Rolfer, Dancer, Teacher

Archive for August, 2016

Adventures in Assisting – UC 5.16 Week 2

Week 2 of assisting is in the books. Made a lot of headway, a few energetic ups and downs but all in all feeling pretty damn successful and building a lot of momentum. Ending it up with a quiet weekend in Lafayette and getting ready to throw down another great week as we get into the middle sessions in the 10-series.

Day 8 – August 22

UC516_Day_8_Coffee_Small_ThingsMonday was my first chance to watch Neal do a demo session following my not-so-great first session on Thursday. I’d spent the weekend occasionally mulling over what I could recall from past demo sessions but wasn’t coming up with much that I could say for sure. So today I finally got to get fresh eyes on a demo session with the intent to learn for myself about demoing instead of working and I picked up as much as I could, particularly on how and when the quiet spaces came into play.

My own quiet space for the day is cast in today’s picture. I was up early before class and figured I’d take a trip in early to sit at Tod’s Espresso Cafe around the corner from the Institute. Getting my first for-here order there I noticed that they use a wax pencil to mark the saucers with the order and name. It struck me as cool and a smart idea and was something I don’t think I’ve seen at any other coffee shops so far. So it was a good reminder for me about appreciating the little things and what I call “honoring the moments of brilliance” in the learning process.

Day 9 – August 23

UC516_Day_9_Straight_to_bedTuesday I finally got to redeem myself. After the 5 days between my first and second demo session, we got to get into session 2. This time I was prepared a little differently and my client and I had already discussed a few ways to alter my approach that seemed like they’d serve everybody. So a few deep breaths and dive in to the session with a focus on recovering and getting momentum going in a good direction. Thankfully, it worked!

The session went really well, the client and I started to connect better and I felt myself start to relax into the flow of the session and start drawing on my whole skill set again rather than trying to do the session I thought people wanted to see. The session felt just fundamentally better than the first round and feedback from all sides was a lot better. That said, my energy just totally tanked afterwards. Whether it was just relief or relief mixed with other stuff, I’m not sure, but I napped through lunch, struggled to keep my eyes open during the second half of class, and basically went home and straight to bed at 8pm that night.

Day 10 – August 24

UC516_Day_10_Grey_DayKind of a grey and overcast day today, really the first one since I’ve been here. Nothing particularly substantial to report for this day. I’m starting to feel comfortable in the rhythm of wake up, get to class, do class things, go home, relax and sleep, next day. I booked a car rental today for most of the remaining time I’ll be there, which feels like it should open up some new possibilities. Much as I’m enjoying class, I do find as I settle in a bit I’m starting to want for some time to do things other than just bouncing between the Rolf Institute and home.

Class definitely felt a bit lethargic today. My energy started there after sleeping about 11 hours but slowly kept perking up more and more through the day. Starting to get excited for my third session with my client and hoping to have two good sessions to set a solid trend away from the funky start.

Day 11 – AugustĀ 25

Things really started coming together today. šŸ™‚ My third session with my client went great and we are starting to build some momentum not just on the educational side for the class but in terms of our rapport and playing around with some challenging movement work during the sessions which I think will greatly benefit everyone’s experience. Starting to find a bit more flow both with demonstrating and with providing input and support during the student sessions. Going through our final sessions for the week it seemed like everyone’s energy was coming up in bits and pieces and there’s more freedom of exchange in information between clients and students and teachers.

Around lunchtime during the class day, I got a message from one of the local Bal dancers letting me know there was a small thing happening at Waterloo in Louisville that night. As I was still 24 hours from having a car, I managed to bum a ride from one of the Boulder dancers and got in a few hours of dance and camaraderie with some lovely folks I haven’t seen in about a year now but hopefully will be seeing (and dancing) more of in the next 5 weeks.

Day 12 – August 26

UC516_Day_12_DoggiesTook a house-sitting gig for the weekend looking after a friend’s dogs (and chickens, and butterball cat) while she and her husband are out of town. I’d set my car pick-up to be 10:30 this morning so I could get over and have an early day, but instead they told me when I got there that I couldn’t pick it up until 4. So a few hours of napping and running errands filled my day until I was able to pick up the car and drive out to Lafayette and meet up with the pups. Nothing particularly challenging or intriguing about today, just handling stuff, getting a car (definitely a relief), and then hanging out with these two for the rest of the evening.

