Category Archives: Awesomeness

Why YOU Want to be More of a Tight Ass – Essential Stability for Aerial Arts

Stayin’ tight with the Baby Janes! Photo by Kenneth Feldman, www.pfdigital.com

Dear Dangler, do you consider yourself a tight-ass? I hope so! There’s a certain amount of essential tension necessary for fabulousness in aerial and circus arts. If you’re flopping around up there like an overcooked spaghetti noodle, it’s time to tighten that sh*t up.

What is “Tightness”?

When my coaches first began barking, “Tighten up! Stay tight!”,  I clenched everything (and I do mean everything) and hoped for the best. But what I grew to understand is a) tightening EVERYTHING leads to you looking awkward and constipated on your apparatus and b) “tight” is not the same as “rigid”.

 

Staying tight means keeping muscles active and firm at about 50% power. For example, let your arm flop. Now, tighten your bicep REALLY HARD (make a “muscle”). Now, relax to about halfway. That’s tight.

 

Why Tension is Important

Try this: find a friend with a two year-old. Wait until the toddler is good and pissed off (if they’re two, you won’t have to wait long). Now – try to pick them up. THEY ARE SO HEAVY!!!!! 25 pounds never felt so hard to lift! Now – try to pick them up again when they are calm and amenable to being lifted. See how much lighter? Tension, people. That boneless-ness creates the experience of a noticeable increase in weight.

 

Without a certain amount of tension, you’re going to feel like you’re hauling around a lot of dead weight; eeeeeeeverything becomes more difficult (and your lines look le poo). While some muscles are lying around on the beach in Aruba sipping pina coladas, other muscles are trying to (literally) pick up the slack. Before they start picketing for better working conditions, you’re going to want to start redistributing the labor.

 

Viagra-vate It!

Fear not – tension is a habit! Try this:

 

  • at least one session of Pilates mat work every week (for oodles of free videos, check out www.hulu.com!) Pilates cultivates the exact type of resistance-free tension we’re trying to produce. It’s also great for helping you find the muscles you’re supposed to be using.
  • reeeeeeach (“peripheral” tightness)! Think of being pulled in different directions. For example, I am hanging upside down in my fabric. My free hand is reeeeeeeeeaching towards the ground. My leg is reeeeeeeeeaching for the back wall. If an appendage is floating free, it should be reeeeeeeeeeeaching (try not to get jazz hands, though). 😉
  • lock and load! Bits of your body that are bearing weight (bent knee, stabilizing arm, etc) should be nice and tight! Remember not to hyper-extend your joints, but this is a time for very “active” tightness.
  • zip up your abs! Abs should always be firmly engaged (“core” tightness). Bring your navel to your spine and hold your tummy firm – pretend Ian Somerhalder just walked into the room and you’re in a bikini.

 

Now, for a supremely insane example of tighness: behold, the Ukranians! Watch how they keep that tension, even when folding themselves in half backwards. You know, like ya do. Love and pull-ups, Laura
 

 

As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, the F-books, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are sharing things these days.

 

Shake Shake Shake, Shake…. Your Feet?! Nope.

 

Isabel & Emily in foot knots they will get out of without kicking!

Many thanks to the endlessly sassy Miz Cathy Gauch from Aircat Aerial Arts (get over there the next time you’re in Boulder, CO!) for the inspiration for this post!

Apparently, there’s an aerial instructional video floating around in which the instructor encourages students to just “shake their feet” to come out of their foot knots. After I finished having a seizure, I thought maybe we should talk about this! Now, to be fair, I haven’t seen said video, but I DO know what I see around town: shake shake SHAKE KICK KICK KICK FLAIL! Now, unless you are being electrocuted, there is zero reason for you to be so spastic – you’ve got other (more glamorous) options, friend!

Figure 8 Foot Knots

Tied one at a time, this is the first foot knot many of us learn. Coming out cleanly is simple! Simply flex your feet, lift them up, move them back, and point your toes. Observe!

