Every sport has a role model in our eyes & soul. Can you name the ones that inspired you?
My brother and I loved watching the Olympics then trying to teach ourselves what we had seen. There was lots of crashing and burning in my childhood. Our endless attempts at backhand springs mostly ended in face plants. We dove headfirst down the basement stairs, sometimes successfully landing on a strategically placed twin mattress. If, in those days, there had been opportunities to make viral videos, the catastrophes resulting from our neighborhood cartwheel race competitions would have been prize winners. The Russian gymnastic champions of my childhood were inspiring and bewildering, their perfection and discipline seemed so alien. When I was about twelve, I remember going to Chicago to see the Russian Olympic gymnastics champions. After the exhibition, my friends and I watched them get herded onto a bus with dark tinted windows; no family, no friends, just coaches and gymnasts. Even then, I recognized the oppressive nature of that system and felt grateful that I wasn’t a part of it.
Physical fitness is essential in every sport. Aerial routines on stage require incredible core and upper body strength. Share your fitness routine essential to become a good aerialist? Challenges one might come across initially?
I am fortunate enough to be able to make a series of choices each day. Those choices have a bearing on my fitness. What do I choose to put in my belly? Can I walk or ride a bike to run errands? Take the stairs rather than the elevator? Meet my friends for a walk in the park? A hike? Workout with friends? The trick is to look at activities as opportunities to support fitness.
Shoulder and arm strength is the essential basic for aerial acrobatics. Aerial arts become much more fun once a base level of conditioning is achieved. This does take time to develop. I am a co-founder of a training system, Cirque-It Fitness that is an efficient, economical program for building upper body and core strength. I have set my house up so that there are lots of opportunities to play in the air. Chin-up bars in doorways, eyebolts in rafters and an aerial rig in back yard.
While exercise is critical because you rely on your body for your income, you also need to be mindful about your diet. Diet you like to stick with for optimum performance? Five favorite foods you enjoy anytime?
I love to toss vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them at 550 degrees for twenty minutes or so. Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes and beets are all delicious this way. I also love steamed Swiss chard with balsamic vinegar and lemon. I clean and prepare a bunch of carrots and celery at a time so that I have quick snacks on hand; I eat with hummus and Tajin. Even though I enjoy desserts, cheese and bread I am pretty selective about eating them and portion control is definitely the trick. I also love eating fresh seasonal fruit.
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