Friday, June 10, 2011


My mother and I have decided that we're going to sign up for circus school.

It's never too late to follow your dreams.

For those of you who are aware of the genetic disorder my mother and I share, that first sentence would be rather amusing. You see, both my mother and I discovered very early on in life that we will never be the cute little girls who can do cartwheels and roundoffs.  Neither she, nor I, have ever been able to do a somersault.


I still have very vivid memories of Gymnastics Week in our gym class.  We had a checklist of things we had to work through in order to complete that portion of the class.  First thing on the list - somersault.  Followed by back somersault.  Headstand. Handstand. Cartwheel. Roundoff. Backflip.  It just became more and more horrifying as you looked down the list.  On day one, I spent the entire hour trying to do a somersault.  By the end of that same hour, all of the girls and most of the boys had made it to the backflip. I was mortified.

I went home and my mother helped me practice on the living room floor. Even in the safety of my own home I couldn't do it. I cried. She told me the story about how, when she was a little girl, she had to do a somersault in gym class and couldn't do it.  So her mother (my nana) helped her practice on the living room floor.  She never managed to do one either.

We are not gymnasts her and I.

And here we are, decades later, deciding that we're going to circus school. All because of some little show we saw called Quidam.

Put on by the folks from Cirque du Soleil.


I have seen several Cirque shows, including their first one put on at Canada's Wonderland before anyone even knew who they were.  Even then in their tiny little tent they were amazing.

Feats of strength that are so unbelievably controlled and graceful that you forget for a moment how impossible they are.

Aerial performances that make you feel like you're in the presence of angels.

And hysterical theatrics that had us in stiches.

It was a great evening.  We talked about it non-stop all the way home.  What roles we'd like to have based on our skill sets.  My mother hates heights and anything scary, is not very strong or flexible but is sure that there is a role for her.  I'm better at strength and endurance than grace and agility so I'm thinking I'd do well hanging from ropes or being one of the strong foundations in the human pyramid scenes. 

Seriously though - as someone who spends a lot of time and energy working on strength and fitness - it's pretty humbling to be in the presence of such strong human specimens.  They looked more like gods and goddesses than humans.

It's really inspiring and makes me want to dedicate a bit more time working on my upper body strength and flexibility.  Because you never know when you might be asked to be an understudy for the aerial ballet scene.


  1. This sounds amazing! How cool! i can't wait to hear all about it!

  2. The Discovery program, "Nerve Center", did an episode on 'O' in Las Vegas - showing all the work done behind the scenes. Amazing! Link to online video: