Suddenly fierce

Lately things have been really up and down. It’s really hard to force myself to get to the gym and go train unless someone’s coming with me and it’s really hard to make myself do pull ups unless I’m in a group, so that’s something I need to overcome. Still, I seem to be past my running wall! Last Wednesday I ran my record 3.15 miles…without even realizing it! I just kept running. And then on Saturday when I was in Boston visiting C, I went for what I thought would be a medium run. Instead, I ended up running about 4.5 miles in about 55 minutes! Without stopping even once! I got home and mapped it all out and was astounded. I can’t run 4.5 miles! And yet…I did….


So today I went for a run just to prove that Saturday was a fluke. Bam: 4.4 miles. Took quite a bit longer, but also involved a LOT more hills, whereas running in Cambridge was incredibly flat. I can’t believe it! It still seems kind of crazy. My goal had been to be able to run 4.2 miles by Thanksgiving…and here I am a month and a half ahead of schedule! I’m seriously in awe of myself. There’s a lot of “couch to 5k” 6 week programs out there, but I managed to go from running 1.5 miles to running a 5k (3.1 miles) in just about 4 weeks! Whaaaaaaaaaaat!??


Of course, the downside to my miraculous ability to run is that my hips are getting reaaaaaaaally tight. It’s been tough to stretch ‘em out all the time and I can definitely feel them cramping up some times. So that’s counter productive to my goal of getting to have beautiful amazing splits and being bendy but at least I’ll be able to outrun a zombie apocalypse. Plus, it’ll get better, right?


I also just accomplished day 1 of the 300 ab/core challenge. (http://kayciesantics.blogspot.com/2012/03/300-ultimate-ab-and-core-challenge_22.html) It’s a 30 day thing and since today’s the first, what better day to start? And this was all AFTER my gym training for 3 hours. Well, if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger, right?


In the meantime I’ve been tracking my food/drink intake, training hours, and sleep schedule as part of our required sustenance log. It hasn’t really illuminated anything I didn’t know already, but it’s a good way to remind myself to drink more water and ya know, EAT.


Our class schedule is settling down a bit: we start with a group warm up/stretch, then we have 2 classes. “Regular” classes are trapeze, partner acro, silks, and handbalancing, but then we also had “taster” classes last week: German wheel (!!!!! terrifying but amazing! I still don’t understand how it works, and yet I’ve done it), chinese pole (ughhh. Hard. Tiring.), stilting (easy! Thank you, powerizers!), and tight wire (the hardest part is just concentrating). We also have private lessons once a week. Mine have mostly been stretching and a little bit of trapeze, but I have a shared lesson tomorrow with T doing swinging trapeze! I’m so excited for that. We’ll see how it goes!


Oh, and on Fridays we also have physical theater and tumbling.


All in all, I still feel like I’m trying to settle in, but I’m also trying to be patient with myself. We’re not learning a ton of new material exactly, but I know that will come. Right now they’re trying to get us as strong and flexible as possible which will make learning new tricks that much easier. It’s just not quite as exciting as tricks. C’est la vie.


But seriously, did I mention 4.5 miles?


Also, I cannot emphasize enough how amazing it is to have such a loving house. My housemates are the greatest. We make food and tea for each other and take care of one another and will often find ourselves staying up too late just enjoying each other’s company and laughing. It’s a beautiful supportive house and I adore all my housemates. :)

On the one hand, things are awesome, but on the other, they’re getting a lot harder.

Running, for instance. Last week I did 3 miles and was feeling great about it…now I’m doing 1.5 to 2.5 miles and struggling through it. I’m gonna keep pushing through it ‘cuz I think it’s just a wall I need to get over, but it’s hard…especially at 6 am. Still, I ran 10 miles so far this week, so that’s satisfying to see.


However, I did the elliptical for 45 minutes yesterday, so I guess that’s the other end of the spectrum. I’ve been doing an awesome job in the gym and having really focused Members Only (open gym) training, so that’s good. Plus, we’re finally starting to do some class work rather than just doing assessments, so that’s good too.


In the meantime, I’m just sooooo tired. 6-7 hours of sleep isn’t cutting it these days…

Week 2! I think I’m getting the hang of this, though we’re not quite in the swing of things yet. It seems like the schedule’s shaken down a bit and I’m definitely working on developing habits for myself already.


