What are you good at???

RussellSue

Not Active
Cyr wheeling at home since I no longer perform publicly, is my freedom. I had lost the ability for years after the plane accident, but have spent many years regaining the ability. To me, it represents overcoming the impossible and my inner clown goes wild.

If you design chain mail curtains, you may have a best seller! Medieval enthusiasts, steampunkers, and cat owners as well as those who go for unique style will enjoy that!

It was kind of you to give the cats a home! Scratching posts are great but there's always a rebel that goes for other things. For the rebel in my house, I got blinds and solved the problem, but I did have to put the pull-string up at the top. They may let you trim their nails...start by a gentle foot massage and after a few times, introduce nail clippers. You can feel good that (nails or not) you probably saved their lives! Good luck with them and best wishes to you!
OK, now, you have completely blown my mind. You even rendered me speechless for a minute which is not common.

Cyr wheeling??...

I have so many questions. For one, are you just basically like a giant fish, all lean muscle? And last time I knew anything about it, you were eating chips and drinking a soda, but somehow manage to keep your balance on this thing -- how is that even possible??? Are you just burning off the calories by staying active? Aren't you 55? How can you pull off the calorie-burning when I cannot?? 😆

Alright, some of that is none of my business and you don't have enough info to answer at least one of those questions, so feel free to ignore, but I do have some mad respect and a lot of interest here. The thing is that I have inner ear problems. I have my cleft palate and hypermobility and both of these conditions tend to go along with inner ear issues. When I watch people on these things, I start feeling like I have vertigo. And, because I have spent my life dealing with these ear problems, I have also spent a lot of time avoiding things that make me feel like I will be dizzy or won't be coordinated enough to hang. It has only been in the last few years that I have tried my hand at dancing, done any serious bike-riding or felt like my aim was decent.

All of that said, having hypermobility means that muscle-building and maintenance matters a whole lot, all the time. I have a fair amount of muscle on my body, at this point, but a lot of what I do to keep that up is boring. I work on my muscle strength by doing a lot of different exercises with weights and resistance. The repetition gets old.

Having never conversed with anyone who ever got near a cyr wheel that I was aware of, these things were basically off my radar, entirely, but after you talked about it, I watched some YouTube videos - some were of people impressing the shit out of me with their ability to stay on that thing and one guy was amazing me with his patience while he built a cyr wheel from PVC pipe. He may have saved hundreds but wow, that looked like a pain in the ass.

Now, I have no place to even begin to imagine using a cyr wheel at present but I have become fascinated. In large part because I know that when people avoid things they tend to get worse. My balance is getting worse as I get older because I do very little to improve it. I know that it can be improved. But also, it seems like using a cyr wheel could be a fun and zero impact (after some practice, of course 😂) activity that could really help with keeping up muscle strength.

As the little ass-kicker who actually gets on this thing and makes it work, do you have any thoughts on whether this seems like a good or bad idea for someone with the sorts of problems I have described?

Also, kudos to you for getting back up on that pony and riding. That's awesome. No doubt it is also good for the brain to have that sort of control over your muscles.
 

woodsy1

MyPTSD Pro
Since I have had cPTSD since the dawn of time, I have spent incredible amounts of time fixating on things I am not good at like public speaking, rollerblading, confrontation and standing up straight. As I have gotten older, however, I have had to start paying better attention to what I do well in order to keep from wanting to hang myself in a closet, somewhere.

Anyone relate?

I thought it might be fun/healthy/less boring than just sitting here to talk about the things we don't do much struggling with.

I will start -

I am (usually) good at communicating -- people frequently don't like what I have to say (or can't stand to read all of it) but that's fine - I am usually able to say/write things clearly, so that there isn't too much confusion about the cause of the disagreement and that's a level of efficiency that you won't get everywhere 😂

I'm good at engaging in repetitive tasks for hours on end without losing my marbles. I get the feeling this is rare based on the responses of other people.

What about you? What are you good at?
I am good at encouraging people (I think?). I am a fairly good writer. I am good at avoiding conflict! I am good at going on walks. I am good at being an easy roommate to live with (so my tenant says). I am good at being friendly, at least in a "Hi, how are ya?" kind of way. Everyone who eats the food I cook says I am a good cook and should open a food truck! (But that would take all the joy out of it for me) That's all I can think of just at the moment.
 

