11 March 2009

Suffering for Art

I enrolled in circus classes through Circa a few weeks ago: "Conditioning" on Monday evenings and "Beginner Aerials" on Wednesday evenings. (Thanks, David, for singly shouldering the evening duties!) The Conditioning class has been truly the toughest and most challenging class I have ever done, and I don't just mean in a boot camp sort of way. To impart acrobatic fitness, the class includes a lot of flexibility moves combined with strength -- like Pilates on steroids. I was really worried that I would get injured in the "warm-up" part of the class, which involves first running up and down four flights of stairs, then hopping up them on one leg.

Instead, I got injured in the kind, gentle Wednesday class! Normally they just get us to play a game that will warm us up, such as throwing around a fitness ball. Last week, the instructors swung a long rope while the students skipped in and out of it, initially hopping three times before moving off, then twice, then once, then graduating to other more challenging moves such as crossing over in front of each other, tumbling into the skipping area, cartwheeling out, and so on.

I, however, did none of these things. I couldn't get the hang of simply running in and starting to jump, and the rope would stop dead on me every time. After several rounds, the instructors gave me the advice that I needed to start jumping immediately when I walked into the skipping spot. On my next try, I ran eagerly in, all set to jump on cue, and... rolled my ankle.

I spent the next fifteen minutes watching everyone else get more and more proficient at skipping while icing and elevating my ankle. It didn't feel that bad and looked OK (the ice was doing a great job), so I decided to stay for the actual aerials training. To my horror, the next morning I was in excrutiating pain. Had I made a foolish decision and exercised a broken ankle?

David stayed home and shepherded me to the doctor, the x-ray clinic, and the doctor again (amazingly this took almost all day). Anya tagged along and loved shopping and lunching with David while they waited for me. Callum stayed home with his grandma (it being a "grandma day" anyway). Luckily it turned out that my ankle was not broken, which was a huge relief.

Today I am back to class for more aerials, but I've dropped out of conditioning for the rest of the term - still can't walk at normal speed, much less run and hop up the stairs!

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