Day 13 – August 27

UC516_Day_13_Nice_NephewGot down to Westminster today to see my sister and my niece and nephew. After being unsurprisingly woken up early by the dogs I got breakfast, took them for a walk around the lake, then headed over to my sister’s. We hung out for a bit, took the kids to the park, flew kites, etc. and this was my first time getting to meet the younger of the two. Spent some time minding the kids (mostly watching Daniel Tiger) while my sister ran a few errands then I headed back in time to make sure the critters got fed and the chickens got put to bed for the night.

Dinner ended up being a lovely solo time at the bar at The Post Brewing Co. A few nice craft beers with a buttermilk cheddar biscuit, hot chicken, creamed cabbage, and a whoopie pie about the size of my fist. Then home to relax with the dogs and get to bed early for some much-needed rest.

Day 14 – AugustĀ 28

UC516_Day_14_Sleepy_Dogs

This was pretty much my view and activity level for the day. After the dogs woke me up early, I got everyone fed then went back to sleep for a while. Took the pups for a walk then they promptly fell asleep at my feet for most of the rest of the day while I watched some movies, did some writing, etc.

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Adventures in Assisting – UC 5.16 Week 1

This will be the start of the story of my first time assisting in a Unit 3 basic RolfingĀ® training. I just completed the first week of my 7 weeks here. The class actually runs for 8 but I did not come in until the second week because to do so would have given me only 2 weeks in between my trip to Scotland and the start of class. My goal for relating this training is to have one defining picture per day and a small-medium blurb on the day’s events. I’m hoping this will allow me to keep up with posting weekly both to stay in touch with friends and clients back home and also to not end up swamped three months down the road trying to relate a 7-week experience into a couple thousand words. So, here goes…

Day 0 – August 14

UC516_Day_0_Burger

Following a couple late nights of concert-going with friends, I boarded a plane from RDU at 9:30 AM and landed at DEN about 11:15 local time. Although I missed the AB bus by a hair, a friendly woman who was arriving for a flight offered me her day pass which seemed like a good little bit of luck to kick off my time here. Bussed it to Boulder, met my host, took a nap, then went out for a bit of burger therapy at Larkburger to help get landed and grounded before the training starts tomorrow.

Day 1 – August 15

UC516_Day_1_Class_SignGot up early on Day 1 of the training to meet Neal at Lucile’s down near Pearl Street Mall. Lucile’s holds a special little spot in my heart for doing grits pretty damn well so far from home. I didn’t actually find it until I was almost done with either my Unit 1 or 2 training, I can’t recall at this point.

Neal and I had a good discussion over a hearty breakfast then headed up to class. Day 1 was a lot of talking and a little bit of curious energy for me coming into a group that had already been working together for a week. I jokingly posted this photo on Facebook saying I had achieved opening band status and showed up a week late for my first rockstar move. Mentally I felt oddly at home in the classroom and started getting my footing adding in thoughts without stepping on Neal’s toes. Physically, my GI system was doing not-so-happy things, though I’m unsure whether it was something I ate or my body was more nervous than my brain was letting on.

Day 2 – August 16

UC516_Day_2_AltarOn Day 2, the class was complete. One student had been delayed returning from a wedding over the weekend and didn’t make it in until Tuesday. So we had postponed setting up the class altar until that morning. There were a lot of strong ideas and emotions fit onto this small space and Neal and I were both a bit surprised by how intense the setting up was. My contributions were my now requisite class offering of Escazu chocolate bars and the knit Eeyore that one of my classmates from Brazil had given me.

I also did my first short demo session on one of the students (neck work, mostly stuff I learned from Jan) and in the evening the students got to meet their clients for the first time with some time to chat, do intake, and make some plans.