Tornadic Thoughts

MyPTSD Pro
Growing edible things, safely recognizing and utilizing wild edible things, preserving the things we/I forage and grow, making plants taste really, really good and nurturing my innards with them much better than I ever did with dead animals and congealed animal body fluids and such, hula hooping - both doing it and making them, being creative with exercise - such as combining my mini-trampoline with my Djembe drum for a tramp-o-drum experience, craftiness with things that have outlived their original purpose, crafting my own cleaning supplies and other personal care products to avoid the chemical shit storms, recognizing energies and usually being able to navigate them with less stress than in my past lives, absorbing info and learning things - but equally as good at self-sabotaging my best efforts, grounding my nervous system via nature and breath work, strategically placing my Tibetan singing bowl to benefit from the good vibrations from head to toe, and I'm good at still trying to play my Djembe drum and Native American flute - much room for improvement, but the effort remains a lot of fun.
 

RussellSue

Not Active
I'm good at still trying to play my Djembe drum and Native American flute - much room for improvement, but the effort remains a lot of fun.
I have had a Native flute for about 19 years. I don't know how "good" I really am at playing, but I think it sounds pretty good even if I don't actually know what notes I am playing. I owned a cedar High Spirits flute first but a puppy chewed it to bits and I bought a walnut flute but someday plan to buy a new cedar flute. I liked it much better.

I hope to start growing food again next year. My husband and I have moved around so much in the last four years that I haven't done much. I used to have a 9x24' greenhouse that I LOVED. It was so therapeutic to be growing things.

Tramp-o-drum sounds awesome! It sounds like good exercise, too.
 

Kittie

Confident
OK, now, you have completely blown my mind. You even rendered me speechless for a minute which is not common.

Cyr wheeling??...

I have so many questions. For one, are you just basically like a giant fish, all lean muscle? And last time I knew anything about it, you were eating chips and drinking a soda, but somehow manage to keep your balance on this thing -- how is that even possible??? Are you just burning off the calories by staying active? Aren't you 55? How can you pull off the calorie-burning when I cannot?? 😆
Yep, 55, the "double-nickle"...gettin' old! I have 2 things working against me (besides age, haha!), one is that its a big challenge to put weight on and keep it on, I consume as many calories as possible. The wheel is 26 pounds (add 16 more pounds if Simon the Ragdoll cat spins with me), so I have a lot of weight to throw around without a lot of weight behind it. The second challenge is after the head injury and loss of an eye, keeping the horizon level is an optical illusion to me (which way is up?) as well as the inner ear damage on that side messes with my equilibrium, affecting balance. I was always right-handed, the accident turned me into a leftie. My left shoulder is out of whack, so I have to be careful on certain moves or it goes from zero-impact to however hard I hit the floor!(grin). In the last year, I've had 2 falls, neither were serious, just misjudged my balance and tipped over. I won't do crazy moves with Simon because if I ever fell on him, I'd feel guilty forever. I have to put him in the bedroom or he jumps on for a ride. I just "become one with the wheel" and try to avoid walls!
The last question, I don't have the answer, but in my case, my body burns calories sitting on the sofa due to anxiety and stress. My cortisol level is through the roof, which I take medication for, it helps but doesn't solve the problem.
Alright, some of that is none of my business and you don't have enough info to answer at least one of those questions, so feel free to ignore, but I do have some mad respect and a lot of interest here. The thing is that I have inner ear problems. I have my cleft palate and hypermobility and both of these conditions tend to go along with inner ear issues. When I watch people on these things, I start feeling like I have vertigo. And, because I have spent my life dealing with these ear problems, I have also spent a lot of time avoiding things that make me feel like I will be dizzy or won't be coordinated enough to hang. It has only been in the last few years that I have tried my hand at dancing, done any serious bike-riding or felt like my aim was decent.
I hear ya on the inner ear issues, ditto. I've learned to use the weight balance of my legs and arms to compensate. Woohoo for you...dancing and bike riding are great! By continuing to do those activities, other parts of your body may take over and kick in your balance. My trick to not becoming dizzy is never look down, always look in the direction I intend to go but never focus below shoulder-level. It is possible to learn or re-learn things requiring balance, so never give up.
The first 2 years of walking again required a cane, partly to keep weight off my foot but also for balance. When I thought I could ditch the cane, I held onto countertops or put my hand on the wall for balance.
8 years B.C. (before crash), I was performing semi-professionally and I was a wild one. Now I have to use my common sense and avoid things that could land me on my head. I always have in mind what I'm going to do next and what the bail-out move would be as a safety precaution. 4 years A.C. (after crash), I began the relearning process by turning in circles with no wheel, attempting to go through the motions until I felt confident to dust off the wheel and try for real. It took about a year to relearn the basic "waltz" move, I'd get about 2 rotations and fizzle out or get too off balance to maintain. I tuned into my body and with time, it came back. I began other moves the same way...I'd try the move 50+ times a day and figure out where the failure began and what shift was needed to follow through until I could think with my body instead of my mind.

