A Love Letter to Gorilla Circus

emilymcdowellLovely Readers, it is July! This means three things:

  1. It’s been four months since my last post and I am a terrible human being.
  2. Summer flying is in full swing! The weather in London has been glorious!
  3. We’re halfway through the year! My wonderful fellow flying trapeze bloggers CC and Susie have been sharing their progress on their 2015 flying trapeze goals, and I have postponed mine for long enough.

Technical status report: I am failing against ALL of my 2015 flying trapeze goals. Failing HARD.

Self-evaluation: I have never been happier with my flying! I am the LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE.

I don’t know how to say this eloquently, so I’m just going to blurt it out – Ezra and Debs invited me to join staff training! The conversation went something like this:

DEBS AND EZRA: We’d like to invite you to join staff training sessions this summer. If you impress us, then we might invite you to join the Gorilla Circus performance troupe.
DEBS: We’re looking to expand the number of female flyers we have who can fly at a professional level. Corporate gigs are always asking for female flyers.
EZRA: Our goals for you this summer are for you to catch your splits and layout out of lines and return them to platform.
DEBS: We know you’ve been wanting to catch out of lines :)
ME: AAAHHHHHHHH I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU FOREVER

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Flying Trapeze Retreat with Kaiceitos Circus

kaiceitosLovely Readers, it’s been too long! How has it been 3 months since my last post? What adventures have you been getting up to so far in 2015?

I mostly trudged about in the Swamp of Regression in December and January, not much to report there. By February, I thought, enough is enough. I dug into my savings and booked a much yearned for week-long flying trapeze retreat at Kaiceitos Circus in the Dominican Republic. Sudhir and his partner Matthew had already booked, Hortense booked soon after, and I tagged along for the company.

taxiBEST. DECISION. EVER.

Did you know that there is such a thing as a flying trapeze retreat? A magical place where you can fly until exhaustion six days a week in gorgeous weather among palm trees right by the beach? Where the rig is only a stone-throw away from dozens of affordable hotels and eateries serving delicious healthy food? And the head coach is probably the most skilled, experienced and hilarious coach that you will encounter in your life?

I was told about this paradise on earth over a year ago by fellow flyers at Gorilla Circus, and it took me that long to wrap my mind around the concept. It sounded too good to be true, there must be a catch!

There is no catch. Except, you know. If you want to, towards the end of the fly class (forgive me, forgive me…).

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Get Ready for 2015: Preparation of the Body

Calvin-Hobbes-Rethink-ExerciseThe 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 :)

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Regression to the Mean?

araleLong time no catch up, Lovely Readers!

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…

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2015 Flying Trapeze Goals

seagullflyDay 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.)

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Preparation of the Heart

save-the-drama-for-your-llama

“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?”

(WARNING: You may want to put the kettle on.)

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Progress Report: 2014 Flying Trapeze Goals

statusreport

Dear Lovely Readers,

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.

So, about those goals…

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