On March 11, our boy Trudes announced that social gatherings above 250 would be cancelled. Our Spring 2020 show was scheduled for the following evening. Months of hard work, sweat and practice for this!?!
Gosh Trudes, awesome timing¹.
And the show did go on…
Audience was a bit sparser but the energy was just as awesome.
Knee-deep in Pandemic
Both Kells & I registered for classes before the pandemic precautions. We were waiting with bated breath… will the classes continue or not?
Yes the classes were still on but would be virtual.
Not sure what the final product is going to be like, or even what the format of our final show will be. But it’ll sure be interesting.
Let’s play footsie ¹We’re not making fun or light of the pandemic precautions or our provincial emergency status. The post’s title is merely to point out that our show happened day after the announcement. And it caused a bit of a fuss. ²I kept calling it Corvid because it flows better. (It totally does: covid vs corvid.) The husband corrected me. Covid-19 stands for COrona-VIrus Disease 2019. Technically, corvid isn’t incorrect… and can I point out that #corvid is used more that #covid?
However, this gym has an awesome workaround. They’ve created a complimentary 30-Minute HIT at Home for members!
Kells has been intermittently hitting it for over a decade. But over the past few years she’s been really consistent.
I tried hitting it for the 2018 fundraiser Kick the F*ck Of Cancer🔗. It was my first time and I felt like puking after. I hadn’t felt that wretched in ages. I thought “Guess this isn’t your jam, missy.”
New Years promo
A couple months ago, K pointed out that there was a special deal. I hemmed and hawed. I thought, let’s just book a trial session… and I was hooked. You get your own gloves and wraps. Makes me feel like I’m a hardcore boxer.
I thought this would be great for a quick workout. In the days I want longer training, I’d have the option to go through 2x.
But believe me, you work your entire body hard. Both Kells & I are hot sweaty messes afterwards.
I still have not gone through the circuit 2x. But one of these days, I will.
And less than 2 months later
I feel stronger, energized, got some skills, endurance (I had to take multiple breaks per station in the beginning).
My waist is more defined. People have told me my shape is changing. I’m not doing it for looks… but it’s nice to get positive feedback.
If you’re up for a challenge, and this looks remotely interesting, call to get your free trial!
Footnotes: ¹Ginger is a new instructor but has been performing for years. She’s an Aussie! ²The second instructor is Portia de Favro🔗. N&K were itching to try one of her classes but she’s only doing intermediate and advanced. After a year of burlesquing, we feel that we’re past beginner stage but not quite intermediate.³Congratulations to Cherry on Top and Ariel Helvetica on bringing 2 new tinies to the GVA!
We had a discussion about hikes versus walks🔗. We both think the term hike means a walk-with-attitude. So immediately you know it won’t be as easy as walking to the corner store. Thus, for folks with mobility or health issues, hikes will generally be harder.
If you have concerns… We recommend you research a hike site well, before you go. Reviews are a good source of secret info. You will need to consider access to: Help/Rescue, rangers/guides, cell service, water availability, transport, seaaonal access, etc.
What we love in a hike…
…good exercise, solace, lovely things to see and peaceful to hear. So, doing the Grouse Grind🔗 (in Vancouver, Canada) with crowds, unvaried scenery and a sense of urgency doesn’t appeal to either K or I.
The Cross🔗 is a walk-up, upside big hills† with windy, narrow★ dirt paths. Some parts have rocks, shrubs. Others have a baby-bluff for respite and to take in the scenery.You end up at the summit with a… You guessed it: a big cross.
I’m not in phenomenal shape. But I do cardio 6-7x/week. And, I was quite surprised that I was dying on the Mount Everest-esque hills leading up to the Cross’d summit.
Later, we realized it was 39C, dry blazing sun. I should have drunk more water before heading out.
So our plan for the next day’s hike was to get out earlier to avoid blazing sun. And I’d have more water beforehand.
(And yes, this helped immensely!)
7 Sisters (Water)Falls
There are several beautiful hikes available through the Indian Canyons 🔗.
Kells chose the 7 Sisters Falls hike. The hike took us across a varied landscape. We went from desert dryness to an Oasis to shaded green majestic tree’d areas to big climbable rocks and the soothing waterfalls.
TBH considering it was called The 7 Sisters Falls, I was kind of something explosive. It was definitely enchanting but don’t expect Niagara Falls.
(Kells did this hike with one of her besties last year, and with her infink nephew in a bjorn… And though lovely, it was unfortunately too dry to see the Falls.)
This hike was challenging for me not because it was hard per se. It was more about challenging my own anxieties. I had to cross waters by balance-walking on logs. I had to climb across smooth rocks (smooth=no friction=trouble for Nals). Lots of fallen vegetation around, which creates fab hiding spots for biting, stinging creatures. So yeah… There was that.