All of that said, having hypermobility means that muscle-building and maintenance matters a whole lot, all the time. I have a fair amount of muscle on my body, at this point, but a lot of what I do to keep that up is boring. I work on my muscle strength by doing a lot of different exercises with weights and resistance. The repetition gets old.
I began strength training and muscle building the same way, lifting boring weights, stretching and lifting more boring weights. I never thought I'd be able to do "the splits" again, but some effort each day and a couple of years later, I could. I'm stubborn, I hate the feeling of being defeated and giving up. I was so weak from laying around and sitting around healing, my muscle mass was zero. Building the wimpy muscles I have now came with a lot of hard work and not giving up. Also a bit of pushing myself beyond the limits of what doctors predicted my abilities would be. From wheelchair to wheel...I get mental strength from not forgetting I started from below Ground Zero.
Having never conversed with anyone who ever got near a cyr wheel that I was aware of, these things were basically off my radar, entirely, but after you talked about it, I watched some YouTube videos - some were of people impressing the shit out of me with their ability to stay on that thing and one guy was amazing me with his patience while he built a cyr wheel from PVC pipe. He may have saved hundreds but wow, that looked like a pain in the ass.
The first time I saw someone on a cyr wheel outside my class, I was awe-inspired! I didn't know it was a "thing!" Mom didn't want me to be a "latchkey kid" because I would get home from school before she got home from work so when I came home from school with a flyer for a gymnastics class, she was all for it! I was notorious for using the sofa and bed as a trampoline and rearranging the furniture for acrobatic purposes...until I heard her car in the driveway and put everything back in a hurry. She would be curiously annoyed why her bed was slightly rumpled (hers was a double bed, so double tbe fun!). My high points were uneven parallel bars and floor. The instructor told my mom he wanted me in the advanced class where I learned aerial hoops, trapeze and cyr wheel. I was a 12 year old human monkey. The instructor knew I was a serious student and loaned me a wheel to use at home until I saved to buy my own.

A funny story about how I got involved in it on stage...the school handed out free admission tickets to the circus for the kids. That was when I saw people doing this "for real", I lost interest in the rest of the show but wanted to wait until it was over to chat with the announcer. Mom said, "please don't embarrass me." I promised I wouldn't and went down to ask him if they needed another cyr wheeler. Mom was shy, so I went alone. (Mom was from Scotland and was shy about being around people because they had a hard time understanding her). The man asked if I had a parent with me before he'd let me give it a try. I said my mom was with me and pointed her out. I didn't embarrass her, he did when he got his microphone and asked for "the mother of this young lady to please come down to the ring". She had to give permission. I did my routine and passed with his approval, but my age was a problem, I had to be 16 or older, I was 2 years too young. 2 years later, I became a "local talent ", meaning I didn't travel with the show but when they were in town I could participate AND get paid! The drawback was because I was a minor, mom had to be at every rehearsal and show (she was a good sport, I didn't realize it was exhausting for her because she was so encouraging, but after working all day and rehearsals/shows at night, she was relieved when the week was up and they moved on). I bought my first car! Mom was proud, my instructor was also, but mostly, I was proud of myself and my self-esteem improved. I never got over intense stage-fright. I told no one at my school and hoped I wouldn't be recognized. I was a bullied kid at school and didn't want attention. The wheel was my freedom in so many ways! It was more than a hobby, it was my lifestyle.
For that reason, I was super devastated after the accident. The one thing I loved doing was over. I had no hope of spinning again.
Now, I have no place to even begin to imagine using a cyr wheel at present but I have become fascinated. In large part because I know that when people avoid things they tend to get worse. My balance is getting worse as I get older because I do very little to improve it. I know that it can be improved. But also, it seems like using a cyr wheel could be a fun and zero impact (after some practice, of course 😂) activity that could really help with keeping up muscle strength.
As the little ass-kicker who actually gets on this thing and makes it work, do you have any thoughts on whether this seems like a good or bad idea for someone with the sorts of problems I have described?
I think anything you want to do can be accomplished if you have the mindset to go for it, knowing it takes lots of baby steps and an attitude of never giving up! There will be days of feeling no improvement is being made. It will work every muscle you have and you'll find your body-center and with that comes natural balance. I wore heavy sweats and a beanie hat in the relearning process because I knew I'd hit the floor and the possibility would always be there, it makes good padding! You never know what you can do until you try. Don't "think yourself out of it", but think yourself into it. A good first practice move is putting your arms out and turning in circles...then attempt standing still and spinning on one foot. Get comfortable with yourself, even if it takes hundreds of tries! Always have a back-up plan to regain balance before a fall occurs. "Try" to always fall forward, never backwards, as forward falls can be controlled. As your moves become more comfortable, try expanding them by stretching one leg behind you as you spin on one foot. Fuzzy socks have less resistance. Imagine yourself succeeding as you practice, the momentarily thought of "oh $#!t" can cause your balance to go off. Adding your favorite music spices it up, too! That should be a good start.
Be safe and have fun!
Also, kudos to you for getting back up on that pony and riding. That's awesome. No doubt it is also good for the brain to have that sort of control over your muscles.
Thank you, it has been helpful with anxiety, depression and self-esteem...physically, it's been a motivator (in more ways than one!).
 

