Thursday, January 6, 2011

In Which I Resolve Things (and Make Another Attempt at My Pullover)

Trapeze photos ahead!

So, this time of year, if it feels right to me, I come up with a few resolutions that make me happy, are designed to bring me peace, and sometimes even take away some of the pressure I've been feeling. They're always realistic, and they are never, ever, EVER punishing or self-loathing. (I don't believe in self-limiting New Year's resolutions. This is probably a reaction to the explosion of fat-phobic resolutions so many people make this time of year that give me the heebie-jeebies. Have you heard about the New Year's ReVolution against weight-loss resolutions?)

This year, I find myself with four.
  • I'm going to finalize Bitterblue this year. And I'm going to start writing something new. I think both Bitterblue and I are looking forward to this.
  • I'm going to bake some bread this year. Do you know how long it's been since I kneaded bread? I haven't made bread once since I moved back to Massachusetts, and it's one of my most favoritest activities. So.
  • I'm going to catch my pullover this year. This would be a modest resolution for most flying trapeze students -- a whole year to learn a new trick? -- and it probably won't take me all year, but, well, I've mentioned before that I have TOS, and it's been kind of horrible for some time now (due to Bitterblue), and if I can't grip, I can't trapeze, and if my arms aren't at full strength, I can't muscle myself into the correct position for my pullover. But. I've gotten close enough to (almost, kind of, sort of, partway) doing this trick (almost, sort of, approaching) right(ish) (barely) to know that someday, on a strong day and after a few more lessons, I will be able to catch my pullover. I invite you to peruse the pictures of my most recent (disastrous) attempt (below).
  • It's been a difficult few months for my hands/arms/TOS. This year, I'm making some aggressive changes to the way I do things, with the intention of being smarter and kinder to my hands, arms, and shoulders. No more typing anything over a few sentences -- I'm going to rely on my voice recognition software much more heavily -- and that's only one of the changes I'm making. I'm not going to list them all here, because frankly, they're boring. The point is that I want to be able to write, pick up my nieces, open beer bottles, haul luggage, and take flying trapeze lessons a year from now. Therefore, it's time to suck it up and start doing more WISE things even if they're a pain in the ass. Friends and family who are reading this? If you get an e-mail from me that contains no capitalization? That is the sign that I'm typing, not dictating. I give you permission to yell at me. (Though no one is required to yell at me, of course. My friends are not responsible for policing my resolutions.)

And now! On to our pictures. This class was a little bit of an experiment for me. My arms and hands weren't feeling great, but I decided to fly anyway, just to see how it went. I was delighted to find that I had no problem whatsoever with my grip. I was less delighted with my decreased arm/shoulder strength and with how fast I got tired. I took a lot of breaks and made sure not to do anything that would hurt myself or make things worse. Anyone watching would think that I didn't make much progress on my pullover, but the truth is that every time you go up there, you're making progress, because you're teaching your body to become incrementally more comfortable with a lot of very strange feelings. Anyway. If you'd like a refresher, here's what a pullover is supposed to look like (scroll down to the 10-the second video), and here's what my first attempt looked like.

Attempt number two! (Click to enormify.)

Look at the confidence, look at the competence.

 Look at the imitation of a Dr. Seuss character.

  Here's the thing. I think the way everyone else does this trick is really boring, so I've added this new step, see? No, contain your amazement, I'm a writer, we're creative people.

 Listen, you'd fall out of position too if you were attacked by a Chalk Monster!

Kaz just yelled up at me to relax. "Relax," he said. Why would he think I'm not relaxed? WHO WOULDN'T BE RELAXED IN THIS SITUATION?


Gah this is so [bleep]ing hard today!
 
ZOMFG I did it!
 
Time for catching. When in doubt, go for the trusty set split.
 
Erin and I were destined to make this catch, on account of the combined power of our socks.
 
For the first time ever, I'm remembering to keep my feet together. While forgetting to arch my back. Sigh...
 
One of these days, my body will learn that if I persist in resisting landing on my back, I will continue to leave class with whiplash. ONE OF THESE DAYS. Just not today.
 
Thanks to Wendy, Kaz, and Erin for teaching a great class; thanks to Erin for catching and understanding the importance of The Right Socks; and thanks to Molly for taking pictures!