 

 

If you’re stuck and panicking, you can also use your other foot to pop the fabric off the toe (but save it for emergencies – it’s not your sassiest moment).

 

Aerial Dance Wrap

Wrapped together, this knot is great for getting lovely, even splits. To come out cleanly, simply lift your feet 2-5 inches (just enough to take the pressure off the heels – DON’T lift too high!), point your toes, and slide your feet forward and down.

 

 

Seriously? That’s IT. No need to flail, shake, kick, twerk, twitch, convulse, flap, shudder, oscillate, or combust. Just lift and send your feet in the appropriate direction! I know some of you have other snazzy ways of getting out of foot knots that you love. Hey – as long as it doesn’t involve an aerial seizure, go on with your bad selves! 😉  Hope you’re having a swingin’ holiday season so far, Dear Danglers!!!!! Love and pull-ups, Laura

 

 

PS – By the way! I hope you’ll join me in welcoming the FABULOUS  and talented Miss Rebecca Collins to the SassyPants Aerial Arts team! Rebecca will be helping me answer emails, get ya’ll scheduled into classes, and all sorts of other good things. Welcome welcome, Miss Rebecca!!!!!!

 

 

 

Featured in “Natural Awakenings” Magazine!!!!

Hey – this is pretty cool! I was just featured in “Natural Awakenings” magazine! I think that’s pretty nifty. 🙂

 

Sandra Murphy writes:

 

“Aerial silk classes take exercising to new heights. Cirque du Soleil-style and more elegant than rope climbing, students don’t have to be in peak shape to start. “Just show up and want to learn,” says international performing aerialist Laura Witwer, who teaches how to climb fabric attached to steel rigging 16 to 25 feet high in New York City spaces. “We work close to the floor for beginners,” she explains. “They learn to climb, then to hang upside-down, and then tie knots. We’ve had all body sizes, shapes and ages in class; it’s a great way to stretch and add strength.”

 

Read the entire article here! 🙂 Love and pull-ups, Laura

 

 

As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, the F-books, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are sharing things these days.

 

I’m Back – Killian Cog Pictures!

Hello all! A huge thank you for all your kind words and well-wishes for “The Bizarre and Curious Quest of Killian Cog”, our new touring show. SUPER EXCITING! I’m still playing catch-up, but I thought you might want a quick peek at some of the acts. More soon! Enjoy! Love and pull-ups, Laura

 

Aerial wheel!

 

 

Duo Spanish Web

 

 

Hula hoops!

 

 

Hand to Hand

 

 

German wheel (that’s me in the corner!)

 

 

  

 

As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, the F-books, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are sharing things these days.

 

Madison Circus Space!

Want to support some truly awesome folks with some big circus dreams? Let’s help the Madison Circus Space get started! Let’s see circus spread across the USA! This is something you can DO, today. Do you have a wonderful training space near you? Awesome – pay it forward so others can discover the magic you’ve found! Don’t have a training space near you? Consider this a karmic seed planted. We have to support each other, and this is one very concrete way of doing just that!!! Not in a position to give right now? That’s OK! Support them by sharing this link with five people right now. Let’s do this thing! Love and pull-ups, Laura

CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT THE DREAM!

UPDATE: The Great Boobie Caper PART 2!

Well, Dear Danglers, the Bountiful Breasted have weighed in! You had oodles of great tips for taming flyaway boobies, so without further ado, TA-TA! Er, TA-DA! (pssst – click on the photo below to see the version that’s actually big enough to read!) 😉

 

Over-the-Shoulder-Boulder-Holders

Here’s what you suggested!

The enchanting Miss Eleanor: “Uniboob sports bra! Made by a leotard maker who specializes with competitive gymnasts. She uses a very thick elastic around the waist, elastic arms and neck, lines the front, and most importantly pics materials of fabric that maintain their elasticity. I have not found an ideal solution yet for performing…” (wasn’t able to find a link for these – if you know of a vendor, help some sisters out!)

