Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Day 8: we hoop

If there is one thing I am learning from all of these physical activities this month, it is that I have basically zero core strength to speak of. I've seen more stamina in babies doing tummy time than I've exhibited this past week.

Tonight this truth was brought home to me by my first aerial hooping class, a workout composed of a variety of exercises and stretches, all done in a hoop suspended quite high (to me) from the floor.

Our Dear Natalya made this all look quite effortless. She'd flip herself up into the ring, all control and grace and power, and within seconds, actually appear to be ENJOYING herself, going far beyond the stretches those of us in the beginner corner of the class were attempting.

'Ta-da! It's like I'm not even working out!' - Natalya, probably

And then there was I: once again, the beginner needing that push on the back, that stilling of the hoop, to even lift myself up into the seated starting position. By the time I'd get up there, I was convinced my workout was already complete. Why do more? I just swung from my KNEES. I just pulled my body weight up to the top of a giant RING. Surely, THIS was enough. Inevitably by the time I'd thrash my way into it, the hoop would be in a full, rocking rotation, a spin that Nat would have to still for me lest my nausea lead to mishap all over that mat.

But all that aside: once up there, I too felt powerful. Not necessarily CAPABLE, or BALANCED, but yes, a little bit stronger. And each time I dismounted (by the knees, by the hands, like the monkey bars of yesteryear) and re-mounted (by the hands, by the knees, miraculously getting my feet above my head), I felt stronger again.

I can't say this will become a *regular* workout for me - it was a lot like the rock-climbing: if I want to work out my back and arms and core, there are stretches and workouts and machines and weights for that, why add the element of terror to it? - but I will say this is all teaching me that I need to be doing stuff like this more often - for my physical health, at the very least - but also for the mental challenge. Tonight, Natalya cheered me on every time I accomplished a new feat, and while they were small - I let go of the bar for a whole half second! - heck. It felt good.

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