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Swinging From The Ceiling
The last weekend in July found me literally swinging from the ceiling – I know the word ‘literally’ tends to be overused these days but trust me, I’m using it in context thanks to my Aerial Cirque ‘Introduction To Silks’ workshop.
I managed to persuade two of my pals to come along with me – Debbie, who was a willing victim and Aoife, less willing but suffers from severe FOMO which makes her an easy target.
What? Who? Where?
In case you’re not familiar with it, Aerial silks is the performance of aerial acrobatics while hanging from long lengths of fabric. Perhaps you saw Pink’s unforgettable performance at the 2010 Grammy’s…as if singing in front of a massive audience of your peers wasn’t challenging enough, she threw in some aerial silks work aswell ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htaKHoihSSA
Aerial Cirque is run by aerialist extraordinaire Ria Murphy and is situated in an old Victorian building at no. 10 Exchequer street. The studio itself is full of space and character, with beautiful stained glass windows providing colour and light to the shabby chic interior.
An Historical Site
Bear with me while I go off on a bit of a tangent, but the building itself is so interesting I had to do a little bit of snooping (online not around the actual building). As it turns out Exchequer Street has a fascinating and at times sordid history. The site of at least three political assassinations, home to the 12th century Exchequer (probably not a revelation) and later on brothels and at one stage a temperance hotel (that was never going to catch on). Particularly interesting it seems No. 10 played home or at least ‘office’ to the Irish National Aid and Volunteers’ Dependants’ Fund and in turn was workplace to Michael Collins who became secretary to the fund in February 1917.
Back to the business of aerial acrobatics. After we all signed the very thorough waiver (it’s definitely worth reading before you go), we met our ultra bendy and very patient teacher, Nicola who got us off to an energetic start with our warm up which served as a good ice breaker. Speaking of breaking, I’m pretty sure if you survive the warm up you’ll have no issues with the acrobatics.
Tying Ourselves Up In Knots
As soon as the warm up was done, the crash mats come out – gulp. We were split up into groups of twos and threes to each silk. The vibrantly coloured silks all hang from the ceiling looking like props from a Bollywood movie. Our first lesson was how to tie a knot. I failed miserably at this, thankfully one of the other girls was more than competent and happy to be the chief knot tyer. I seem to remember wearing my mother’s patience to a thread when it came to learning how to tie shoe laces, clearly the life of a sailor is not for me (that pun wasn’t intended but I’m going to run with it).
Ready For Take Off
Once our silks were safely knotted (thanks Hayley), we were ready to start some simple ‘bum hoists’, I’m not sure what the official term is. Nicola demonstrated each move a couple of times and then it was our turn. We quickly graduated from sitting to standing and onwards to a standing lunge out of the silks, on to the flying splits or at least that’s what it looked like when Nicola was doing it. My version of it looked a bit more like Penelope Pitstop with a hamstring strain.
Taking Things Upside Down
Eventually we got to the inversions which while they looked very complicated – ok I had to be talked through it very slowly – weren’t really too bad and certainly looked good in the pictures. The two hours flew by and I would certainly recommend it as a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. The workshop kicks off at 15.30 and cost €30 which I thought was good value.
That’s a (Silk) Wrap!
It is quite strenuous, if you have any issues at all I would make sure to discuss with Aerial Cirque before booking in. I would suggest bringing a long sleeved top as there are one or two moves which are a little bit chafey on the old underarms. Remove your jewellery, bring your friends, or go it alone, the vibe is welcoming and fun for all. If you fall in love with aerial performance on your first date, there’s a six week beginners course take you to the next level.
(01) 444 8959
I think we’re all a little blue in the face from either being stressed or hearing about how to cope with stress. Well here’s more of it, but with the suggestion of a very simple stress reducing solution.
I’ve managed to reduce my stress levels significantly in the last few years. Changing my job helped greatly, but there was another far simpler change I made, and that was to my timekeeping. For anyone who is reading this and is a paragon of punctuality you might aswell skip on to the next blog, you’re already singing from this hymn sheet, for the tardy types read on.
For a long time I was a ferocious timekeeper. Always a few minutes, occasionally more than just a few minutes late. I was late for appointments with friends mostly, rather than business meetings. The dread of discommoding a client far outweighed the fear of annoying my friends, whom I clearly took for granted, selfishly valuing my time above theirs.
Part of my issue was trying to pack as much as possible in before finally getting myself out the door. Also I think I hated the idea of getting to a place too early for fear of actually having to wait for someone – imagine.
About three years ago when I started ‘Grá For Fitness’, this all changed. I simply could not be late for classes that I was teaching. I’m not sure if it was a conscious decision but I started applying this new found approach across the board.
I simply gave myself more time. If I couldn’t get my ‘to do’ list done before I left the house, then so what? One thing I noticed immediately is the difference it made to my stress levels. When it came to driving places I drove slower and had more patience with people on the roads. The level of road rage and related profanities decreased greatly, I was able to find a parking space with a bit of time left over to prepare for whatever the occasion was.
Google maps is a fantastic timekeeping tool whether walking, cycling or driving. I nerdily check out timings in advance, eliminating the question of how long it’s going to take for me to get somewhere.
Another thing I’ve realized is, if you’re driving and running late, you’re far more likely to use your phone to send a sneaky text or call ahead with your ETA (if there are any gards reading obviously I have never done this).
With regards to meeting friends, my new found promptness was also making my (and their) life easier. I realized that I had been turning up to appointments late – irritated with myself, on the back foot, and sometimes a little irritated with them because I knew they were irritated at me. That’s a lot of unnecessary irritation. These days I even take a little pleasure in getting to my destination early and enjoying that slightly smug feeling of getting there first.
I still have occasional times including the other day when I was late to an appointment. Instead of using my driving trip to the location to mentally prepare, all I could do was worry about how far away I was, road-raging like a loon and arriving proffering apologies which is never a good place to start. It served as a reminder.
Of course there are times when being late due to unforeseen circumstances is unavoidable. I realise ‘first thing in the morning tantrums’ related to issues such as not wanting to eat breakfast or wear your chosen / proposed outfit, refusing to be strapped into the car can cause serious delays, and then of course there are parents dealing with small children. In the unavoidable cases where it really isn’t your fault, you just have to let the stress go.
If you’re already a top time keeper and kept reading – good on ya, think of all the stress you’re avoiding.
If you’re a habitual johnny or joanie come lately, I suggest giving this punctuality thing a go and enjoying those reduced stress levels.
And to all my friends I’ve kept waiting; thank you, I appreciate your time.
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