So a few weeks ago I was in the midst of writing a post about how my "hobbies" are now balancing each other out, yet not at the same time.
This month has been horrific for me considering the lack of time I have for the three things (possibly four) that I enjoy the most. You might remember a post I wrote back in February titled "Why I Want to Quit Cosplay." That post still stand valid. However, this month cosplay has taken over my life with tying up costumes and an extremely eventful month with FCBD, Zenkaikon, and WW Philly.
I also started flying trapeze again this month and have reunited with my love of shooting through the air. Now that we are in a park the bar has been raised as park goers stop by and watch us practice and learn (there is an audience, eek). As strange as it was getting back up there and as rusty as I am, I know I am a much better flier this year. I remember my first year and thinking everything happens so quickly who has time to think if your toes are pointed or not? I was so focused on getting through the trick. Technically, the amount of time it takes to throw a trick is about a minute, so it IS fast. Now when I fly I feel like I have time. It's as though I can feel each second, I am not rushing and I can think about things like pointing my toes and looking the right direction. This week I started throwing hocks off again and even off of the rise I don't feel rushed through the air. It's a really good feeling and a much needed one in regards to my circus studies.
Since moving static classes to the park for the outdoor season, I have not been performing well. Regardless of what others tell me, I know I am not performing to the best of my abilities. I know I shouldn't need to use two positions to get into a pike or a split, but in the last month or so I haven't been able to not do so. It's also killing me to be struggling with some of the same tricks for months. I still can not get a roll up and I can't do a pull over without cheating (and making it super ugly in the process). I also can not do an iron cross, but I also haven't been trying to do that one. It's tough watching my friends move forward while I stay stagnant. I am very happy for them, but makes me harder on myself.
After my first class back to flying, I thought I had pulled something in my lower back. My back was throbbing and painful this resulted in static trapeze being nearly impossible since I could not bend my back. This was actually very upsetting for me. Think about something you love to do and actually having the fear that you might not be able to ever do it again. It certainly does not help that I know all sorts of people with back problems. The idea of having a back problem and having to back out of circus arts really did a number on my psyche. Funny thing is from what I read, circus is actually very good for the back. Aerialists, flyers, and contortionists are not known for back problems (or health problems really).
So I took some time off of static in fear of injuring myself. Thankfully it's been a very rainy May and my flying classes were also canceled for two weeks. When I went to my flying make up class I was nervous about upsetting what had healed, but after class and in the following days (and now) it feels back to normal. I think going back to flying worked a muscle back there that hasn't been of use since I stopped. This week I started learning my "swing" and it looks so simple. I guess that's the point of circus (and dance) to make everything look easy. It is not easy and it worked every possible muscle in my upper body, especially my abs, upper back, deltoids, and everything around the armpit area among other spots. Flying trapeze is a full body workout.
What's great about all of this is that I now realize there is a balance to my hobbies. While I am feeling very incompetent in static trapeze right now (which means I am on the verge of taking a break), I am actually feeling quite the opposite about both cosplay and flying. When I was feeling very undervalued and frustrated with my creation skills in cosplay back in February, it was static trapeze that kept my chin up and now things have flip flopped. I also had loads of anxiety about flying again. Flying, cosplay and a resurge in my creative needs kicked back in right when I needed it.
I mean quite a few issues about cosplay still stand. The body issues (as long as I am trapezing this is a non issue), the catty behavior, the competing, the "networking," the groups, the alliances, etc... Vicki referred to me as family recently and I was a bit thrown by that. Not in a bad way of course, but it got me thinking. I had never thought of the cosplay community as family and its something to really take into account. I have certainly thought of my trapeze friends as family. Circus is family and every circus starts with a family. Trapeze artists are usually families. Cosplay as family with all the issues I just mentioned fits perfectly well. Every family has some complications, and pretty much every issue I mentioned at one time or another. I have gotten pretty darn lucky I think. I have my circus family, my cosplay family, dare I say work family (admit it), and of course my actual family helping to keep me the mash up person I am. :o)
Balance is lovely.