Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Getting back to it.

Ah, coming back to the studio after 12 days of inactivity. How wobbly the body can feel after such a short time away, and what a relief to feel that sweat break again. For the umpteenth time in my life, Dan Millman has come to my aid in the form of a book that was my papa's, "The Warrior Athlete." (why doesn't blogger have a freaking underline key?)

My training is so tied up in my view of the world and my place in it, I can get lost crawling around on the expansive face of Things I Want To Do, and don't forget Impossible Things To Accomplish in One Day. This approach, although it feeds my motivation (almost) tirelessly, can inhibit my training to the tune of 2 steps forward, 1 step back.

So I'm learning to cut it off. I can't go from vacation body to invincible Amazon body in one training session, much as my ego tries to persuade me so.
So, realistic goals must be set, not just physical goals but emotional and mental goals as well. How do you want to feel when you leave the studio?

And even more importantly, how do you prepare mentally when you enter it?

In SF there was a feeling of respect and gratitude that surrounded Circus Center. You took your shoes off when you entered the gym. Teachers were revered as the creatures that they were, celebrated for their knowledge and their willingness to share it. Students who had been there longer than you had clear seniority, and were regarded as such, like a grad school student to a freshman. Even if they weren't shooting stars yet, once you learned the caliber of what the training demanded, you felt respect for anyone who had devoted themselves to it. Of course people gossiped and were bitchy, that's what people do generally. But the respect for the form, it was assumed from the beginning. It informed how you approached the work.

This attitude of stated reverence is missing from Seattle. The competitive nature of the work has, at points, chewed away at decency. Aerial is here, thanks to Lara Paxton, Tamara Dover, and Teatro Zinzanni (as far as I know), but it is still new.
I am not a martial artist, but I think the comparison has merit. It's not just a physical discipline.

So the general cloud of mental creaminess is missing, so you can't depend on it being there. You have to make it yourself, every time. How often do I walk into a room and let it's overall energy signature assume itself as mine? It's normal to do so, unconscious I think. So I'm learning to carry it with me, to project what I want from my training that day onto the stage and into my arms.
And hopefully it will be sticky like spiny little stars, and fill in the spaces and be inhaled into the lungs of co-trainers.

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