The terrific Miss Tiffany: “Somehow I came across reviews for the Moving Comfort brand.  I’d never heard of it but recently saw it in Runners High.  I bought 2 of the “Fiona” style from Amazon.  It looks pretty cute, is quite comfortable for a compression bra, is wire-free, and I can jog in it (something I never thought I’d find in a wire-free product!).  It has adjustable Velcro straps that have a bit of magic in them (and could even be used as a nursing bra based on the strap design). Tip: but a band size smaller than your everyday bra but keep same cup size.” Moving Comfort “Fiona” click here.

The just-plain-amazing Miss Juniper: “Speaking as someone who wears a 30FF, wearing a sports bra over an underwire bra is hellishly uncomfortable, particularly if both of those bras aren’t actually the right size. This Panache bra is the most miraculous thing I have ever encountered: it has underwires that don’t feel like underwires because they’re coated in some kind of crazy gel stuff, cups that lift and separate and keep all breast tissue firmly in place, and, if fitted properly, is firm and stable without being restrictive. Seriously, I haven’t had a single “oh crap, my cleavage is trying to smother me” moment since I bought this thing.http://www.panache-lingerie.com/us/panache-sport/collection/21540843/Sports-Bra/Granted, it’s not the most attractive bra ever, so for performance I just wear a molded cup bra (that, again, has been properly fitted to me) under a leotard. Seriously, I cannot overstress the importance of wearing a bra that actually fits. Hint: Victoria’s Secret doesn’t actually know how to do bra fittings. They know how to sell you the sizes they have in stock.

The sensational Miss Sima: “Go to Bratenders! Every single bra shopping experience once I passed a D cup ended in a nervous breakdown in the dressing room because nothing fit me. Until!!!! I discovered Bratenders. They will fit you in a ridiculous size that one never knew existed and (most of) your back pain will go away, the indents in your shoulders will go away and you will be a whole new person. Seriously! I have been to many other bra-fitting “specialists”, and nobody compares to this place. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help anyone outside on NYC.Right now I have two different crazy contraptions, one is my “light” sports bra and one is my SERIOUS sports bra. For aerial, I wear my light sports bra (it’s still pretty serious) made by Freya Active. It’s just like a regular underwire bra, but on steroids. Not only does it hold em up, but the upper liner that comes over the top of them boobies & holds them down, so there is no falling out while upside down. Now, the SERIOUS bra, I wear when I am bouncing around. It has TEN hook and eye closures. It makes running possible and actually comfortable. The brand is Enell and it is a compression bra. They barely move. It’s amazing. This I would only recommend for the seriously endowed. At a 30G, I wear a size 0, the smallest size they make. But If someone were to be a lil smaller and wanted their boobs to not. move. at. all. I would say wear this over a regular and behold the freedom of movement of a 12 year old boy. Both bras were around $60 which considering their quality and life-changing ability, it’s worth it.” Freya Active click here, Enell click here

The jaunty Miss JJ: “For classes I wear a high neck sports bra with a high-ish neck tank leotard, with a high neck t-shirt layered over.  Leotard is important because some moves (like wheeldown) will rip off a loose t-shirt from time to time. For performing, I’m a big fan of mock turtleneck leos and unitards.  If you have even slightly bigger boobs they are the ONLY way to go
 use nude illusion fabric if you have to.  For a more casual look, I like these turtleneck leos painted with fabric paint to give the more UMPH.  A teeny safety pin in the backside of the zipper gives you security to leave it a little unzipped without loosing the ladies.

And there you have it! Hopefully this gives you some support (HA!) in your search for training & performance brassieres. Tune in for next week’s blog about sour grapes, and why you might not be gettin’ hired. Have a glorious spring week! Love and pull-ups, Laura

 

 

 

As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, the F-books, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are sharing things these days.

 

Training Smart – You’re Doin’ It Wrong

Hello Dear Danglers! Are you training smart or, well, not-smart? Are you sabotaging your progress with easily fixable technique bloopers? Take this quiz (just like in Cosmo!) & find out!