I left a piece of myself in 7 Sisters that fateful morning. And, I will always have a piece of 7 in me.
As I was surveying the sheer rockface that I was to climb (that K just basically hopped on like a baby goat), I noticed a nemesis lodged in the rocky outcrop. I said to this stick “we will be like ships in the night, you and I…” Unfortunately, it had other ideas. As I climbed that rockface, I promptly stuck the stick promptly stuck itself into my knee. This gd stick. Just a half-inch diameter. A fallen child trapped in a rock world. Shriveled. Dry. Pathetically beige. And fierce enough to almost penetrate my knee cap. Touché my friend. Touché¹.
The road Runner Trail
The Road Runner Trail is an oddball hike. It’s on the outskirts of the city, near some ritzy hotel and regular streets. Seems like it’d be an easy stroll with nicely planted flowers and shrubs.
Except it’s not… There is a collection of rancid hills that you ascend (then descend). You aimlessly traverse these rando hills for eons. (Remeniscent of that movie The Cube🔗.) And suddenly, you’ve got an amazing bird’s eye view of the area. It’s surreal!
You must become one with the narrow★ trails.
There were times where the precariously-gravelled trail was flanked by (guaranteed) steep falls into one rock abyss or another. In a Black Swan ballet move, some of the gravel seemed fall away at the trail edges, at the same moment I was approaching it. Like a warning. Or a taunt. I paused. Time stood still. Eerie crackle-sounds of the falling gravel. Puffs of dust billowed as each piece bounced off the land, and twirled up again. My stomach lodged in my throat. That gravel bit could be me in a heartbeat. I was quite concerned that it may be idiot-proofed, but not Nals-proofed. It all turned out okay. But it got dicey².
Kells & I loved all of these “easy” hikes.
Side effect: We’ve known each other now for over a decade. We need know each other well. But during the quiet peace of the hikes, we shared some new and interesting thoughts with one another. So yeah, hikes are definitely worth the effort!
Footnotes *For some perspective: The Vancouver walks that Nals has been on were at Burnaby Lake, Deer Lake, etc. There’s the Coquitlam Crunch. I would consider this a hard walk (or easier hike). The actual hikes I’ve previously done were at Deep Cove, or upside a volcano in Costa Rica. Those I’d consider easy but towards the harder side of easy. † I don’t know the difference between a hill and a mountain but this was a big ass mofo hill. So let’s just call it a mountain. With no trees, minimal shrubs and hot dry dirt. ★so narrow that if another person was coming in the opposite direction, one of you needed to hug the wall. And there wasn’t always a “wall” to hug. If you’re afraid of heights then you may want to avoid this one. ¹I survived to tell my tale. How did it happen, Nals? What a weirdo, freaky thing, Nals. This is the life that Nals has come to call her own… Where physics meets magic meets the exact opposite of what Nals was thinking. ²Dicey in my head. Sure, one should be cautious. But, I wasn’t going to let my anxiety rule me.
N&K are again joining burlesque progressive classes leading to Vancouver Burlesque Company‘s 🔗 Student Showcase (adult version of a recital). It’ll be Thursday December 12, 2019 at 9 pm at the Rio Theatre 🔗.
Unfortunately Kells and I couldn’t join the same class this quarter (boo!). Her themes are Mad Scientist (Cleo Victory’s contemporary) and The Circus (Chastity Twist’s chair). They sound like so much fun!
My 2 classes are more classic burlesque styles. My themes are Women*’s Personas: Public & Private Faces (Cherry On Top’s Ingenue level) and Vegas Showgirls (Ariel Helvetica). My classes are a lot of fun, too. We’ve mistreating pink feather boas* and red-and-silver heels.
There are a variety of babes in our classes: some new-to-the-scene and some familiar faces. Very exciting mix!
The show is going to phenomenal folks! So please come to see us and cheer us on. We promise lots of good energy, fun vibes and good times.
*mistreatment as in humping and other fun things. No feather boas were harmed… Yet.
Some career opportunities have come up and so a rehaul was due.
A few years ago, I made a huge change. I left the comfort of my full-time job in mental health, to go to a part-time job in the medical field. I needed to switch gears. And the leftover time would allow me to pursue my business idea and some extras.
This was a brilliant move!
Then things started to feel a little stale. Burlesque, getaways and fitness made things a bit exciting and now we’re back to a feeling a bit stagnant.
So, I took a leap of faith on some opportunities that happened to come my way. And, it’s official: I’m back full-time in mental health!
Overall, this is a good move for me and my future. Then why do I feel this anxiety, which is overwhelming at times?