The biggest change in the last week is that I started running. First I was doing running/walking (ralking, as it were) and was proud of myself for getting up to 4 miles. But then J started doing 6 am runs and inviting us along and telling us to just keep running and all of a sudden I found myself running 3.04 miles this morning without stopping (with hills!). I think that’s been the biggest surprise for me. If I can make a change like that in a week, imagine the kind of runner I’ll be by Thanksgiving….

And away we go!

Day 1 of ProTrack.

I would post a picture, but mostly it’d just be of me facedown in my bed giving myself a high five.

Then I ate some dinner, baked some bread, and hung out with almost all of my lovely roommates and that has given me a second pleasant breeze, if not a second wind. Our house is filling up and we’re acquiring furniture (kitchen table and chairs HOORAY!) so it’s starting to feel like a home now and that’s wonderful.


Oh, but right! About today. So let’s see…well actually, on Monday I had orien-no, that’s not true at all. I had nothing on Monday. I had hanging out with my friends and going swimming on Monday. C, N, and I–N came to visit on Friday–we found the best swimming spot! We…


Waaaait a minute.

This is all out of order and if I allow it to continue like this we’re not going to get anywhere. Or if we do, it won’t be pretty. Let’s shake it out and start again from the beginning, shall we?


FRIDAY. Right, let’s start with Friday. (Because obviously that’s how the week starts.) Okay, so on Friday Thursday (we’re starting on Thursday, just kidding) C and I drove up here and started to get the room settled. He was the greatest ever and helped me move things around. And then was patient when at 1 am I went, “NONONO, this isn’t right” and we had to move everything in the room again. And then again Sunday night after Mom and I talked over how to redo the room. (Yay Mom and Dad came to visit!) And then we had to move my bed roughly 7 times ‘cuz it still wasn’t quite right. Anyway, he wins the award for the most patient human being ever, ‘cuz I’m pretty sure I just woulda thrown my hands up and threatened to take away my bed if I couldn’t make up my mind. (Rest assured, everything fits nicely now.)


Then Friday was work study orientation and then that night N came up to visit (YAYYY!) and the three of us ate yummy food and invited some of the other ProTrack girls over to play a game and hang out. Saturday was awesome too: we found the best spot to go swimming. It’s about a 10 minute walk from my house and it’s off of the foundations of an old covered bridge. We figured the jumping spot is maybe a 10 or 11 foot drop down into the river. Yes, it’s super deep, yes we checked before jumping in. So that was good fun, and then (as I began to mention) T, T, C and I went out again on Monday. Playing with friends is the best. :)


But let’s put on our business pants and talk some business, eh? Today was my first day! We had a few hours of orientation, which consisted of a lot of scheduling, info on health resources, getting to know the space and that sort of thing. We got a quick walk to the gym that we have a membership to and we started learning about what the community norms of the space are, so that’s good. We have a proper orientation to the gym later (I scheduled mine for tomorrow).


Then we got to do our physical assessments! I’m pretty pleased with how it went. Felt pretty on par with what I can normally do, so I think it’s a good honest baseline. It’ll be fun to track my progress through the year, though. I’m also going to try and track my conditioning constantly in my training journal. Anyway, tomorrow I’m going to my work study orientation, then to orientation at the gym, and then Members Only studio training time. (Like an open gym.) Updates to come!


Conditioning (or rather, skill assessment):

-5.5 pull ups (perfect form, if I do say so myself)

-1 pull over (didn’t pull up first, just levered)

-3 minute wall sit (like you’re sitting in an invisible chair, but with your back against the wall. Works your thighs like woaah.)

-2:30 min handstand against a wall

-4 hand-over-hands in a pike climb (sit on a mat with your feet out in front. Hold that position as you climb a rope/silks with just your arms)

-2 silks/rope climbs in 1 minute

-12 plank to hollow body splats. (I know what you’re thinking. “?!!??” I know, right? Okay, so you get into push up position with your toes pointed so the tops of your feet are on the ground. Then you sliiiiiiiiiiiiiide back as slowly as you can keeping a tight hollow body position until you hit the ground, like a slow-mo belly flop. It’s a vicious ab thing.)



-pike (sitting): wrists to toes, palms flat against the bottom of my feet.

