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Strong Woman

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I was talking to a friend the other day, who was telling me how, unfortunately for her, she develops muscle really easily.  In order to rectify this muscle gaining “issue” she has sworn off any physical activity that might make her body, specifically her arms, too bulky.

 

Her main fear being that if she gains too much muscle she will look MANLY.

Let’s talk about this!

“By disallowing ourselves as women to portray strength we are indirectly contributing to the notion that women should be frail, soft, weak […]”

For one… Why are we as a society accepting this idea that a strong woman is UNATTRACTIVE?  To me a strong body, on any gender, is a demonstration of confidence, independence, health, longevity.  That’s a pretty sexy list right there.

By disallowing ourselves as women to portray strength we are indirectly contributing to the notion that women should be frail, soft, weak; and, that men should be muscular, strong and powerful.

Why is a muscular body on a woman associated with so much negativity?

How is this:

Less SEXY than this…

 

Strength is not only about aesthetics, it’s also about HEALTH!

Now, it s not my intention to get into a big gender debate, so allow me to also remind you of some facts…Strength is not only about aesthetics, it’s also about HEALTH!

Strength training has repeatedly been associated with the reduction of bone loss.  T.V. Nguyen in his article Bone Loss, Physical Activity, and Weight Change in Elderly Women: The Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study explains that: “From a public health viewpoint, physical activity has long been advocated as a component of a healthy lifestyle,43 in part in relation to osteoporosis prevention.” In Nguyen’s extensive study he concludes that : “active women had minimal or no bone loss, while less active and sedentary women experienced significant reductions in bone density.”

These are FACTS, I’m not making them up!

By building muscle you are not only helping reduce body fat, you are helping your body live longer.

Here are some more advantages to weight training, as outline by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Manage your weight. Strength training can help you manage or lose weight, and it can increase your metabolism to help you burn more calories.
  • Enhance your quality of life. Strength training may enhance your quality of life and improve your ability to do everyday activities. Building muscle also can contribute to better balance and may reduce your risk of falls. This can help you maintain independence as you age.
  • Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, such as arthritis, back pain, obesity, heart disease, depression and diabetes.
  • Sharpen your thinking skills. Some research suggests that regular strength training and aerobic exercise may help improve thinking and learning skills for older adults.

I work really hard to build muscle. I recognize that my passion for this might be greater than the average person.  However, you don’t have to be a professional circus artist or an athlete to be healthy, 2 weight training sessions a week can make all the difference.

By making myself stronger I’m not only contributing to my ability to excel in my chosen artistic discipline, I’m also helping myself live a longer, happier life.  I will not sit idly-by and allow my body to degenerate, in order to support the notion that as a woman I am not supposed to look strong.  Muscles are sexy on everyone, because healthy is sexy on everyone.  Now go out there and lift some weights!

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August 20, 2016 · 2:15 pm

Me and my straps

The road to creation is never a straight line.

It’s December.  By now I’ve been training on straps consistently since August and it’s time, time for me to buy my own equipment so I can do the things I set out to do.

Traditionally aerial straps are used for conditioning and performing feats of strength.   The loops at the end of the 9 feet long cotton covered polyester straps are used for the circus artist’s wrists so that he/ she can hang, twist, and suspend in the air. But I my intentions are different.  My goal is to dance in the straps. I want to slip my legs and neck through the straps.  I want to translate my vocabulary on silks onto this new equipment.

Straps 2

Straps Exploration at the National Circus School in Montreal

And so, before I head off for a tour, I decide to order my very own, custom made straps.  I want them to be long so I can perform dynamic drops, I want the loops to be wide so I can hang from different body parts and I want the fabric to be soft so that I don’t rip my skin to shreds.

As we know, buying things off the Internet can be risky.  A year and a half ago, when I was buying a new pair of silks I made the mistake of ordering the fabric too short (11 yards).  Then, because I placed the order in the USA, I had to go through a big ordeal with Canada Customs, who decide to charge me an exorbitant amount of money in customs fee (which I was later able to get refunded).    This time I was smart.  I did my research.  I made sure to order from a reputable company, which specialized in selling high quality aerial equipment.  I made sure to measure the length of the loop I wanted.  I ordered from a Canadian company, so I didn’t have to worry about customs, or the high US dollar.  But, as it is with the creative process, things went… differently than my perfectly laid out plan.

It was 2 weeks before I was scheduled to leave for my tour.  My straps arrived and I was SO excited!  I opened the package… But they were the wrong color, the wrong loop size and the wrong material.  How could this happen? I specifically asked for cotton covered straps and instead I received aramid fiber (must more abrasive).  I called the company.  The customer service representative didn’t speak “circus” and explained that the owner was out of town.  When I finally get a hold of the owner, he told me that if I mailed the straps back, and drove out to the factory to pick up the new pair, I could have my order fixed and ready before I left town.  GREAT!  I sent back the straps.  When I got the new straps (generously picked-up by my husband!) and open the package…  They’re too long, they were the wrong color, and they were too wide.  “I’ll never be able to work with these”, I cry out.

Straps 1

More exploration on straps at the National Circus School in Montreal

I call my friend and ask her to come over, and through my tears, I show her the equipment.  She looks at them and shrugs: “You can make these work.  They’re not that bad.  And it’s good that their long.  We can make a temporary knot in them for when you’re training with lower ceilings.”  I sigh.  “Ok”, I say, “I’ll try them out.  Worst comes to worst I’ll sell them”.  So I bring them to the studio the next day.  My friend helps me tie the temporary knot, and… It’s not so bad.

In the end I did take the straps on tour with me, and I made an effort to train on the equipment whenever I could.

When I got back home, I went to the National Circus School to train, where I knew I could hang the straps without worrying about their length.  The first day I hung my straps in the new space, a fellow artist came up to me and commented: “Wow, those are so cool.  You have so many movement possibilities”, and another said: “I like your straps!  Their really unique.

Unique.  That’s exactly what I had wanted them to be.  Suddenly… I’m in love.

Straps 3

My first “flag” on Staps at the National Circus School in Montreal

Now I’m going to the studio to train every night that I can.  I can’t get enough.  I have embraced the challenge, and accepted that these straps are different.  Just like me.

Sometimes you’ve got to go with what you’ve got.  Sometimes, trusting in the unknown is what makes the magic happen.

Up Coming…

We’ve launched our new studio!

The Screaming Goats Collective

Studio

Here’s my husband Jed working hard on the new studio!

We produced our first workshop “Intro to Pochinko Clown”, taught by Jed Tomlinson at the beginning of May.

Goats Poster

Next, we are excited to present the “Get Off You A$$ Creation Lab

This 17.5 hour long workshop will provide you with a variety of tools on how to generate new material and create a unique performance.

Visit our facebook page for more details (https://www.facebook.com/screaminggoatscollective/)

Persephone Bound

I’m honored to announce that my project: “Persephone Bound”  has been accepted for a creation residency curated by the TOHU.  This creation residency will allow me to rehears for 33 hours with my director, choreographer and designer at the National Circus School. At the end of our creation period, there will be a work-in-progress presentation to an invited audience.  More dates and details to come…

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May 17, 2016 · 9:57 pm