Well, hell, I guess it has to happen. An injury. My first since returning back to serious training last month. There is a little nostalgia wrapped up in tonight’s literal misstep, however. It was the same injury (opposite leg), obtained by messing up the same move, that I suffered In the Fall (ha ha) of 2003.
It is a Corbett on the equilibre canes. That is, leaping from handstand to an upright position; your hands and feet change places atop tiny wooden blocks that are attached to the end of 2-foot long iron rods.
Out of a hundred tries this month, I had no mistakes. Tonight, I was distracted; thinking about helping to replace an act in the show this October, thinking about slowing down the rhythm of this run through, basically talking far too much in my head. This is an error that occurs when you get tired and complacent; when your number is almost automatic. This is a dangerous place to be and, since lately I have been performing my act without any errors about one-third of the time, tonight I fell right into that trap.
My left leg missed the block, and I cut into the flesh of my shin deeply. These are the kind of cuts that look like you have sliced to the bone, but later you realize that it is just a crispy, white, curled-up strip of skin that has been peeled off by the friction between your leg and the wooden block. It is gross and bloody and painful. I finished the enchainement and left the gym.
I remeber my seven-step reaction to injury from my circus school days. Here it is exactly as it sounds in my head (except for #6 – I’ll explain when you get there):
- Fuck that hurts.
- Actually it’s not that bad. I can keep going.
- Fuck, no, it really hurts/it’s bleeding a lot.
- Shit, I won’t be able to train.
- Cool, I won’t be able to train.
- I’m being a real baby. (Actual mental wording, "Don’t be weak," deemed melodramatic. I used to watch "Karate Kid" over and over when I was young.)
- (The next day) Back to training.
Of course, the day after is a little stupid looking: a lot of training the culpable figure over and over again to make sure you still have it. All the adrenaline and fear from the first attempt after the injury – getting back on the horse that threw you. Usually I wouldn’t train my whole number, but train individual figures instead. I probably won’t do a full day back until after my day off on Thursday.
I can’t walk very well right now.
As long as my pride and self-confidence hurt more than the afflicted body part, I had no excuse to skip a day of training. That’s why having a big, fragile ego is sometimes an asset in training circus techniques. The irony is that it’s also the biggest handicap to artistic creation. I try to be able to switch back and forth from ‘training mindset’ to ‘creation mindset.’
If only I forge a ‘relationship mindset’ I might even have a chance at forming healthy human relationships with my family and friends.
I think I am going to have blood on my pants. Damn.