You: Hey! How’s the illustrious circus career going?
Me: I just looked up that word and I think it doesn’t mean what you think it does.
You: “Illustrious”? Doesn’t it mean fancy and sparkly? Or something with jazz hands?
Me: Apparently it means, “well known, respected, and admired for past achievements.“
You: Oh. Well you did have that one gig, right? Everyone was pretty impressed you pulled that shit off.
Me: Yeah, I’m not sure it propelled me to “illustrious” status. Or “career”.
You: Ok. So how’s your *fancy jazz hands* circus hobby going?
Me: Honestly? It’s bumming me out right now.
You: What?? Why
Me: So when I first started, a year and a half ago, I was taking classes at a place way up in North Scottsdale, about 40 minutes in good traffic from my house. I learned a lot. I got much stronger. In the beginning, I would go to class on Sunday midday, and be utterly wrecked for the rest of the day, and sore for two or three more. It took until the next week for my bruises to fade enough to be ready to try again. Gradually, my endurance grew and I could take a circus class twice a week without being unable to function. Now my body can handle a couple of hours of circus training a day, everyday.
Me: I know. I’m kind of impressed with my body’s capacity for strength, even starting at not a particularly youthful point.
You: *cough* almost 40 *cough*
Me: I STARTED AT 35. THAT IS NOT ALMOST 40.
Me: Anyway, I’m at the point, now, where what I really need is practice. I need regular time on an apparatus repeating what I know, over and over, to get it perfect, add performance elements, and to build stamina in the air. I feel like I’ve learned a bunch of tricks and sequences that are now gone from my repertoire because I didn’t ever practice them again and I’ve forgotten them. Or I learned them too early and I wasn’t really strong enough to do them well. I also need to build on my strength doing conditioning so I can learn next level stuff.
You: So what’s the problem?
Me: The problem is, the place I was taking at is too far to go everyday. Once or twice a week was manageable, but dude. I do have a job and a family. I just can’t make it happen more than that. Plus, there isn’t much of a ‘higher level intermediate’ or ‘advanced’ program at that school. They have a policy that you can come in to workout whenever there are classes being taught, but if you want to do that, you run the risk of driving all the way up there and the class is canceled and you didn’t know, or the class is super full and there are no extra apparatuses on which to work out.
You: Yeah, that’s not ok. So why don’t you find somewhere closer to home?
Me: Yeah, that was my initial thought. There is another school that’s sort of closer, but only by about 5 mins. It also has lots of beginner-level classes, but not much for someone like me.
You: And that’s all there is in metro-Phoenix??
Me: There are literally only 4 other studios I’ve found with any aerials at all, and all of them have low ceilings and only one or two classes a week. Apparently Phoenix SUCKS for circus resources. When I was in Denver, I was told by the aerial girls up there that the “Denver aerial market is saturated right now”. There are a bunch of studios everywhere.
You: You’re going to hang silks in your living room, aren’t you?
Me: I want to, damn it! I went for a private lesson in a girl’s house who had two rigging points in her ceiling. She had an aerial studio in her house! Unfortunately, I didn’t realize the benefit of two story ceilings when we bought this house. Our tallest ceiling is only 10 feet.
Jason has talked about building me a rig in the backyard, but I feel like that would be stupidly expensive and time-consuming. Plus, in case you haven’t seen our backyard lately, it’s basically a graveyard of abandoned projects and an enormous trampoline.
What I really want to do is buy my own set of silks (with my gig money, burning a hole in my Paypal account) and rig it in a gym somewhere in the East Valley that I can have access to several times a week to do some open gym time. I tried to float this idea at the gym where my kids take skateboarding and parkour lessons, but they weren’t willing to let me install a structurally secure rigging point and said their insurance rider doesn’t cover aerial sports.
You: Really? Dude. I can see why you’re bummed.
Me: I know. I’m going to call every gymnastics, crossfit and rock climbing gym in the area and see if any of them will go for it, but I’m not holding out a ton of hope. It seems like unless I’m willing to open my own East Valley circus gym, (which I’m not), I’m kind of SOL.
You: You should take out an ad on Craigslist.
Me: I totally should.
Bendy gal ISO place to hang from
Looking for a mutually beneficial relationship. I need you to be tall, strong, and close to home. Specifically, 15-20 feet, able to support a dynamic load of 1000+ pounds, and East of the 101. If you’re available late nights, or even for an occasional nooner, that’s even better. I’ll compensate you for your time and bring my own equipment. Call me!
You: That should definitely do it.