Can you do a tutorial on contouring for costume/cosplay makeup? Either a photo post or video when you have the time! I wish to exit the realm of pancake faces
Certainly! Prepare to bid farewell to the pancake face! (Unless you are, in fact, cosplaying a pancake. I’m sure that’s a thing in some fandom.)
Contouring is a great technique to practice. It’s one of the easiest ways to make yourself look better in photos, as it adds depth and prevents flattening. It’s also the basis for a lot of character design makeup, as it allows you to change the appearance of your facial structure (making your face look thinner or wider, making cheekbones more dramatic, making eyes look sunken, etc.).
Are there any resources you would recommend for learning proper form on a rowing machine? I tried one today and I liked the workout, but I am concerned about the amount of soreness in my back and want something reliable to check to make sure I'm doing it right.
Welcome to the world of erging! I can’t recommend rowing enough, I’ve always loved the sport. Using an indoor erg might not be as exciting as actually getting out on the water, but I always love hearing about people getting involved with rowing.
When rowing, your body is going to follow the same basic pattern: Legs, Back, Arms, Reverse Arms, Back, Legs. These three sections of your body will move fairly independently of one another, so think about them as separate (but connected) movements.
The position that you’re going to start in is called the Catch:
With your feet securely tightened into the stirrups, your legs will be significantly bent. You’re leaning slightly forward with a straight back and, with your arms shoulder-width apart, you’re holding the bar straight out in front of you. Make sure that you aren’t slumping your shoulders or curving too far forward over your feet. You should be able to keep your chest open and maintain good posture even while leaning forward.
The first thing you’ll do is straighten your legs. Push your feet into the stirrups and propel yourself backward using only the power of your legs. Once they are nearly straight, begin to lean backward. At this point, your arms are still straight out in front of you. Don’t move them yet! The Drive is the most powerful part of rowing and all that Drive should be coming from your legs. Legs legs legs.
When you reach the point where your legs are almost straight and your back is upright, it’s time to use your arms. Pull them towards your chest and lean slightly backwards. Pull the bar into your sternum (under your bust, it should be hitting right around your bra-line) and hold there for just a split second. This movement does take effort, but because the beginning of the stroke should have gained you some momentum, your arms will not be doing a ton of work.
The Finish is aptly named since it is the “end” of your stroke. This is the part where you would pull your oar out of the water.
From here, you’re reversing the motion: Straighten out your arms, then start leaning forward, then bend your legs. This “half” of the movement will take longer than the first three steps. This is the Recovery, after all. This is when your boat will be gliding across the water. You’ve done the work, now you’re reaping the benefits and getting back into position before starting over again.
If you have trouble with timing, think about rowing in counts of 1-2-3. 1 encompasses the drive and finish, so you’re doing all the hard work in just 1 count, then 2-3 is the reversal that gets you back into the catch. If the chain on your erg is snapping around or making noise, it means that you’re going too fast. Take more time on the recovery and slow down your overall speed. Unless you’re training for a race, power is more important than speed here. You can pull harder without making the pace faster.
All images are taken from this worksheet, which is a nifty resource. If you’d like to read more or watch some videos, check out these links:
Yesterday I went white water rafting for the first time. (I don’t have photos to show you yet, but they exist so I will sometime soon.) I was def the fattest girl in our group by 100 lbs, at least. I was scared out of my mind, so I sat in the back but got into a groove once we got out on the water. I was huffing and puffing and seemed to be sweating more than most of our crew, but I was having fun so I didn’t care.There was a time where I would have been really self conscious about that, but I was enjoying the feel of the water and helping to navigate around obstacles so much that it was worth it. As it turns out, I am apparently quite badass at rowing! Halfway through our run, our guide stopped us and had me demonstrate my rowing technique to everyone else. On land he told everyone that I was the best rower of the bunch, and insisted that I sit up front the second time around! Another guide pulled me aside said that she was hoping I would be in her boat because when she first saw me she immediately thought “That girl can row!” and wanted me on her rowing dream team. I’m definitely sore today, but had a blast and feel more like a badass than I have in awhile.
The point of all of this is that fitness doesn’t necessarily mean thinness. For a long time I assumed that thin people were automatically much more fit and better at doing things than I am. As I explore and try new things I’m learning more and more that being heavy can be a positive when it comes to many different physical challenges. I’m not saying that all fat people are automatically going to be awesome at rowing, my arms/shoulders are strong from lifting heavy things at work, and I do squats pretty regularly, but I am still fat as hell. So while my awesome, thin roommates have me beat when it comes to stamina (I’ve huffed and puffed through a number of hikes these last few months,) I still get picked first in gym class sometimes.