19 August 2012

Circus, Circus!: A co-authored post

Andrea's not the biggest fan of circuses...she dislikes the treatment of the animals and clowns are just freaking scary. And you know what? I totally agree. But when I said that I was coming back to DC in July for some RnR and LivingSocial had a Circus Adventure at the DC-based Trapeze School New York, well we jumped on the chance to spend a day dreaming of becoming a couple of First o'Mays (that's circus talk for non-circus folk who try to run away with the circus) and joining the circus! This LivingSocial adventure was just perfect because we got to try a little of everything that the school offers, including: flying trapeze, silks, (partner) acrobatics, juggling, and making balloon animals!

Oh the innocence-this is the 'before'
Lauren: I was pretty excited that our group was selected to take on the (indoor) trapeze first.
As you can see, I was stoked.
Lauren: After they strapped those awful safety belts on us, we got a lesson on how to stand on the platform, how to reach for the bar, and most importantly, how to follow the commands both from the awesome guy on the platform, and from the coach on the ground. Basically, there are two commands: "ready," which means, well, ready. At that point, you should steady yourself, and bend at the knees. When the coach sees that you're ready, he'll say, "hep!" When you hear that, jump! But first, you have to get to the platform.

Andrea: For me, the scariest darn part of the entire thing was climbing the ladder. I've never been a fan of ladders but this one, 23 feet high, flimsy aluminium, and secured only at the bottom and top...it shivered and shook and bucked the entire climb. I sweat through the chalk I'd put on my hands by the time I got up there!

Taking a relieved breath after the climb!

Lauren: I won't lie, that ladder climb really was scary. Even though you're strapped to a rope with an auto-catch in case you fall, it's really best if you don't fall. Once you get to the top, I felt keenly aware that we were literally suspended in mid-air. I was hell bent on following instructions. to. the. letter. I'm sure this was out of absolute terror, and I didn't move a muscle without the mohawk guy telling me so. He grabbed the bar, and I took it in one hand, and then two. After that, things moved VERY quickly. I heard the ready signal, and bent my knees, and then hep! and I jumped! 

Holy crap I jumped!
Lauren: Now, you want to be able to get gravity to work in your favor so that your legs don't become dead weights. I figured because, I engage in fairly intense exercise on a regular basis that I would be decent at this, but this is MUCH harder than it looks. Apparently, having left gymnastics behind 20 years ago, means that I will never be a very good trapeze artist.

Lauren: After a couple of unsuccessful attempts at trying to swing my legs up and hook my feet, I got the command to let go. Again, ready, and hep! For me, this was another really scary part!

You know...maybe not so much.
Andrea: The platform is only 23 feet up which seems like a lot, but after plunging off a 25 foot waterfall into water of questionable depth, 23 feet didn't seem so bad. Especially since there was a net about 5.5 feet off the ground.
Hmm...fly, or climb back down? Rock meet hard place.
Andrea: Grabbing that bar was a surprise. It's really heavy and I was neither expecting nor prepared for that. Although frankly I cannot say I was prepared for anything this day.

Still not sure but let's go.
Andrea: I do have to admit though that it took me a couple more minutes to finally get off the platform. I really was trying to jump but my feet were glued to the platform. I got off eventually and one of the other adventurers that day took this super cool composite picture of me.

Lauren: Next, we moved on to silks. I thought that this was going to be pretty easy, and fun. This was neither easy, nor very much fun for me. I could barely get my foot onto the knot to pull myself up!
Yeah...I'm still not sure this is going to work.

A little help...still didn't help.

Look at meeee! I'm 3 inches off the ground!

Andrea: This was actually what I was most excited to learn-I've loved the silks since I first saw a Cirque du Soliel performance and have always wanted to learn. It is so much harder than it looks! And it doesn't look easy!

I started out so excited

Love this...almost makes it look like I climbed higher than I did

Woot! Success!
Andrea: I couldn't believe how painful it was to stand on that knot of fabric!
Lauren: Seriously, right?!
See that face? That's the 'no I don't like this' face
Lauren: Andrea was much better at this than I was, though I'm pretty sure that neither of us have a Cirque debut in our future.
Andrea: Next up...partner balancing. I think Lauren and I both went into this a little trepedaciously but then she volunteered us to go first!

Lauren: I was nervous about this, but still kind of excited. The instructors made everything look so easy!

Lauren before she really knew what was coming

And prep...
Lauren: This is where Andrea death-gripped my ribs, and I could neither move nor breathe. Who really needs to breathe, anyway when you're in the circus!
Ta Da!
Andrea: It was actually easier than it looked.
Lauren: but yay! We did it!

Don't worry Andrea, we can do this!


Ta Da!

Lauren: next up was the juggling. I've never juggled before, other than tossing balls up and not usually catching them. I managed to catch on to this pretty quickly, and found myself juggling three balls at once!

Lauren: The weather turned bad, so we partially missed our second opportunity to trapeze outside, and also rock climb, because there was a lot of lightning. So, they brought us in for indoor recess, and that meant balloon animal making! For whatever reason, I was not that into this, mostly because I think I'm afraid that the balloon is going to pop in my face and blind me.
see? still not convinced.

Turning is...trepidatiously.
Ta Da!

No comments: