Still a ways to go

After the last post – which turned out to be more serious, depressing and just plain long than intended – I decided to run away to the circus last night.  Still, it perhaps formed a useful counter-balance to my previous post with its brazen attempt to acquire work for the author as a foot model: work which has yet to materialise!

OK, that first sentence does raise a number of questions, so I shall just take a brief moment to answer them.  Yes, posts really do evolve as they are being written – some have more of a plan at the start than others, but all end up surprising the author (if no-one else).  The last post was originally going in a rather different direction, but that content will now have to find a new home – so don’t for a moment think you have escaped it.

OK, I’ll admit that I did not run away to the circus – I really don’t run unless absolutely necessary and often not even then – so I walked briskly away to the circus.

OK, I’ll further admit that I have since come back: I am not writing this using circus wifi whilst channelling Burt Lancaster in Trapeze.  As the title hints, I may not yet be quite ready for the circus life.

As is I believe obligatory, since it became de trop to use animals in the “ring”, the circus I walked briskly towards (Cirque Éloize) relied on the talents of French Canadians (or at least is based in their part of the world, it may recruit more broadly).  Apparently, the RSPCA has no objections to the exploitation of the Québécois for our entertainment (perhaps a continuing consequence of the sterling work by General Wolfe and his men back in the 18th century).

The modern circus, in addition to an amount of stage “business” and a relatively modest volume of juggling tends to rely on feats of physical skill by its performers.  Many of these feats fall within the broad scope of that which I am trying to achieve – and so I watched with considerable interest in the hope of picking up both some tips and some ideas for future endeavours.  I suspect I was the only member of the audience attempting to ascertain what “grip” was being used and how exactly one transitions from standing up to planche to hand-stand without apparent effort.  It seems clear that I need better mobility somewhere in both my midriff and wrists.  I have also decided I need a pole, though rather taller than is traditionally used by dead-eyed women to entertain morally-dead men, to try out some of the moves I saw.

Whilst I could recognise parts of some of the “moves” I watched last night and even perform tiny fragments of a few, it looks as though a lot more work will be needed before the circus might be willing to take me in.  Still, I do speak pretty bad French which will help me to fit in with the rest of the cast.  I am also a lot older than all, and a fair bit taller than most, of the cast, and very substantially less muscular than the chap showing what could be done with the planche.  Actually, I have never seen anyone as solidly built and yet, annoyingly, he was also significantly more flexible than me (though he would struggle to reach anything on an even moderately high shelf – so I win there!).

Still, my night at the circus was good fun and has made me even more obsessed with my future as a gymnast.  I started work on my planche progressions as soon as I arrived home.  Clearly, there is just so much cool stuff one can do: stuff that I had never even imagined before.  Maybe it is time to run (sorry, walk swiftly) away to circus school.


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