Anyone following me in the last year knows my obsession with the circus arts. Its through this that I’ve found freedom in several regards. I’ve even talked about this in a few post show interviews recently, to explain that circus is how I literally out climb some of the rougher parts of my path to find something better, certainly to have more fun. This is a list of unexpected things I’ve learned from my adventure in the circus arts.
- Not all teachers suck. I am a product of public school in the US and while I had some teachers who I really liked personally in my time there (as in their personalities I mean), very few taught me things that have really stuck with me to these days. Of those who did are mainly English teachers and art teachers, the rest tended to confuse me on things more than anything. However my teacher for circus, Roberto, has taught me more than I could have ever expected. He’s a fantastic teacher that inspires me to be better.
- Shut up and listen. Point one brings me to this point, which is a valuable lesson learned from my teacher. It was my tendency when doing things wrong to essentially explain what I was doing instead of shutting up and listening. It was a bit of a tough lesson to learn but its one that’s humbled me in all the right ways. When in doubt, just say “I don’t get it” and shut up. More efficient that way.
- Flexible body, flexible mind. This one should seem obvious but as my body became more stretchy I was surprised to find that my mind was working in ways that I didn’t expect either. As your body becomes capable of things you never felt were possible, so does the rest of you.
- The ability to complete a trick is 60 percent mental, 40 percent physical. A lot of the aerial arts and success with them actually come from knowing how to coordinate your body as well as trusting what the teacher tells you will work as intended. I often see other students struggle in ways that if they just trusted themselves and the teacher more, they could do it. Its not like they physically can’t a lot of the time as my teacher doesn’t show us stuff we simply aren’t capable of doing. A lot of the time its about knowing you can do it, or knowing specifically how to move the body when.
- Extremely rewarding full body workout. This also seems obvious but surprised me when I started. I expected it to be tough on the arms and shoulders and it is, but it also works every other part of the body, including muscles I didn’t know I even had. Its the only workout I’ve consistently stuck to without getting bored, also.
- Pompis is how you say ass in Spanish. This one is just for fun mostly. It was about 2 weeks into classes at my current gym where I asked my teacher “whats pompis mean”. The whole class laughed and he looked at me and said “ass”. So there you have it, Spanish lesson. Ahora, pompis arriba!!
- No discomfort, no expansion. My entire process with learning aerial arts has been a process of becoming sore, resting, recovering and then getting sore again. Every time this little cycle completes I end up noticing changes in my body, bit by bit. My thighs and calves are thicker, as are my arms. My back is covered in muscles I didn’t know existed. So on and so forth.
- The most free I’ve ever felt is suspended by a circus apparatus. It feels a little counter intuitive that I would feel more free wrapped up in fabric and flying through the air but its true. And as I’m known as someone who is big into individual freedom, circus arts are addicting partially because of this.
- Circus (for me anyway) is more helpful for anxiety than cannabis. About 3.5 months ago it occurred to me that I didn’t need cannabis anymore for the things I thought I needed it for. This was actually figured out during an experiment I’ll explain in another post about how I tried to quit (temporarily at the time, now maybe for good) to test a hypothesis about cannabis and its effect on the pancreas. Basically trying to improve my digestive health was the goal but what I found was that I just simply didn’t miss it. I used cannabis for anxiety control for the most part by the time I quit and after quitting, I realized that the circus arts are really all I need to control that. Circus and crochet that is.
So there it is, perhaps there are more things but that’s what I have for now. U