I’ll do one.  Rest. Do another.  Rest.  Maybe do one more.  This will continue at various points throughout the day.  Sometimes I get to ten in a day.  Sometimes it’s only 5 or so.  Until a couple weeks ago, I couldn’t do a full pull-up from a straight arm hang, legs completely off the floor.  Since, I started this new (almost) daily practice, that has changed!  One day, after practicing for about a week and a half,  I bent my legs off the floor and straightened my arms.  I made sure to engage my shoulders down and then I pulled.  I made it all the way up and back down in a controlled manner.  Yay!  But, I couldn’t do a second one without letting go and resting for a moment.  But, within a few days I found I could do two in a row.  And now, I can do three without touching the ground or resting!  That’s huge for me since I’ve never been able to do consecutive pull-ups.  I still feel, awkward, heavy, and clumsy in these classes full of dancer bodies, but I’m getting stronger.  So, I have to give myself credit for that.  It’s baby steps forward…progress.

 

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A few pics of the silliness in class today.

 

You’re never too old…?

Posted: 16th September 2013 by @CircusofHumaniT in Uncategorized

I haven’t figured out how to correctly embed a video right into a post.  I keep attempting to but it hasn’t worked yet.  I’ve been having a rough time with my conditioning and fitness lately and am still having shoulder challenges to some degree.  I needed to be reminded that every day is a new day and despite a disappointing weigh-in, I can start fresh.

I’m not going to waste any more time.  I obviously have some practicing to do.  This woman is amazing and puts me to shame.

Thanks to the newly engaged Theresa for sharing the motivation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=aZjljqReu1I

Go forth and be awesome!

Every once in awhile I have a moment of sanity.  It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I try to record that moment so I can revisit it when I need a booster shot of sanity.  Sanity shows up wearing different hats: as wisdom which sinks in and can be recalled in a tough moment, in being able to laugh at myself when the only other option is to cry, and in enjoying the passage of time (Thanks, Robin, for that last one).  These are all simple yet so difficult for me.

Last week (or two) was hard.  Last week was hormonal.  Last week was #FoodMonsterInsaneGirl.

This week is easier.  This week is calmer.  This week is saner.

Recently, I asked Facebook Friends who are Athletes and Semi-Pro/Pro Physical Performers this question:

What are your best tips for excelling at a sport in the shortest amount of time?

The only 2 matching answers surprised me:

Be Present

 Really?  I was surprised.  It’s good advice (hard for me to follow, especially in the times of insanity when I most need it)…but not what I expected to hear from physical performers with regarding to physical training tips.  One of them is a world champion Acrobat, as well as someone who inspires me and exudes love and wisdom (and adorableness).  So, I always take an extra moment to ponder his advice.  (Arthur has been mentioned in past posts.  However, the amazing abs photos aren’t showing up when I view the archived posts.  Do they show up for you?)  The other advisor of focusing on the present moment is the fiery Shoshanna (she literally dances with fire and has 2 adorable twin daughters).  Hmm, that answer suddenly makes a lot of sense given her performance props (flaming hula hoops and poi).  I guess one really has to focus on the present when one is playing with fire.

As part of my on-going attempt to progress, despite what sometimes feels like tripping over my self created obstacles or spiraling backward, I am taking this advice to heart.  I’ve been meditating semi-regularly or at least listening to my Immrama Insight brainwave cds as I drift off to sleep (more on this in a future post).  I’ve been acknowledging my gratitude and awe for the sights and sounds of the ocean from my balcony.  I pet my kitten and get lost in the soft, purry moment.  I went back to yoga.  I try to give thanks for the amazing things my body can do whenever my thinking shifts to its limitations.  I am grateful for my loving husband Kyle who continues to put up with my sane and insane moments, as well as my close friends who do the same.

Today’s zen circus ‘Moment of Silly Sanity’ was after my 3rd aerial class with the incredible Ricca.  Since I haven’t been able to take classes as much as I would like, I’ve tried to get a photo whenever I do attend a class.  It’s fun and makes blogposts more interesting.  My photographer instructor left before taking a photo so I took some silk-love self-portraits on my own.

Self-portrait Silk-Love

 

 

And then I had more fun…

 

self-portrait silk-love silly

If you’re an athlete, what are your tips for me on accelerating my skills in the fastest time frame?