-pike (standing): palms flat, elbows softly bent, but mostly straightish

-bridge: (distance between feet & hands) 18″

-bridge: (distance between feet & hands, but with legs straight and together) 4′

-straddle against a wall: 3″ away from the wall, I think? Something close to that

-straddle, leaning forward: flat, belly on the ground

-shoulder flexibility (standing w/back flat against wall, raise arms up, palms facing each other over your head): wrists on wall

-right split: 4.5″ from the ground

-left split: 2″(I think? Or 1.5″?) from the ground

Movin’ on up…

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.” -Azar Nafisi

And I think it’s true. I’d say it is indeed a strange feeling. It’s almost sad, but at the same time I will see the people I love (often!) and I’m going to become someone so much stronger and more amazing, so it’s hard to feel sad about that.

But it’s certainly getting close to that time. I’ll be moving my things out of my apartment and up to VT with C tomorrow. I’m planning to bum around Boston for a few extra days with him before going back up to VT for real on Thursday. My first day at my work study job is on Friday and then my housemates will be moving in Saturday through Monday.

Training begins on Tuesday. Am I nervous? Yes. Will I survive it? Oh, certainly. In the meantime, I’m enjoying my last few lazy days at home in CT with C and Mom and then later today we’re heading up to fly on the trapeze rig T & T have been working on. I expect that my next post will be when I’m in VT!

(By the way: 6 pull ups!)


Also, I don’t know if I ever posted my audition video. http://vimeo.com/36813550 Here it is, if you’re interested!

It’s a countdown!

6 weeks.

6 weeks.

6 weeks.


Yep, the nerves have set in. My training begins 6 weeks from today. Am I ready? Uhh…well, I don’t really know. I did just assemble my brand new pull up bar though, and the goal is 7 pull ups in the next 6 weeks. (I’m at 5 right now.) I don’t think it sounds unreasonable, especially since it’s in the kitchen and I have to do 2 pull ups every time I walk in or out.

Aside from that? Housing is still in the works (fingers crossed) and mentally I have no idea what I’m getting into, but everyone keeps telling me it’ll be fine, so I guess I might as well just listen to them.

Hello again!

So the title of this blog is technically “Victoria Travels”. Since we’re all friends here, let us informally rename it “Victoria’s Adventures”.

Why rename it, Victoria? Didn’t you work so hard to find a completely neutral, all-encompassing name so that you’d be all set no matter where you go?

Well…yes and no, imagined reader audience. Because when I started this blog, I didn’t expect to end up traveling to…(drum roll, please)


And by “traveling to” I really mean “moving to”.

“But Victoria!” you’re all crying out, “what about Boston? What about all your friends? What about meeting such great people and living in a wonderful apartment and doing circus and just kind of winning at life?”

Let me start from the beginning.


We want to congratulate you on being accepted into the 2012 – 2013 Professional Track Training Program at NECCA.  We look forward to working with you during the program that runs from Sept 4 until May 19.” This is the beginning of an email I received on Monday. You see, I applied for a professional training program at the New England Center for Circus Arts. It consisted of a written application, audition video, letters of recommendation, invitation to their (7 hour)  audition (consisting of interview, dance, theater, strength, and flexibility assessment), and finally, this email! There’s two programs they offer for professional development: the Intensive program, which is 10 months and in a nutshell focuses on skill development, and the 9 month Professional Track program which is focused on act development and marketing/developing yourself into a performer/teacher. I’ve been accepted into the Pro Track program!

I’m super excited about this. Several of my friends were also accepted, so there’s quite a crew of us heading up next year. What does all that have to do with this blog? Well, those 9 months are going to be a ridiculous adventure. I tend to process everything better when I can write about it, so I figured why not use this travel/adventure blog to help you guys through my adventure, too?

I suppose this is my pre-adventure post! (Hah..it’s my pre-post. Oh, language.) In light of that, let’s go through where I’m at right now.

I train several times a week: I have advanced partner acro class on Wednesdays, lyra (aerial hoop) on Thursdays, trapeze on Friday, and open gym on Sundays as well as spinjams (juggling! acro! handstands!) on Mondays. I’m starting to do more rope tricks on trapeze, which is starting to push me toward realizing I may someday need to know some actual skills on silks. (I can do a few!) Right now I’m most interested in continuing in acro, lyra and trapeze. I’d also like to improve my handstands, though I doubt I’d consider major or minoring in hand balancing. I think I’d most likely major in trapeze (and lyra?) and minoring in partner acro. You can’t really do a double major, but the program hasn’t even started yet, so I’m not worried about it.

Anyway, at this point there’s not too much to say, but keep your eyes out and before you know it, I’ll be on my way!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.