True or False

  1. I invert, wrap for splits, etc. with my elbows glued to my waist and hands at shoulder height. I use my back muscles to hold me up, instead of my arm and chest muscles. I’ve got the power!
  2. I lift my chest like a proud ballerina. When in doubt, boobies out! This keeps me from looking like a gargoyle.
  3. I practice new moves nice and low, so that when I inevitably tangle myself, no one has a coronary trying to get me down.
  4. I am so hot in the air that I have to date firemen. (Go ahead & answer true to this – you know you’re smokin’!)
  5. Flailing is an acceptable way of getting your ass over your head. The more you wave your legs in the air, the better your chances of inverting!
  6. I kick my fabric out of the way when I invert, wrap for splits, hip key, climb… well, pretty much all the time. Stupid fabrics getting in my way! I’ll show you! (kick kick kick)
  7. I regularly try to lower myself half-way out of a drop before I let go. Nevermind the torque on my shoulder, or the unspeakable wedgie that will have to be surgically removed – drops are scary! I’ll take the wedgie.
  8. I love wearing lots of rings, low-cut tops, and dangly earrings when I work out! BA-BLING! You should really make an effort to look hot during silks class. Also? A boob regularly pops out of my top every time I invert. (this gets its own video blog next week! Don’t miss the boobies!)
Answer true to 1-4? Congrats – you’re working smart! Answer true to 5-8? You’re getting in your own way!
These are all deserving of their own posts, but ain’t nobody got time for that (THIS week!). Quick suggestions:
  1. Less is more. When you flail your legs, kick your fabric, etc., you waste valuable energy and make it MORE difficult to execute the move. Stay calm, point your toes, and aim to move only what needs moving.
  2. Release properly out of your drops. DO YOU WANT A DISLOCATED SHOULDER?! I didn’t think so, That whopping 6 inches you gain by contorting yourself a few millimeters down your fabric does you no favors, and is super assy. Stop it. It’s OK to be scared!!!! Take a deep breath, have your instructor check your form, and commit. Too scary? Know you’re going to spaz out? Reverse the wrap, and carefully lower down.
  3. Remove your jewelry (it can tear the fabric), and wear a higher cut top. Seriously – that sh*t gets awkward. 😉
Next week, we’re talking about BOOBIES and what the heck you’re supposed to do with them during a class or a performance. Too much? Too little? Just right? I gotcha covered (and padded). Love and pull-ups, Laura

As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, the F-books, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are sharing things these days.

 

Training While Pregnant – the 3rd Trimester

My glorious belly at 36 weeks!

Pssst! Remember – I am not a medical practitioner. This post is in no way meant as a substitute for medical advice. Check with your OB, midwife, or doctor about training throughout your pregnancy to ensure the safety of you and your baby!

Oh Dear Dangler, now the fun really begins!!! The bad news is that this trimester can be tough – you’re heavy, might feel uncomfortable, and pee whenever you sneeze. BUT – take heart! You’re almost there, and will finally meet the prankster who’s been tap dancing on your spleen for the past few months.