If you’re simply human, how do you find the zen in everyday life?

 

Clown Down: Training Update

Posted: 14th August 2013 by @CircusofHumaniT in Circus, Exercise, Food

Sorry for any annoying typos.  Doing this from my iPhone while laundry dries.

May 20, 2013 (failed to post this in a timely manner)

It’s been a strange year, so far. We moved 3 times in January (and may be moving again before the year is out).

I stopped going to aerial classes because of some injuries which grounded me in March. My aerial school temporarily closed its doors at the end of March to build their own location. I really miss it and hope to try a week of discounted classes at a place closer to me, beginning June 2nd. I’m excited about the school because they offer a great variety of classes besides aerial which I think will complement aerial and aid in conditioning me : burlesque, pole, full-body flexibility, barre, aerial yoga, Zumba, Hula, and more.

Hopefully my expensive chiropractic therapy sessions of Active Release Technique will pay off, as well as my food, exercise, and calorie monitoring. I lost almost 3 pounds in the past week and would like to lose keep losing so I don’t put as much strain on my body nor struggle so much in the air. If I really want to give myself a fair shot at performing, I really think I need to drop 15-20 more pounds. Tracking calories, sticking to my calorie budget, and increasing my activity/workout lengths have helped me in the past week. I really don’t want to give up all the foods I enjoy (my four food groups: french fries, nachos, chocolate and vino). Therefore, I just have to dedicate more time to burning calories…

August 15, 2013

We  just moved again!  This time to  a mini version of my dream house.  The “new” circus school I tested out closed!  So, I’m still trying to find my new home base.  Last week I took a 30 min private in Seal Beach.  I was reminded that lifting myself is hard and being lighter would be easier…struggling there.  BUT, I had fun and I have another private scheduled tomorrow.  Last week I gathered the courage to wear my Ariel pants to aerial and got lots of smiles and compliments.  Check me out…

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It’s been an interesting few months. I collaborated with some new friends to build a new theatre group in Long Beach. The idea was brainstormed over an oceanfront dinner in Long Beach to have a non-profit theatre and performance group focused on supporting ocean ecology and clean water, something universally important and locally relevant, given our beach city home. Within 8-ish weeks, with a little luck and a great deal of hard work, hurdle jumping, and talent from the members, we performed an outdoor newly written adaptation of Treasure Island on the sand at the annual Long Beach Pirate Invasion Festival, just a few yards from where the idea was conceived. The challenges were many. I had a 2 week trip planned which brought me back in town 2 days before we were live. I think there are 4 redheads in the group so an all weekend outdoor performance came with a melanin-challenged cast in addition to audio challenges from wind, distractions, cannons and general beach goers.

Our group, Following Seas Productions is still evolving but I’m so impressed with the collective talents and efforts of its members and supportive volunteers who have managed to remain friends throughout the craziness. I’m grateful to you all!

I had the pleasure of portraying the snooty Captain Smollett whose vessel is the setting for much of the play. I was determined to play the role as a female character but the role was a bit ambiguous. When asked whether I was playing a male or female, my answer was, “Yes.” It’s the first time in my adult life that I’ve played a human. Most of my roles have had me cast as a critter from chimp to hedgehog. So, having a larger part with dialogue was both fun and terrifying.

I’m hoping to feature an aerial silks act in a future Following Seas show! It’s been about 4 months since I could attend regular silks class due to injuries and physical non-cooperation. So, I’m eager to resume practice and find my new aerial home base.

*A special thank you to my friend Theresa who has been extra supportive and generous to me during our rehearsal process.

Pictures from our production of Treasure Island, script adapted by Ryan Castle aka Long John Silver:

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Monster Mash: It’s what’s for dinner

Posted: 21st May 2013 by @CircusofHumaniT in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I’ve been wanting to experiment with my Vitamix and attempt faux mashed potatoes, low-carb style. I wanted to try it with the Kirkland Signature Normandy vegetable mix (combo of broccoli, cauliflower, yellow and orange carrots) because
1) I always seem to have some in my freezer.
2) It’s a good way to use and eat a bunch of veggies at once.
3) Freezer friendly = less waste
4) I wondered what color they would be and my guess was brown

So, I was wrong. They turned out Oscar-the-Grouch-green which was totally awesome, hilarious, and disgusting looking. And, they tasted amazing. I probably could tweak the seasoning ratio and use a bit less liquid but they were yummy, filling, and allowed me to eat way more veggies at once than I otherwise could, about 2 1/2 cups, I think.  Plus, they taste better than the veggies in their normal steamed form.  The Hubs liked them better too when I served them to him.  I added some Bibigo brand chicken dumplings (also available in Costco’s freezer section) when I first made them.