RussellSue

Not Active
its a big challenge to put weight on and keep it on
I remember now that you had said that previously. I did manage to get your age right, though, so I won't bash my memory too much this time around.

I was told by an endocrinologist that it was likely that I had very elevated cortisol levels from traumatic events when I was a kid (after the fact) due to some issues that I developed in adolescence.

But, you have had issues with elevated cortisol since the crash? I didn't know that they could stay high for that long. That's got to be hard to deal with.

4 years A.C. (after crash), I began the relearning process by turning in circles with no wheel, attempting to go through the motions until I felt confident to dust off the wheel and try for real. It took about a year to relearn the basic "waltz" move, I'd get about 2 rotations and fizzle out or get too off balance to maintain. I tuned into my body and with time, it came back. I began other moves the same way...I'd try the move 50+ times a day and figure out where the failure began and what shift was needed to follow through until I could think with my body instead of my mind.
Wow. That sounds like it took a whole lot of patience.

The wheel was my freedom in so many ways! It was more than a hobby, it was my lifestyle.
For that reason, I was super devastated after the accident. The one thing I loved doing was over. I had no hope of spinning again.
I feel like I relate to this on a much more minor level but as a recent thing in my life. I am relearning to hike after birth defects and other conditions finally took me out of the game. I started hiking when I was like 5 or 6, so I was a mountain goat by the time I was 18 and it was my favorite thing in the world. But I was just too beat up and too unclear on why it kept getting worse to continue. Now that I understand what is happening, some of my injuries are starting to heal and my left leg isn't dragging on the ground like it was, my physical therapist said I ought to get back out there. I can't do it like I used to because I was way too aggressive considering what sort of shape my hips are in but for now, I am happy just to see a big pine tree or two up close, again.

But you have overcome a tremendous amount to pick a cyr wheel back up. That's really amazing. You must really love it and be extremely disciplined.

I think anything you want to do can be accomplished if you have the mindset to go for it, knowing it takes lots of baby steps and an attitude of never giving up!
So, my physical therapist has been challenging my balance recently which was part of why I was so intrigued by this awesome cyr wheel stuff. I ordered a balance board so I could work on it more at home because it is REALLY bad. It wasn't great to begin with but multiple injuries and consistently ignoring it has not helped, at all.

But I am legitimately interested in this and I will try your suggestions here. Thank you!

It sounds like you have a great relationship with your cat. That is awesome. Hubby's cat perches on his shoulder and goes for rides all over the place with no observable fear - there is so much trust there.

Thank you so much for sharing all of this!

After I read this I had the thought that if you ever wanted to volunteer to teach this skill to disabled/recovering kids, you could really touch some lives. It just seems so magical. And the story?? It's truly incredible.
 

Kittie

Confident
I remember now that you had said that previously. I did manage to get your age right, though, so I won't bash my memory too much this time around.

I was told by an endocrinologist that it was likely that I had very elevated cortisol levels from traumatic events when I was a kid (after the fact) due to some issues that I developed in adolescence.

But, you have had issues with elevated cortisol since the crash? I didn't know that they could stay high for that long. That's got to be hard to deal with.
Sorry you had to deal with elevated cortisol also. For me, its like being in panic mode all the time, even when I'm calm. It gives me energy to get things done on the plus side, but the downside is high blood pressure and anxiety...which leads to major weight loss. If I keep on the medication schedule (Klonopin) my body is more balanced but I'm still a nervous wreck of a person. After all this time, I have doubts it will return to normal. I hope it will for you. Sending you healing vibes!
Wow. That sounds like it took a whole lot of patience.


