a move out of the elusive hip-key

I’m not really sure why I first decided I wanted to climb the silks. I think I saw people playing on them at PEX fest, and it looked fun. But there were always people watching and I was intimidated. I did some research, found the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, and put their intro workshop schedule on my calendar. I bought a cheap groupon for an intro circus session and let it expire. It took me about a year to actually sign up for a class. I didn’t take the intro workshop, just went straight for the full session. My body was so sore after the first class I felt like I couldn’t move for days. I was awful at everything. My first class had one other student, a really nice girl with years and years of gymnastics training. I was pretty discouraged. I thought I was at least a little bit stronger! But I kept signing up for classes, and getting stronger. Chris took a workshop with me, and though he was sore for days afterwards too, he kept coming back. Now we’re signed up for level 3, and both getting stronger and stronger, pushing each other to eat well, exercise and train to be able to do even more. We compare bruises and skin rash and talk on the drive home about the new skills we want to learn. We sign up for extra practice sessions, and I’m pretty sure if we owned our house I’d have convinced Chris that we needed to rig a set-up at home somehow. Circus makes us strong. Not only that, though, we’ve met some really great people. Our fellow classmates are from all sorts of walks of life. From PhD candidates to school teachers to pole dancers- anyone and everyone. We coordinate practice sessions and try to make dates to meet up for dinner or circus themed events. Though we’re all advancing at different paces, and may not be in class together from session to session, we clap for each other when we nail tough tricks and laugh when we tangle ourselves in stupid ways.

Yesterday night Chris and I took our first flying trapeze lesson. Fly School Circus is set up across from the Kimmel center for the month, as part of the PIFA festival. I organized a few friends from the circus school to get together and try it out.

Chris is caught mid-air

I’ve already signed us up for another session. I love this. I thought I’d be scared, but I just wanted to keep flying. Chris, of course, was awesome. That man is built for the circus. Though I’m jealous of his gymnastics-as-a-kid muscle memory, I love that I have a partner that will sign up for two rounds of flying trapeze without blinking an eye. I asked if they had a permanent location close to Philly, and got a side whisper of “we’re working on it… put the positive energy out there!” I’ll be in trouble if they do get one. I’m going to spend all my money and spare time learning how to fly.

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