Circus equipment at the ecole nationale de cirque in Montreal

Quieter Day

Today was the first day that it actually felt like I was getting up and going to school.  If the old saying “If an acrobat wakes up in the morning and is not in pain, then he is probably dead” is true, then I feel very much alive.  Couldn’t even touch my toes this morning. 

Got to school around 10:15 and finally met the tightrope girl, The Funambulist.  I told her that I was interested in learning tightrope, so she gave me a quick lesson.  It was fun, but as I’m finding with everything in circus the trick is to be relaxed and yet tense.  This is an incredibly prevalent theme.  In hand-to-hand, in handbalancing, in tightrope, banquine, everything. 

Morning:  Handbalancing with Byamba!  Always fun, he’s a great teacher.  Today my handstands were very weak, I think as a result of my strength training yesterday.  As such, I think that I might really have to stick to strength only twice or maybe even once a week.  It is not as though I will not be doing strengthening things elsewhere!  This will be a matter of discipline for me. 

After handbalancing, I asked Byamba to stretch me out again.  It hurt as much as before, but I was less surprised, so I was able to accept it and breathe a little more.  Any noise I make he repeats louder so that everyone in the room can join in the fun.  I also saw him stretch out The Contortionist.  Damn she’s flexible.  Even Byamba seemed pretty surprised. 

The Contortionist and I walked up to the Latin Quarter for lunch, running into some of the students from the school.  Lunch was good, and we talked about stuff other than specifically circus things.

The afternoon, I found it hard to stay away from the handbalancing stuff.  Trying hard not to overtrain.  I also did some straps work.  It is very different from rings because it turns your wrists out all funny.  Straps Guy is pretty good at the things able to do cool swinging front and back levers.  He’s pretty cool but he kicks my ass in everything, though.

I also tried a two-person planche with Straps Guy, and it went okay.  I also tried it with The Clown, and it went worse, and as a joke I asked Sylvain to do it with me as well, but he didn’t realize it was a joke.  Ha ha.  Ouch. 

The Mentor and I trained more in hand-to-hand, and I did my handstand with him standing for the first time.  It is hard to give all of your trust into another person like that, but I am getting better, I think.  In the meantime, my job is to put my weight into his palms and not in his fingers.  Tougher than it sounds; I need to squeeze all of the air out from between our hands.  When we hit it, though, it feels like a rod is going all the way through our arms. 

Really quiet today, no music, no tramp.  I guess they passed a rule starting yesterday about the trampoline and that is why things have been a little more laid back.  Oh well.  I hope no one got hurt. 

The Tumbler was out again today, The Contortionist said that it’s nice to think that we are a week better prepared than the other first years, but I said that maybe they were too good to need this first week!  My bugging her about disappearing worked; she walked through the gym to say “bye” today.  I can’t wait to see her at the party tomorrow. 

Today ended with me trying a few more handstand lower down pushup things on the handbalancing rods, and juggling with The Flyer and The Clown.  The Clown know so much stuff about clown, and says that he also really enjoys the simplicity.  He liked Gilkey, but seemed a little surprised when I mentioned the guy from “Le Cirque Reinvente.”  Oh well, he’ll see my stuff eventually.  He wants to try playing around with a clown act. 

A funny thing happened in the gym.  I was sitting there after my abdominal workout and Straps Guy did a front tuck over me.  I didn’t react at all, and The Flyer, who was sitting next to me, said “Special,” but in a French type way.  She said “That is how you know you are at circus school.”

Another potentially dangerous thing that happened is that I tried a toe hang off of still trap with no mats under me, and really had a hard time getting my hands back on the bar.  I was worried I would fall, and that that would be the end of my circus career.  Even worse, The Contortionist told me I was dong it all wrong and then showed me how she does it all close to the leg.  Of course she did it perfectly.  All this after a handstand contest thing with Straps Guy trying to see who could step off of the higher height and who could come out of the contortionist’s handstand and stuff like that.  I wish I was not injured!  Well, I guess I’m not.  Wish I could have done banquine, but I guess the guy did not show up.

Can’t wait to meet everyone tomorrow!  Party as well!  Good night.

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