I feel like I relate to this on a much more minor level but as a recent thing in my life. I am relearning to hike after birth defects and other conditions finally took me out of the game. I started hiking when I was like 5 or 6, so I was a mountain goat by the time I was 18 and it was my favorite thing in the world. But I was just too beat up and too unclear on why it kept getting worse to continue. Now that I understand what is happening, some of my injuries are starting to heal and my left leg isn't dragging on the ground like it was, my physical therapist said I ought to get back out there. I can't do it like I used to because I was way too aggressive considering what sort of shape my hips are in but for now, I am happy just to see a big pine tree or two up close, again.
Maybe a slow, gentle stroll would be relaxing. Walking sticks are the "in" thing, I've seen some unique ones. I made one and sold it. It was decorated with a few horses and wagons and inlaid with small flat stones collected from the Donner Trail and inscribed with Virginia Reed's quote, "Don't take no cutoffs". I crossed paths with a lady who had one that looked like a lightweight ski pole that she got at a mountaineering shop. Near my home are trails for every level of wilderness walking, even some nice rocks to rest on. Go with whatever is comfortable to you, only you know what feels right to you. The main thing is staying safe and having fun.
But you have overcome a tremendous amount to pick a cyr wheel back up. That's really amazing. You must really love it and be extremely disciplined.
...or extremely crazy! Haha! I do really love it! It makes me feel free as a bird. I didn't want to let that part of my life fade away, even if it meant pain and suffering (by choice). Something in me couldn't give it up, I couldn't let go. The real enjoyment was always spinning at home, no pressure. It's been a huge part of overcoming depression and fitness in general.
So, my physical therapist has been challenging my balance recently which was part of why I was so intrigued by this awesome cyr wheel stuff. I ordered a balance board so I could work on it more at home because it is REALLY bad. It wasn't great to begin with but multiple injuries and consistently ignoring it has not helped, at all.
I'd probably fall off of a balance board! I hope it helps you achieve your goal and is fun, too! The older we get, the more our bodies rebel. Anything we do to stay active is a plus! My brain is forever 24, my body aged double. I often forget I'm an old lady because I don't think like one. Let me know how the balance board goes, I hope it brings good progress in your life!
But I am legitimately interested in this and I will try your suggestions here. Thank you!
Happy to offer anything useful!
It sounds like you have a great relationship with your cat. That is awesome. Hubby's cat perches on his shoulder and goes for rides all over the place with no observable fear - there is so much trust there.
Cats are interesting creatures! Your hubby's cat sounds like a good friend! That's a special bond they have!
I never imagined Simon would be an acro-cat, it just happened one day- he jumped on my midsection with all 18 claws while I was spinning! I slowly came to a stop and put him down. Since he repeated it, I made a padded shirt that I call my "Simon suit" to protect me from his nails. My others fear the wheel, not him. He can't get enough. He buries his face against me and sticks his tail straight out and hangs on tight, he's a riot! At night, he sleeps by the wheel and brings it toys. I have a laugh when I get up and find 5 toys laying next to it!

Thank you so much for sharing all of this!

After I read this I had the thought that if you ever wanted to volunteer to teach this skill to disabled/recovering kids, you could really touch some lives. It just seems so magical. And the story?? It's truly incredible.
The only teaching experience I've had are a girl scout troop, cub scouts and boy scouts when they wanted a guest at their meetings. It was a blast! I'd enjoy teaching special needs kids (or adults). I'd feel awful if anyone fell off and cried! I could "duo" with them until they felt confident. It would bring me joy to see them have a good time! Young people are so easy to please and the joy on their face would bring joy to my heart! I don't know any except a friend who has an autistic daughter. They had a play group, but it was recently canceled due to covid. Maybe they'll start up again when the virus calms down. Thank you for a great idea!
Take care and I hope you have a happy turkey day tomorrow! (if you celebrate)
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
Writing. Being with animals, even the ones who don't care to be around people. Photography (sometimes). Drawing, only just insects. cicada drawing.JPG
 

RussellSue

Not Active
I am sorry you are having a hard time @Friday.

Nada. There are a lot of things I used to be good at.
But, this is bullshit.

I know of at least two things that you most certainly are good at, whilst making effort or not.

You are good at providing relevant and helpful information to people who need it. This is something that a lot of people think they are good at when really they are just providing opinions. You consistently provide relevant and valuable information to people that fits with the problem they are talking about.

Secondly, and I have to admit that this one impresses me way more: you are able to express yourself extremely well in writing while using methods that are not found within the confines of the English language. As someone who spent way too long trying to learn to write in an academic setting, I feel that your writing is a better read and easier to get than most that I have read in my life, not in spite of your unique blend of sentence fragments, alternative spellings, and other rebel elements but because of them. I think you are an amazing, creative, and often entertaining communicator. At the very least, you are "good at" communicating/writing.

Happy Thanksgiving.
 
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