Here’s what they looked like:

photo (9)

 

Recipe:
-As many veggies as you want (2 1/2 cups made about half as much as I wanted and I had no leftovers)
Heat in microwave till cooked and put into Vitamix
-3/4 T of butter or substitute
-1 T Parm cheese
-1/4 c chicken stock (I used 1/2 cup)
-Minced garlic to taste
-Freshly ground salt/pepper
Blend those veggies up till smooth!

Dumplings:
Heat in microwave safe bowl with some chicken stock to keep from drying out covered by damp paper towel.
(I also stirred in some Gyoza sauce from Trader Joe’s after heating but it would be good without for this recipe).

P.S. After I originally made these, I did it again and used about 1/4 c of the chicken stock.  It worked better.  I forget what else we ate with them the second time because they were so yummy to me.  I could eat a giant bowl full.

Driving up to this place (The hotel Saguaro) in the circus bus of love, we fit right in. We could have been mistaken for the hospitality shuttle (or even lovers as we were in the minority in the same sex love oasis).  I don’t know how we managed to bring the right color vehicle!

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What struck me was the circusy rainbow of colors precisely placed on the building, inside and out. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time and K.C. was a doll for taking me on the journey , but there was something about the extreme retroness of the place that kept annoying me with respect to its cost. They can charge how much per night?! Yes, the place is adorable. Yes, you should go if you want to feel what it’s like to get in a time machine.
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But, when I but when I kept mulling it over, besides the artwork and comfy beds, this trendy hotel was really just an old motel with some new art, bright carpet, and loudly new paint. The bathroom was the worst combination of colors ever, my high school’s green and orange. It was terribly circusy.

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They mastered the art of simple staging and marketing, I think. Maybe it wasn’t that I was so much annoyed, but envious of the owner for being so brilliant and wanting to come up with my own version of the thing. It’s kind of like a colorful abstract painting, just a splash here and splash there and they can command a silly amount of money. You think, how can I do that? AND…the guests seemed to be loving it. Granted, it was St. Patty’s Day weekend. They were probably all high on something besides ROY. G. BIV. Yes, that guy is wearing a green tutu.20130406-010758.jpg

And El Jefe did make some tasty margaritas. Ok, well these are tequilaritas, martinis made with 1800 Coconut tequila…

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P.S. I even got to see my newest house baby for the first time. I couldn’t break in (probably a good thing) but my property team has it under control.

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So, in order to prep for a business or networking meeting in the O.C., I recommend you get smashed first (if you’re female).
Stay with me.
You may remember my makeover post with entrepreneuress Tatiahna of Au-Shé Cosmetics.  She now works as counter manager for Smashbox at Nordstrom Fashion Island.  So, I went for a pre-mixer makeover while I was in the area so I could look my best for Mr. Fragoso and friends from hard money fix and flip lender Anchor Loans. (For those of you who don’t know, hard money is expensive, ranging from 10-12% interest only or more plus 2.5-4.5 points for a loan.  It’s usually short-term bridge money for a house rehabber before they sell to an owner occupant.  It’s quick and helpful if you know how to use it).  Blah. Blah. Blah.  Back to cosmetics…
The Smashbox line is fun with some flirty colors and affordable prices (as far as department store prices go).  They have a new summer collection as well as a “CC” tinted cream which we used as my foundation. I’m told it’s similar to the trendy “BB” cream I’m seeing every where but hadn’t yet tried.  It’s supposed to moisturize and prime as well as be able to stand on its own as a foundation.
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I left with a look Tatiahna called “business casual” and some sticky but smooth Limitless Long Last  Lip Gloss in a neutral sparkly color called “Endless.”  It survived through my 1/2 mocha Ice Storm (shared the other half with the make-up artist) and Crabcake slider.
It’s always strange to see myself in big girl makeup since I’m usually quite minimal.
Which look do you like better?
Simple or Smashed?
Simple Make-Up
Smashed