26 December 2017

After an action packed Christmas (so lucky to be living this life with my little family), the kiddo is off with the other side of her family for a few days, Simon is on a (very cold) powder covered ski hill an I am enjoying a rare quiet morning of with just myself and the Beta dog.

For me, this means making plans for the new year by reading contortion blogs and thinking about how to improve my circus training.

As an older student, I obviously will have different goals from most of the younger students that train circus (very happy with my current profession – no future Cirque du Soleil audition plans for me), but I share their desire to push myself to keep improving. At this stage that means I really need to get smarter about how I’m training if I want to continue doing this for as long as possible. With 4 years of training now under my belt, I’m fortunate to have reached an advanced level of skill, but I’m also starting to recognize recurring bad habits and injuries.

Starting plan is to identify the good things I’d like to focus on:

Warm up: I takes 15-20 minutes for my body to warm up for any training session. At my age, it is critical to preventing injury and I’d like to make it a daily habit. My thinking is that by doing a warm up at least once a day my joints and muscles will at least benefit from the blood flow and there will be an improved possibility that I’ll end up doing some additional daily conditioning and/or stretching once my body has woken up.

Nutrition: Maybe it has always been true, but I’m recognizing more and more how what I’m eating affects my mood. I’d like to focus on eating for mental health and using it to guide my choices.

Journaling: Keeping track of things how they happen is definitely the best way to help me see what is going well and what might be causing problems.


After taking a break to complete today’s intentional warm up, I also realized that it will help me to check in with any niggling injury points on my body. Today that those are:

a) left hamstring insertion: Problem I’ve had for 1+ month. Probably caused by overstretching. I had been doing a lot of work laying down and pulling my leg toward my face around the time this showed up. It is slowly (very slowly) improving.

b) right shoulder (between the clavicle and shoulder-blade): Been aching for about a month. Definitely cause by too many hanging pike throughs. I’d finally figured out the full movement, then proceeded to do ~15 (way too many) of them and this showed up the next day. Adding handstands to my conditioning seems to be helping. Did them again for the first time on Saturday, but stuck to only doing 3.

c) right neck: Muscle knot near C1. Probably a side effect of the shoulder issue. A little self massage should help.

d) left lower back: Notable because I didn’t notice it. It went into spasm last Wednesday after I broke out my cyr wheel without properly warming up.

As predicted, my 20min warm up led to more motion. Nothing crazy since today is supposed to be a lazy day, but I did do the 6min Unicycle Abs set and then took an epsom bath.

About Renee

Fiftysomething biomechanical engineer, parent, partner, and recreational acrobat.
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