You’re Enormous – Embrace It

  • Your boobies are gigantic. Seriously – they’re huge. You’re sporting about 3-4 lbs of extra breast tissue! Enjoy those gorgeous curves!
  • You feel heeeeeeeeeeavy. Baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, larger breasts and uterus, extra fat stores, and increased blood and fluids equal an extra 25-40 lbs of fabulousness! It doesn’t help when your trapeze partner starts yelling, “Thar she blows!” whenever you walk into a room.
  • More frequent Braxton Hicks contractions. They feel a little funny, but shouldn’t hurt.
  • Backache fun! As those hormones relax the joints in your pelvis, your back gets to pick up the slack. But here’s the great news – your back is so nice and strong from doing aerial work, you may avoid this issue completely! Those abs you thought were ruined (they’re not) are also lifting and holding that baby up, sharing the load with your back. You are a badass!
  • Shortness of breath! Girl, there’s just no more room in there for your lungs to expand like they used to, so while you’re hauling around an extra 30 lbs, you’ll be huffin’ and puffin’ like a choo choo train. This is not an indication that you’re somehow getting “less fit”, it’s just crowded in there!
  • Heartburn! Your sweet behbeh might now be pushing your stomach out of position, resulting in stomach acid creeping up where it shouldn’t.
  • Swelling up like a balloon! Also, spider veins, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids. There are tons of extra fluids you’re body’s dealing with, so your veins are working overtime. Pressure on your intestines may also slow down your digestion, resulting in some (ahem) “straining”. Don’t do that. Make friends with prunes.
  • Peeing every 30 freakin’ minutes. Also? All that pressure on your bladder may cause you to leak urine when you laugh or sneeze. One word: KEGELS! Again, aerial work to the rescue! You very likely have a nice, strong pelvic floor since you’re used to keeping everything (and I do mean everything) tight in the air. Continue to keep those muscles nice and vise-like by doing Kegel exercises – the vaginal workout of champions!

 

Thar she blows!

How It Affects Your Training

    • Heavy – you’ll move and work more slowly and deliberately. This probably goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: now is the time to stay nice and close to the ground so you can dismount quickly and safely when you need to. Remember – training should feel GOOD and be safe!
    • Bump in the way – it’s kind of hard to avoid now! Work around it as best you can. Wrap things from the floor, and see what kind of variations you can create! You may find something really wonderful!
    • Balance wonky – don’t underestimate how off-kilter you may feel right now. Your body proportions have changed RAPIDLY, and you need to work slowly and consciously. For myself, I actually had phenomenal balance while I was pregnant – I think having more in front helped to balance out what was already in back!
    • Remember to breathe! Timing your breathing to your movement can help here (arm up – inhale, wrap around – exhale, etc).
    • Stay active. Staying physically active during a normal, healthy pregnancy is GREAT! Helps move all those fluids around, keep your weight where it should be, keep muscles toned and gorgeous, may improve chances of an easy delivery, and will make you feel great!

 

Here are three exercise videos I loved during pregnancy – I found most to be so ridiculously easy it was laughable. These (especially the Steben videos) are total butt whoopers! In case you don’t know, you can see the Steben twins in the Saltimbanco Cirque du Soleil video  – they’re the swinging trap duo.

  1. The Perfect Pregnancy Workout Volume 1 (weight training)
  2. The Perfect Pregnancy Workout Volume 2 (yoga based)
  3. 10 Minute Solution: Prenatal Pilates

And now, I leave you with my gloriously pregnant student Charlotte enjoying some stretch time on silks! It’s worth noting that Charlotte has been training with me for years, and has a fantastic sense of her capabilities and limitations while pregnant. Assess your training with your coach, and play it safe!!!! Love and pull-ups, Laura

 


As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, the F-books, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are sharing things these days.

 

Training While Pregnant – the Second Trimester

Mmmmm….pickles…..

Congratulations – your head is probably out of the toilet and your boobies don’t hurt so much! HOORAY! There are LOTS of major changes in this trimester which will make your training super creative. And flatulent – did I mention the farting? Let’s talk. You sit over there, please.

Note: I am not a medical practitioner. This post is in no way meant to substitute for medical advice. Check with your doctor before attempting or continuing aerial training of any kind while pregnant.

