Aerial Fitness Class
Aerial1This week I took an aerial fitness class at Dragonfly Aerial Arts Studio. Dragonfly is a nonprofit school and performance group that teaches students how to use the trapeze and silks (fancy ropes). We had a small class, there were just three of us (including my friend Amy) so we had lots of one-on-one attention from our awesome instructor Christy. We started by filling out a liability waiver (my 6th this year) and did some basic warmups to get limber.

One of our first exercises on the silk was to wrap it behind us like a backpack, pull ourselves up with our arms, bring our knees into our chests, and swing until it hurt. Trust me, it is harder than it looks. Keeping my knees pulled up to my chest hurt like hell. We also did a balancing exercise that really worked our abs.


My favorite move was hanging upside down. All the blood rushed to my head and made me feel like a kid again. This was accomplished by putting the knot behind our back and then sliding through until we were upside down (see below). From this position, we wrapped our legs around the silk and did upside down sit-ups—which are much harder than regular sit-ups.

This class made me realize that I have not been working out enough. I have been slacking on my yoga lately and it showed in my lack of flexibility. I am thinking of going back to Dragonfly once I am back in my regular workout routine and a bit more limber.

The class focused on core and arm strength. I did not realize how good of a workout I was getting until the next morning when I had trouble just sitting up. If you want a fun alternative to hitting the gym, I definitely suggest finding an aerial class to take.

Classical Guitar Performance
Every Thursday I have a weekly “girl date” with my friend Leigh. We usually get sushi then do some shopping (where we seem to only buy hats), get gelato, or go to a cultural event. This week she suggested that we go see the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. I looked up their calendar and saw that the concert for the evening was a classical guitar performance, not really my thing. I love classical music, but the guitar has never found a way into my heart. But, since this is about trying new things I thought it was important that I actually go to see a performance before I made up my mind.

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra

The concert was at the Tennessee Theatre, a 1920s era movie palace turned performance arts space. When you walk through the front doors of the theatre you enter the Grand Lobby, filled with gorgeous red tapestry, five large chandeliers, and staircases leading up to the balcony. The theatre itself is filled with 1600 burgundy velvet seats and has a beautifully painted domed ceiling.

The line-up for the night featured Spanish and Spanish-inspired works:

Falla: El Sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat), Suite No. 2
Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez (featuring Ana Vidovic on guitar)
Chabrier: España
Turina: Danzas fantásticas, Opus 22
Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio espagnol, Opus 34

The performance was beautiful and flawless. I never realized what amazing talent we had here. I was particularly impressed with the guest classical guitarist, Ana Vidovic. Her performance was absolutely breathtaking and different from pieces I had heard before. Perhaps it was the backing orchestra that made the difference, but she certainly changed my opinion on classical guitar.

Sidral Mundet Apple Soda
SidralMundetSince I am trying to do smaller new things each week in addition to my weekly New Thing event, I decided to visit my international foods section of my grocery. After debating whether I wanted wasabi mayonnaise or Thai hot chili mayonnaise, I decided that I would have no idea what to do with either one of them and got myself a soda. I grabbed a Sidral Mundet, an apple flavored soda from Mexico, which came in a cool vintagey glass bottle.

First off, YUM! The soda was sweet, but didn’t taste artificially flavored. The best thing I can compare it to is a green candy apple from the fair. Or, apple flavored crack coated in sugar. It is caffeine free but I was wired after I drank it. I liked it so much that I went back to the store the next day and bought 3 more bottles (and I don’t even really like soda). I am really glad I decided to randomly try this new thing, I think it might be my new favorite drink.