Dear Constant Reader,
All throughout my Nose to the Rhinestone posts I mentioned a challenge that the BeauTease were undertaking. What was it?
It started because Evie is moving away (for real this time). She has a great duet, A Harlequin Romance, with Devora. We didn’t want to lose the act, so Evie began training our apprentice Pearl Buttons to learn her part. Pearl has the ballet background to make a lovely Columbine to D.D.’s Harlequin, but she can’t do splits. One of the showstopping moments in the number the dancers slide gracefully into simultaneous splits. It would be a shame to lose that bit.
I mentioned that Kristina Nekyia has a great video for circus-style flexibility. I had done her backbend exercises and had finally been able to do one (I thought I had a picture around here, but I guess not…). I suggested Pearl try the splits prep stretches. I think it was Brigitte who has the brilliant idea that we all should do them for a month.
And so I did. I started on March 10th and faithfully did the stretching routine until April 10th. I’m proud to say I never skipped a day, not even when I was on a Caribbean cruise or when I started coming down with bronchitis. Once I bought leggings and a t-shirt on my way to the theatre for the Teaseday Club so I could stretch before the show because I realized I wan’t going to get home until really late. I did the stretches at the D.C. airport when I was trapped by snow-caused flight delays.
What was the result?
My flexibility and strength definitely increased over the month. When I started I needed yoga blocks to support me for some of the stretches and then I was using them less and less. I know I was able to go deeper into some of the stretches as time went on, but honestly, they never stopped sucking. I went from being unable to touch my toes to the floor in the plow pose during the cool down section to being able to hold it comfortably. And the one-minute plank certainly became easier as we went along.
And how about those splits? I would have loved to have shown you a picture of Brigitte and Pearl and I all in splits, but we’re not there yet. And having been sick and basically immobile for a week has probably undone all the good work I did over the past month. Onward, upward.
I need to thank Scratch for supporting me in this challenge (emotionally, not physically), especially in the early days when I tried to weasel out because I was tired or some other lame excuse.