Did you know that stress is multidimensional?
It affects our cognitive, physical, behavioural and social dimensions.
have a positive (eustress) and/or negative (distress) nature,
have a time frame: acute or chronic (or even acute on chronic),
be planned or unexpected.
There are pros and cons to everything. And that’s okay. It’s in how you process it and to find appropriate supports.
For me, the CBT approach works best. I know that I ruminate in my feelings like a dog rolls around in a rotting carcass**. My previous negative experiences roll into it. And all these feelings become overwhelming. They overwhelm my logic and I sink farther into the well. I also have a tendency to bottle it all up°.
What works for me
I recognize there’s a problem°°,
I label my feelings and thought distortions,
I use logic to break my thought cycles,
I talk it out with a trusted support person.
If you are new to CBT or its tenets don’t quite resonate, N&K encourage you to research different techniques. And then to get appropriate support.
Here is a list of clickable resources to get you N&Kers started:
Footnotes: *Winning a competition can be positive. But, there can be negatives too such as feeling more pressure to win the next comp and feeling like the need to train harder. But maybe you don’t have the resources or social support for this. *An example of acute on chronic is: having a large distressing debt and then all of a sudden, my car breaks down. I don’t have the money to fix it but I need my car to get to work to help pay down the debt. **Except I don’t want to roll around in it. °Not sure why I bottled shit up. It’s probably rooted in not being able to trust. But I’ve learned that I have lots of supportive people around, and I can trust them. °°It took me a long time to realize that feelings are not fact. Feelings can be overwhelming. There are a lot of tools to help me manage. And I know I can manage when I recognize there’s an issue.
So if you follow us on Instagram you know we recently did the student show case with the Vancouver Burlesque Company. I got to dance with a level 2 group. I was totally out of my element and felt very insecure.
Dancing puts me in a vulnerable position.
1. I’m not a small girl. So I feel like its obvious, me, this giant chick on the stage
2. Being giant, you are gunna see that a) I’m bigger than others, height and weight and b) you will see I’m not a good dancer (especially since I was dancing with former dancers).
3. Others in my dance classes are good dancers. They have danced before and they know what position 1 means.
4. I was told when I was younger, and wanted to join ballet, that I cant be a dancer because I’m to tall (Stupid that the things we are told when we are young sticks with us).
So yah, I’m feeling vulnerable but determined to do it. But this experience got me thinking about my thoughts vs others. What I see is me as an elephant in the room, dancing with cute ballerinas. BUT what others see is me doing well. I got good feedback from my friends. But these crappy feelings of me looking stupid flood other parts of my life too.
For example, at my gym, for the longest time, I always thought I could see my tummy reflecting off the heater that is located on the roof right above me. It literally took me over a year to realize it wasn’t my belly at all, but the big ball I was using making the reflection!
Like what the heck!?
Why? Why do I assume, this big ball is my stomach reflecting? Why do I go to a negative place? Why didn’t see a ball? Why didn’t I see me accomplishing this one work station that I’ve struggled with for so long?
I’m so annoyed with myself when I realized I’ve been doing this. Nals and I have talked about this (a lot). We always remind each other that we are pointing out negative things and will say “that’s not what I see”. As much as I have focused on trying to be body positive, and not negative on myself, I still find I have moments (like mentioned above) where I still beat myself up. I still see negative things.
But here’s what I can do:
1. Listen to the positive feedback
2. Recognize when Im being negative
3. Continue to challenge myself
4. Remember to love myself
5. Celebrate my accomplishments
I know I’m not the only one that goes through this. Please share the ways you challenge your negative self talk and ways you love yourself!!
So I (Kells) sucked it up, put my fears on hold and went to my 20 year grad reunion.
Back ground: I was not one of the “cool” kids. I had many friends and floated from group to group but I never had that crew. I didn’t sit in one spot, or hide out in the back field. I simply survived high school by roaming, moving and saying hi to those that would say hi back. I viewed myself as a band/theater geek. But no one asked me to the prom (however I was more than happy to go with my bestie), I tried to avoid the school bullies and I learned to just laugh at myself (especially before others could laugh at me).
So 20 years has come and gone. (I did go to my 10 year reunion, it was still weird). People still had their clicks but what was neat was at the 10 year reunion, one of the dudes that was always mean to me came up to me and apologized. It was really shocking but very nice of him to do. I totally respect him for that.
I didn’t know who I would see, or what to expect. I went to the reunion (even the 10 year) without the hubs. I tried to say hi to everyone I could, though some did not recognize me and some still snubbed me.
But I wanted to share the things I didn’t expect.
1. A few people told me they had a crush on me. Surprised me as I always had a low view on my looks in high school, so never thought anyone would like me. Plus I was generally a foot taller than most people, which made me stick out, or above the crowd. Also made me self conscious.
