The last week of 2014 flying at Gorilla Circus has come and gone! So emotional! I actually need some time for my feelings to settle down so I can separate the strands, trace their origin, and make sense of it all, so I shall write a post about that later.
Meanwhile, I want to talk about getting ready for 2015! At the top of my list is Preparation of the Body. In the future, I want to write posts on:
Preparation of the Mind: Lesson planning, note taking, reading lists
Preparation of the Heart: Motivation, inspiration, visualisation, meditation
Preparation of your Gear: Grips, tapes, balms, clothes
I hope it’s bloody obvious that I am NOT an expert in any of this. This is just what I do to prepare myself, and I’m hoping that by sharing, I’ll get input from you Lovely Readers on how I might do it BETTER. If you find any of it helpful to your preparation for 2015, then that’s a nice bonus :)
It’s getting pretty nippy here in London, hope you’re keeping yourself warm and toasty wherever you are :-)
After a month away in sunny Hong Kong, I am finally back at Gorilla Circus and flying again. There was a moment when I stepped into the studio feeling like a stranger that didn’t belong in this magical place, but I was soon submerged in hugs and whoops and smiling faces. I’m not religious nor particularly spiritual, but I am and always will be surprised and grateful for the kindness and warmth of the people that surround me.
“Skip to the good stuff already!” I hear you cry. “How was the flying?”
Well, Patient One, there are two ways to put it. Put kindly, I’d describe my return to flying as a jigsaw puzzle that I am trying to put together, but the puzzle pieces are all the same shade of blue and a few pieces have mysteriously shrunk while other pieces are burnt around the edges.
Put less kindly, my flying has gone to shitty little pieces…
Day 10 since my last flying trapeze class. Slow but sure descent into madness. I don’t even know who I am anymore.
Kidding! I’m actually really enjoying being spoiled rotten by my loving parents and seeing friends. Most days consist of breakfast, yoga, nap, lunch, exploring Hong Kong, maybe another nap, dinner with beer or wine, laptop time, more yoga, then sleep. I’m allowing a few niggles in my shoulders and hips to rest and heal, and I’m getting a full body massage tomorrow. If I can find some monkey bars to squeeze in some strength training, then I’d be as happy as can be.
Maybe it’s because of my distance in time and space from a flying trapeze rig, but I’ve been feeling brave and ambitious lately as I ponder my 2015 Flying Trapeze Goals. Here is a working draft – I decided to go BIG. After all, I’m in safety lines. What’s the worst that can happen?? (Please don’t answer that.)
“What are you working on today, Jen?” Ezra asked in class the other week, whiteboard in one hand and a blue marker in the other.
“Doubles!” It had been a whole week since my last flying trapeze class. I’d spent that time rereading Kyla’s amazing blog posts on how she throws her doubles (see here, here, and here), taking copious notes, and endlessly visualizing myself doing the perfect double. I was PSYCHED.
“Sure.” Then he paused and looked at me, squinting a little. “You can work on the double. OR. You can work on something completely different.”
He didn’t say it in a way that implied the double was beyond my current skill level and so I should work on something else. On the contrary, he sounded like there was this fancy trick that was even more exciting than the double, a trick with my name on it, if only I dared. I drifted closer.
“What do you think about taking the Layout out of lines?”
Hope you’re well and managed to do some flying this autumn! It’s been a month since I set my 2014 flying trapeze goals and made myself accountable to you. Contrary to the Dilbert comic above, it’s going rather well!
Also, Gorilla Circus will be open for the first half of December after all, which means I have two more weeks to work on my goals and I won’t have to endure three months of no flying. WOOP! I still need to sort out November and January somehow, but I am plotting, plotting away.
I’m wary of making goals because flying trapeze is supposed to be FUN and because I don’t want to set myself up for failure. Goals seem so shiny though – just setting them makes me feel like I’ve taken a step towards becoming a better flyer.
I mulled over this for some weeks until I finally succumbed to making some goals, mostly because I needed a distraction from the fact that my last class in 2014 will be on 2 November. I’m spending the rest of November with my family in Hong Kong (I only see them once a year) and Gorilla Circus is shut in December and January. Gorilla Circus was shut for twelve days when it transitioned from outdoor to indoor classes, and boy, did I struggle. I stumbled about like a zombie, bumping into walls and wailing, “What is the meaning of living?!”. The mere thought of not being able to fly for three months just… *holds breath so I can’t hyperventilate*
So, let’s focus on the present and make some flying trapeze goals for 2014!
All the ways it used to go wrong resurfaced. There was no lift, either no rotation or too much rotation, I didn’t look at the catcher, I traveled.
This melodrama carried on for weeks. I could go into a dramatic re-enactment of my unrequited affair with the Layout, but I’ve been there and done that. So I played a lot of Taylor Swift songs during that dark time. In my head, the Layout had morphed into that douchebag of a boyfriend in the ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ music video, him with the great jawline who eats hopeful hearts for breakfast. The more I listened to the song, the more I realised that the song, eerily and perfectly, encapsulated my feelings and my farce of a relationship with the Douchebag Layout. The only bit that needed changing was where she sings, “And I’m lying on the cold hard ground”, when it should be the cold hard net.
Luckily, before everything spiraled out of control, the wise and wonderful Carleen intervened.