Yes, Mommy Can: The Flying Samurai

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Yes, Mommy Can! is a series dedicated to moms who are passionate about discovering their talents and pursuing their interests. Mommy Mundo believes that nobody is ever too busy or too old to learn a thing or two, and gives a big tight hug to moms who are not afraid to explore new facets of themselves Linzi Arellano-Co, master instructor at TRX Training, owner of Pure Pilates Philippines, and mom of three, likes trying out new things. So when her nine-year-old daughter asked her to go trapeze flying, Linzi readily agreed even though she was deathly afraid of heights. It was a spur of the moment thing, really. Linzi and her daughter found themselves with nothing to do on a beautiful Sunday, and decided to give flying a try.

At Flying Trapeze Philippines, Linzi recalls, “We were the first ones there, meaning we were also the first ones to be given the lesson and to be made to jump. There were no people to really watch and ask from, so the good mother that I am, I asked my daughter to go first! Hahahaha!”

She was amazed at how fearless her daughter seemed, flying through the air with grace. It was only later that Linzi found out how scared her daughter was. She says, “As I said, I made her jump first and she just went up and did it. When she came down she told me: ‘Mom, you cannot imagine what was going through my head before jumping, I was so scared.’ But looking at her, there seemed to be no fear and hesitation. I was so proud of her. Inspite of her fears, she just faced them head on and did it.”

What was supposed to be a spur of the moment thing turned out to be a precious moment of empowerment and discovery. Linzi was not only able to conquer her fear of heights by flying through the air, she also found out some amazing things about her daughter. Apart from discovering how alike they both are, she says, “At her age, she is able to psych herself to do a task that she is not so comfortable with, without any prodding from me.”

Although they haven’t gotten around to doing it again, it’s an activity that Linzi wants to revisit with her daughter. She encourages other moms to try it with their kids as well.

“It was super fun. It’s like living out a childhood dream of being in the circus. It’s a unique experience and your kids will think you’re a rock star for doing it!”

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This is isn’t the only time that Linzi has seemed like a rock star to her children. Apart from flying through the air, Linzi has also wielded a Japanese sword like a samurai.

When Linzi goes on trips abroad, she makes it a point to look for a sport to try or a place to exercise. This way, she not only gets a taste of the country’s culture, she gets to log in some workout hours, too.

That’s how she and her daughter found themselves in a samurai training class in Kyoto. She says, “I booked a class for us online. There is an option for a one-hour or two-hour class, and I booked the two-hour class. There are no pre-qualifications. We just showed up on the day itself and took the class with other tourists, which were also families from other countries.”

While it was not the strenuous movement class that Linzi hoped for, she thoroughly enjoyed it. She says, “The sword is heavy but it is dulled so there is no danger. They also have different sized swords for the smaller kids, as they allow kids as young as five years old to join. It was not scary at all, it was more like learning choreography and how to properly hold the sword. There was also a short but interesting lecture on the ways of the samurai and the bushido code.”

Linzi adds, “We learned more about Japanese culture and appreciate why they are the way they are. It gave me another opportunity to bond with my daughter, experiencing something we probably never would in a different country. It felt like we were immersing ourselves in a different world specially with the swords and the authentic costumes.”

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Certainly, the class presented a different way of experiencing Japan. She says, “Most usually just do the usual stuff of seeing the sights, eating the food, and shopping. This was definitely unforgettable. I was worried that maybe booking the two-hour session was too long. After the first hour, I asked my daughter if she was still okay with another hour and she said yes. She was concentrating just as hard on learning the choreography and the techniques and the forms… We definitely had a memorable time.”

For Linzi, trying out new things is a way of breaking the monotony of her everyday routine. She explains, “I get bored easily. I don’t like doing the same things over and over again. I love to move my body so I try to combine that, moving, with trying new things.”

Going out of her comfort zone not only makes for one-of-a-kind experiences, unforgettable memories, great photos, and awesome conversation starters, there is also the possibility of discovering a new passion, she says. Plus, she gets to meet interesting people whom she may never have encountered in her usual circles. By always being open to the new, Linzi hopes her children will follow in her footsteps as well. Her most recent undertaking: signing up for taekwondo lessons.

She says, “My son and daughter have been taking taekwondo for years. We watched their coach join and win the Asian championships and I was inspired when I saw competitors in the senior levels who looked like they were in their 50s but who were moving so effortlessly! I did my first lesson last week and signed up for a package.”

She is also honest about her feelings of anxiousness, which is quite normal whenever one tries something new. Linzi says, “Even if I’m hesitant or a bit scared I tell them so they know that even if it’s outside your comfort zone, it shouldn’t stop you. I also always tell them that there is no such thing as “nakakahiya” or “others might see me fall and fail.” We fall, look stupid, laugh at ourselves, and go again.”