The Golden Trimester

For many women, this is by far the most comfortable trimester of pregnancy. You’re probably not throwing up, the crazy has died down a bit, and you may feel a renewed sense of well-being. But the BEST part? You finally get to tell everybody!!! It’s about to get harder to hide. Here’s why:

  • Larger breasts – VA-VOOM! Shock and Awe are in the house! You’re gonna have yourself a spectacular rack.
  • Baby bump! By month 4 (earlier if this isn’t your first pregnancy), you can kiss your skinny jeans goodbye.
  • Baby movements – This was the best part of pregnancy for me! One day, you feel a little flutter, or a pop like someone is popping popcorn in your tummy. Warning: you will almost die of excitement. 🙂
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions – Your uterus likes to be prepared – it’s training too! These contractions are your uterus toning up for the big day.
  • Nasal congestion – Snot fest. Enjoy.
  • Dizziness – Your blood volume is increasing by 50% (!!!). WOW! Thanks to that, you may find you have some dizziness here and there as your blood pressure tries to normalize.
  • Leg cramps – Yup. They’re a party.
  • Shortness of breath – You’re having to oxygenate A LOT more blood, so don’t be surprised if those stairs leave you more winded than you think you ought to be.
  • Hilarious flatulence – Blame it on the dog, ladies!
  • Loosey-goosey joints – All that Relaxin in your system can give you a rockin’ split, but make joints a little loose.
  • Just a little less crazy – Your hubby or partner can put the sharp knives back in the kitchen! Your emotions (while still topsy-turvy) are a hair more stable now. Enjoy it while it lasts.

How Your Training May Change

  • Time to officially tell your instructor! All of my pregnant students found creative ways to “tell me without telling me” during the first trimester (“I’m not feeling well, I’m going to take it easy for the next few weeks” for example). If your instructor doesn’t “hear” you, remember – you have a big responsibility to keep yourself safe and healthy right now. Listen to your midwife/OB, and especially to your body. Now is the time to be conservative!
  • As the bump grows and you get heavier, certain moves eventually just don’t work (inversions/straddle-backs for example). Your work will naturally get lower and lower, which is as it should be! Let your body determine what moves to focus on, and get creative. Training should feel good – this is NOT the time for strain and pain!
  • If you find yourself getting AT ALL light-headed or dizzy, stop immediately. This happened to me when I would quickly go from upside down to right-side up. When I slowed my movements, it went away. HOWEVER — dizziness has no place in aerial arts. If you find this is a regular maternal symptom and not just a random one time thing, it’s time to take a break from training and pick it back up in a few months after the birth. Don’t worry – aerial arts will still be there in a few months!
  • You’re more winded now, so stamina is not going to be your thing. Ease up, and focus on technique with one or two moves, rather than stringing a bunch together.
  • Fart with exuberant abandon. People forgive pregnant women anything.
  • I have really tight joints, so the loosening didn’t faze me much. BUT, some of you have loose joints to begin with, so you’re like spaghetti when you’re pregnant! Proceed with an eye towards keeping your joints (especially shoulders) WELL within an easy and stable range of motion. Now is actually a great time to start working on building stability in your joints using a thera-band or light weights.
  • “High impact” aerial pursuits such as flying trapeze will need to be tabled, often as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. But hey – didn’t you say you always wanted to try static aerials?

 

It’s also good to ask your coach if they’ve ever taught a pregnant student, and if they have any education or training for doing so (for the record, yes I have, and yes I do! I’ve been an ACE Certified personal trainer for the past eight years, with continuing education credits in pre and post-natal exercise).  It’s absolutely essential that you keep talking to your midwife or OB about your training (it really helps if they’ve had experience with athletes or circus performers in the past). Modify, modify, modify! Your training should be safe, and really feel good. If you’re having a “vanilla”, healthy, low risk pregnancy, physical activity is ‘da bomb (and ups the chances of you squeezing back into your pre-pregnancy leggings). Happy farting dangling! Love and pull-ups, Laura

 

As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, the F-books, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are sharing things these days.

 

Training When You’re Pregnant – the 1st Trimester

Month 2 – no bump yet!

Hey mamas and potential mamas! Here’s my take on pregnancy, training, and hauling your butt back up into the air after The Blessed Event – three part series. Hearing the pitter patter of little feet? Let’s get started!

