Sunday, November 22, 2009

Flying Wallendas-es

I need to type this post while I can still move my finger tips.

Perhaps it's my desire to draw a thick black line through another item on my bucket list or my Peter Pain-ish need to never grow up (and for that matter, to fly) but I joined a aerial performance group today and started training on the trapeze and aerial fabric.

I figured since my previous experience in this field starts and ends with a number of visits to circus, as a cotton candy-eating spectator, the instructor would start me out easy. You know, maybe some stretches, maybe some simple dangling from the bar, terra firma just a few inches below.

Yeah. No. Not so much.

My first meeting with the trapeze bar had me doing a pike which starts with you hanging upside down with your arse and neatly pointed legs over your head. Oh, and hold it. Keeeeeeeping holding it.... Oh, that burning and shaking is just your muscles trying to flee from your body. You'll get used to it.

Next the instructor had me swing up into a seated position. ahhhhh, sitting! I can do this! Then drop back, let go and hang from my knees. I probably did something like this on the monkey bars as a kid, but I don't remember it... perhaps I fell. That would explain a lot.

Anyway, I'm dangling upside down by my knees. Sadly, despite the discomfort of all my blood rushing to my head, this would prove to be the easiest part of my training. From there we did some wretched arm lifts, some leverage moves and finally standing on my toes on the wee bar. Oh and did I mention, all of this is supposed to be done with grace?

Grace! Moi? Seriously, what the hell was I thinking?

And just as the skin on my hands started to peel off my palms and I fought back every urge to weep, we moved onto the fabric.

Oh sweet, soft, cozy fabric.

Ummmm, not really.

Lesson number one is of course climbing the long swaths of cloth. This task is accomplished by wrapping the fabric around one foot, pulling up and gripping the fabric against your other foot. And repeat. That rug burn sensation? You'll get used to that.

Oh and it's stretchy, so no matter how hard you work and struggle, you still only find yourself about 1/2 inch off the ground. Sonofa!

Next we worked on a wrist locks which requires a method of wrapping the fabric around your wrists. From there you flip upside down, wrap one leg around the fabric, and dangle your head and, neatly pointed, free leg down to the spinning Earth below. Then, release and gracefully flip back down to a standing position.

By this point all my shoulder muscles were plotting revenge, my arms were at least 5 inches longer than before we started and my abs were so sore I considered giving up breathing. As my feet touched the ground I realized two things; getting my wrists out of the fabric knots would be neither easy nor graceful. And I was dizzy. Really, really dizzy. Suddenly I found myself looking like an epileptic, drunk marionette. Dangling from my wrists I stumbled, staggered and spun. I couldn't get my balance, my head was spinning and the possibility of throwing up was all too real. I think my slightly greenish complexion and profuse sweating paired with my increasing panic over the situation clued the instructor to untie me and call it a night.

So I survived my first training session without falling, crying (loudly) or throwing up. But my muscles have made it very clear that they're pissed.

I don't think they'll be much happier tomorrow.

Here's a little inspiration. Pink can do all this and carry a note (and a pastie)! Yeah, she rocks.

(skip the first two minutes)


janiece said...

OMG--I wish I had been there to see it! ALthough I certainly think you could have picked something a bit easier--or more attractive then sticking your butt up in the air for the world to see! But then again.......

Coffeypot said...

I think it's awesome that you are doing this. It has to be the ultimate exercise and muscle toning exercise around.

Stuart said...

I am so turned on right now.

And pretty fucking impressed. Having done gymnastics in high school (I'm not gay), I can relate to the extreme pain caused by muscles you never even knew existed.

Rawk on, girl. Rawk on.

wv - lamera: a period in history that just kinda sucked

ps - I can post! YaY!

jolly said...

hi mala..........

your blog is very beautiful
keep it up...

Cloud Servies

Mala said...

Janiece - Sticking my butt in the air for the world to see was just an added perk. D'oh.

Coffeypot - Are you sure this is muscle toning? can't. left. arms! (face first in a bowl of coffee)

Stuart - Hmmmmm, note to self: sweating, crying, physical torture and nearly vomitting turns Stuart on. Cool!
And I totally try to not live in lamera. It's a personal motto.

Jolly - Hi Jolly.....

Mary said...

holy crap!!!
You are so brave!!! That sounds like fun and what an exciting way to get in shape!
Sorry you can;t lift your arms though- buy some straws :)

The Peach Tart said...

Good for you. It's a great way to get fit.

Elliott said...

Damn, that's gotta be one hell of a bucket list. Wicked cool.

Harmony said...

Awesome! This is so cool, I could never get myself to do something like that. I'm a big fat chicken!

Bev said...

I don't even HAVE a bucket list!

You're awesome! :)

Lori said...

You gotta be kidding me!!!! Un*freaking*believable--I am so impressed! I am just amazed that lessons in that stuff even exist, much less that someone is brave enough to try. I have to say, though, the hotel commercials that have that chick in them doing all this will now never hold the same image in my mind because I know secretly she's sweaty and green...I've always thought she was a little self-righteous anyway!!

You rock! And I was thinking the same about your list...holy cow, must be SOME list!

Mala said...

Mary - Thanks. I'm typing this with a popsicle stick in my mouth.

Peach Tart - I'm avoiding getting dressed today because it hurts too much to move. Fit, you say?

Elliott - Oh it is! It's recently been updated since I knocked off 1-23 last weekend. D'oh!

Harmony - It's amazing how pain will make you forget you're afraid of heights...

Bev - Oh allow me to help you with that... I've got lots and lots of ideas!

Mala said...

Lori - What hotel is that??????? Stuart needs to make a reservation!

MtnMama said...

Loved this post, Mala! I have had the same type of experience doing stuff I always thought I wanted to do, and I'm just grateful I got most of them out of the way before I was older, and a mom. I am NOT a pretty exerciser - I sweat a lot, I get red in the face, my hair does hideous things, and I tend to be really, really sore 48 hours later if it something I don't do regularly. As an extra little gift. You should see me after I go skiing - pretty damn pathetic, and yet I keep doing it.

Nancy said...

I am in awe of your spirit of adventure. This is like pole dancing on steriods. YOU ROCK!

Mala said...

MtnMama - let's face it, if you're pretty while your exercising, you're not trying hard enough!
Skiing, eh? I've lost the ability to do that ever since I discovered the ski lodge bar.

Nancy - Adventure?! You're the one who bikes around Africa hunting down things like Malaria!

Samsmama said...

STFU! I can't believe you are doing this. It's entirely possible that you are my new hero. But you're not going to run off with the circus, are you? I'd miss your nuts. Or something like that.

Frank Irwin said...

The image of "an epileptic, drunk marionette" made me guffaw.

This was your first training session? That means that there will be more?

Does anyone know where I can get my cloud serviced? It's been pretty lonely, lately.

Mala said...

Samsmama - Running away with the circus is ALWAYS a possibility. I remind my family of that fact every day.

Frank - I have exactly 5 days to stop sobbing from the pain and get back up on the bar. So far, I still can't lift my arms... or take deep breaths.

I LOVE YOU said...