Day 3 – August 17

UC516_Day_3_WaitingToday’s picture was taken out at a coffee shop as I waited for my client to show up for a meeting before class started. Our first session would be the next day but because she wasn’t available in the evening, I had offered to meet her for coffee in the morning to talk about the work ahead and any questions she had. I had thought about asking how she’d feel getting a photo together but honestly was so in flow talking to her that the thought didn’t even occur to me until after I’d headed to class.

Neal and the students all had their first session today and Neal and I both noted how it felt like it shifted the momentum of the class to be able to finally get to work after 2 very long feeling days of talking. And again I felt a little bit behind the group as I wouldn’t get to work with my client until tomorrow.

Day 4 – August 18

UC516_Day_4_Closing_DownHad my first client demo session today. I think so far I’d been feeling like there was a sort of beginner’s luck going with the class. Good instructor who I seem to get along with, a young but mature class all of whom seem really solid in their skills, and my demo client seemed like a great candidate for being a class model. However, that luck took a stumble on my first demo as I talked WAY more than necessary. After finishing my demo and receiving that feedback from basically everyone in class I was… a bit downtrodden, but mostly fine with it. All-in-all a recoverable mistake and it’s been a good misstep to chew on the rest of the week in terms of how I’d communicate this aspect differently to someone else doing a demo for the first time.

Student sessions in the afternoon went great and I’m getting a better sense of how to offer advice to students. It’s also clear that the ability to see a whole classroom like I can in dance is going to take a while to transfer over to the Rolfing classroom. Nonetheless I ended the first week’s class mostly happy, grateful to be there, and doubly grateful for the 3 day weekend.

Day 5 – August 19

UC516_Day_5_Jims_DoorFriday morning came earlier than I would have liked with a 10:30 (I know, boo-hoo, so early /sarcasm) appointment for a session with Jim Asher. One of my goals to make the most of this trip is to get some work from some of the master Rolfers in the Boulder area. I’d seen Jim do a demo working with a child at one of the annual meetings but otherwise had no exposure to his work. At this point I’m not going for aches and pains but for optimizing mechanics, continuing to open more freedom in my movement, and just to keep learning about the work experientially. I don’t know how to encapsulate the session well at this point other than to say it continues to amaze me how much power I find in the touch of practitioners who’ve been Rolfing longer than I’ve been alive. It both gives me something to aspire to and gives me something to be awfully patient with as I expect there’s just no substitute for time and practice to achieve those sorts of levels.

The rest of the day was filled with glorious napping. šŸ™‚

Day 6 – August 20

UC516_Day_6_Twin_LakesDay 6 took me back to the Rolf Institute for lunch with Thomas Walker, my original Unit 2 instructor. Thomas was in town to teach a workshop and sticking around through next week for a faculty meeting. While I’m not in a huge rush to assist again, I did want to get on his radar about being available down the line and we talked some shop around the new course series he’s teaching which I had taken part in last summer.

I went for a walk around the Twin Lakes near the Institute and relieved some distinct memories of walking that area in my Unit 2 when I got overloaded a time or two and had to find a way to settle my energy. I had intended to take the bus home, but for whatever reason, switched up and kept hiking the 5-6 miles back into Boulder. A quick check of the movies playing diverted me to go see Kubo and the Two Strings, then grabbed some dinner and headed home with slightly blistered feet and slightly more reddened face (I made sure to put sunscreen in my bag after I got home, oops).

Day 7 – August 21

UC516_Day_7_Pack_For_AdventureNoting that I had failed to packĀ a few obvious staples like a water bottle, umbrella, or any shoes that weren’t sandals, it seemed like Sunday was going to be a good day to take stock and restock. I had come out with some intention of restocking my wardrobe from the vintage stores of Boulder and Denver and it occurred to me I might as well go a step further and get some gear like a new pair of hiking boots since the pair I’d had since Boy Scouts had bit the dust a few years back. So a few errands later, I had some new gear and a pair of hiking boots on order with REI since they didn’t have my size in stock.

Following this and some chill time, I met a colleague who was in town for Thomas’ workshop down at Pearl Street Mall for dinner and some tasty beverages. A few hours of chit-chat about my assisting, her class, and some nice time walking around the mall then she hopped a bus back to Gunbarrel and I took a leisurely walk home through twilight Boulder.

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