The First Trimester = Your Head in the Toilet

In 2009, I got to suffer through enjoy the miracle that is pregnancy. My pregnancy was super healthy, but my body reacted STRONGLY to the hormones, leaving me with a condition called hyperemesis. This meant that I had the delightful experience of vomiting 6-12 times a day for nine months. FUNZIES! The likelihood of you having a similar experience is very small, but rule #1? Expect the unexpected. Pregnancy is WILDLY different for everyone. Having said that, let’s chat about the changes you can probably expect in the first trimester.

    • Nausea! Around weeks 6-8, you can expect to feel anything from a faint nausea to full-blown head in the toilet fun. The downside? Obvious. The upside? This is a sign of a healthy pregnancy, and 100% normal – it means your body is cranking out those hormones!
    • Swelling! You may start to notice a general “puffiness”, and even a little tummy pooch as your body retains fluids and the uterus expands rapidly to give the fetus room to grow without squishing it.
    • Exhaustion! Your body is working double time to increase your blood volume, and progesterone soars. This means fatigue, and often a general feeling of malais.
    • Super sore boobies! Seriously – like glass. Hormones again!
    • Lots of trips to the potty! You pee a lot, even in the first trimester.
    • Food aversions or cravings! Things that previously smelled or tasted wonderful may now send you running for the loo. I gave up coffee (coffee!) in the time it took to walk into the kitchen and moan, “Ugh! Coffee! Nooooooooooooooooooooo!” I craved anything in a cream sauce. Oh dear….
    • Heartburn & constipation! The peristalsis muscles that move food through your digestive track are affected by hormones too – they slow down, often resulting in more digestive fun.
    • Crazypants emotions! I was completely psychotic – crying over toilet paper commercials, screaming at my husband because he “forgot to put the seat down and does he really want me to fall in and get stuck and be there for hours and lose circulation in my legs and have to have them cut off and then I’ll be the mommy with no legs and…” You get the picture.
    • Happiness! Through all the barfing, peeing, cravings, and crazy, the most wonderful knowing that you will love this little person to distraction, and that you will never be the same.

 

Training Through the 1st Trimester

First things first! You and your midwife or OB/GYN need to have a frank discussion about your training. This blog post is in NO WAY meant as a substitute for medical advice – I am not a medical practitioner, and I am not advising you to pursue any course of action. What I can do is tell you about my experience, and share what helped me along the way, but you’ve gotta check with your doc!

I was able to train safely throughout my pregnancy (I went into labor while teaching a silks class!), and many, many aerialists with healthy pregnancies  have been able to do the same. Here are some things which you may find useful:

  • If you are part of an aerial or circus duo, have a conversation with your partner (ideally BEFORE you get pregnant) about your plans and how it may affect your work. It’s great to have a person in mind who can take your place during your absence so your partner doesn’t lose too much work.
  • To combat nausea, you’ve got about 1000 options (Google it!). Snacking FREQUENTLY on crackers and other dry, tasteless foods may help. For me, the only thing that really did it was acupuncture – worth a try if your nausea is severe!
  • If you’re swollen, but have to perform, Spanx to the rescue! Use two pairs if you need it. 😉
  • Actively schedule more downtime – rest is your best friend.
  • Plan your potty breaks before a show – try to wee 10 minutes before you go out so you don’t encounter any surprises.
  • Find the softest bra you can – try to avoid padded, push-up, or underwire contraptions.
  • Cry whenever you need to. Get crazy, get happy, get dreamy – it’s all part of the ride.

Our first look at Sebastian – boots & rock & roll hand courtesy of Daddy!

And there you have it! First trimester fun! You may have all of these symptoms, you may have none – it’s just one big guessing game. You may find that you feel fantastic! You may find that you feel like you have the flu and have no interest in training whatsoever. Just keep in mind that your body is REALLY good at setting limits now – respect them. Now is not the time to push hard (that comes later), just take really, really good care of yourself. Tune in next time for the 2nd trimester – the happy zone! Love and pull-ups, Laura

As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, the F-books, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are sharing things these days.