2. I heard other people (even those I deemed as cool) talk about trying to survive. One person mentioned staying in their clump, because to them, survival was in numbers.
3. Most people agreed who the school jerk was. He was there too. I didn’t get to talk to him, but if I did, I was gunna tell him he wasn’t nice. Why not? I would want someone to tell me if I were mean to them in high school cuz I would like to apologize. (Not that I expected him to apologize).
4. A couple people thanked me for always being so nice to them. I didn’t realize I had that impact. They even remembered things about me I didn’t! It was so touching.
5. I got this at both my 10 and 20 year: “you’re so pretty now”. Dont say that. It’s mean. This time I responded with, thanks, I think you are trying to be nice, so I will take that as a nice compliment.
6. People said they didn’t remember me until I started talking and laughing and this is what they remember me for. Sad cuz I laugh like a donkey but atleast I was remembered for laughing!!! I will definitely take that.
7. I had fun. Who knew? I laughed so hard, that my abs hurt, even 2 days later. I stayed up way to late and I went to sleep feeling happy.
So why was I so happy? Well I suppose a few reasons...
1. I realized that jerk in high school is still a jerk and that it wasn’t me, it was him.
2. I went in to the reunion hoping to just have fun and not hide. Mission accomplished!
3. I’m happy with my life. I have everything I could ask for. I laugh. I live. I love.
4. It was nice to hear feedback about my high school self that was completely different than what I though I was. Where I saw fluttering from group to group to try to hide/blend, others saw as social. People saw me as kind, laughing and fun. And guess what, I am those things!
I have so many friends that don’t want to do their reunion because high school sucked. But I heard from many of my classmates that it sucked for them too!! Thank goodness high school isn’t the best years of our lives! I want to live my best life now, and feel that I am. I want to encourage you to attend your reunion! Talk to people. Ignore those who still suck and learn that our negative self high school image is not what others have seen!
As you N&Kers know, both K&I are taking burlesque classes through Vancouver Burlesque Company. In fact, 2 each this term! So, this will be K’s 2nd & 3rd performances. And my 3rd & 4th performances.
When I first started burlesque, I was shy about telling people.
I thought I would be judged for the type of dance, or that I would dare to do it because I don’t have a dancer’s body. And culturally speaking, I was taught to be modest. Prancing around in your undergarments is not modest. I’m also too old to take on something like burlesque! And lastly, there are only a handful of visible minorities in burlesque. I definitely felt out-of-place. This translated into me being shy about talking about it.
Holy batman! All these internal battles!
Rectifying internal battles
Type of dance: I try to educate people on the burly history. It’s not just about shaking your tail feathers. This is another way to express how you’re processing society’s zeitgeist. Don’t believe me? Then look at all the sub-genres: nerdlesque, contemporary, chair, etc.
Dancer’s body: Burlesque initially came out because poor folks poked fun at the richie-rich operas/shows. With burlesque, essentially, anything goes. Different bodies, shapes, colours, abilities… it is about you telling your story. How are you interacting with the audience?
Too old: Yes, I’m older than my instructors and classmates. But, the only person who has made me feel ‘too old’ is me. Last showcase, there was a 60+-year-old woman who did a saucy chair solo. She was fantastic!
Modesty: This term means to act demure, and can include dressing in a non-sexually aggressive manner. Is it a vehicle of oppression? Perhaps it is to be deliciously explored in future burlesque?
… I talk about being in burlesque all the time. I’m excited that I can be part of it! I’ve got access with Vancouver Burlesque Company. (Screaming Chicken, K&I are coming for you, soon!) It’s affordable both financially and timewise.
I’m engaging in self-care. I’m getting fitter and honing in on different fitness goals. I get to dress up, make costumes, have fun, learn to move, meet new people, dance with Kells, listen to music, feel inspired, feel empowered, feel confident, have a creative outlet and be around positivity.
I’ve learned that I’m not as klutzy as I thought I was. I’ve got a bit of rhythm. I’ve learned that I can jellybean, plank off of a chair, go from a standing position to the floor then do an inchworm push up in heels… all in rhythm to music!
Performing on stage isn’t for everyone. With VBC, you can actually just take the class without doing the final show. And, last Fall when I took my first class, I didn’t plan on performing. But by the end, I thought: why the frig not?
Being on stage is simply exhilarating. Hearing the audience cheer and whistle. Feeling those positive vibes. Performers excited and buzzing with adrenaline. It is a fabulous feeling!
So, if you are remotely interested in this genre, K&I encourage you to take a class with VBC (or SC). Or in the very least, come and check us out. Tickets available online here.