Archive for October, 2010

The Spine and a Long Contract

Friday, October 29th, 2010

A long contract where you are working 6 days a week really shows up all of the little weaknesses in your body.  For me, then more so than ever before I have found the need to really work on all of these little weaknesses.  It is really in the last month or two that these weaknesses have let me know that they are there in the form of pain in backbends.   Luckily the pain is now going away and I am nearly back to my full flexibility.  It is so important to do various things to be able to keep at the optimal level each day and to prolong my career.

  • Core stability and back strengthening exercises have now become part of my longer daily warm up routine.  I did work on these before, just not every day.
  • I now work quite intensely on the areas of my spine that are not the lower lumbar spine and i have been taking too much of the compression of the backbends through that one tiny section of my spine which is the part that has recently been complaining to me and not really moving.  So lots of work on my the upper parts of my spine.
  • Also the way that I backbend, before i used to stick my butt out/anteriorly tilt my pelvis as i went from standing to bridge position, now i roll down through the spine without sticking my butt out first, same on bridge to standing.  It’s something little that does make a difference.
  • My posture in everyday life has also been getting some attention.
  • Also a few people that should get special mentions are Pete (and Nikki) at PhysioEd, and Phil at Neo Massage.  Both of these people are currently helping my spine to keep optimally bendy and strong  🙂

The Box – How it came into existence!

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Squeezing into small spaces or contortion boxes actually has a name – enterology, and there are crazy people like me all over the world that do it.

I have vivid memories of throughout my life squeezing into small spaces.  As a child I was always awesome at hide’n’seek as I managed to get into the small places no-one would look.  I also remember doing weird things as I was growing up such as seeing if I could get into the lockers at the gymnastics centre (i wasn’t the only one, all my friends would try too lol)…  I also did things such as squeezing into my television cabinet…

Some time in December 2007 or 2008 I did a gig where they specifically wanted a contortionist to get into a box.  I am very lucky to have my mum’s boyfriend who is a builder and super duper at making things.  So we brought the materials and my first contortion box was created.  I made sure not to make it so small that I couldn’t get into it, it was not big but also not a challenge. So version two came along not long after and was dismantable for transportation. Eventually version two also seemed like it could be smaller, and so I had version three made. Version three is 16.5 x 16.5 x 20 inches, I am 5′ 6.5″ tall. When version three first came along then it took me a good hour to be able to work out how to get into it, and for that hour I feared I had gone too small and couldn’t get into it! But now… and I imagine my mum’s boyfriend is going to hate me for this, but I think I may be nearly ready for version four…

Me getting into my box, photo by Alice Hardman, 2010.