love thursday: joining the circus

It’s LOVE THURSDAY folks! Today’s Love Thursday is dedicated to one of my best friends in the whole world, Rhiannon. I met Rhiannon on River India in 2007 and since that time, she, Emily and I have been bosom buddies, three amigos, kindred spirits, BFFs, all that good stuff. Today is her birthday and I asked her to send in a guest post about her amazing experience this year, learning to TRAPEZE!  There are so many things I love about Rhiannon- she is generous (beyond measure), hilarious, fun, always up for an adventure, kind, caring, supportive, compassionate, and one of those “lean on me” kind of friends. Meeting Rhiannon was one of the best gifts that came into my life in 2007 and I am so happy our friendship has continued and grown.  Happy Birthday RHI! You are one of a kind.

Guest Post from the Birthday girl, Rhiannon Mabberley

Years ago, I said I wanted to take a lesson on the flying trapeze.  I had grand visions of me in a cute shiny leotard being thrown gracefully from one trapeze to another.  In my mind, a very cute Swedish man caught me and pulled me back up, where I smiled and looked great.  I was going to be a flying trapeze star!  With all of this sorted out, I went about looking for trapeze lessons, and finally found them at the Vancouver Circus School.  Then I waited and waited and waited.  The class was always on the wrong days, or I was going to be out of town too much, or I didn’t want to be inside a gymnasium in the middle of summer.  So three years passed.

Finally, last month, I took the plunge.  I was on my boyfriend’s couch and he was talking about how excited he was to have just joined a bike racing team, and I thought “I’m going to do something exciting too!”.  So I pulled out the laptop, and I registered.  Classes started the following Monday, and I was PUMPED! I was finally going to Circus School!!!

When Feb. 20th rolled around, I summoned up all my courage, and made my way to Circus School, in a big gymnasium.  Circus School actually has 5 different activities, trampoline, unicycle, the silk ropes, static trapeze  and of course, swinging trapeze.  I could write a whole new post about the silk ropes, but I digress.  I found my group, and was pleasantly surprised that there were 3 other people who were very much like me.  All women in their early 30’s, who thought trapeze school would be a fun way to get some exercise and try something new.  These people were NICE!  Some of them had been coming for over 3 years! No Swedish men to catch me, not outfits, and, swinging trapeze is you on a single trapeze, no flying off.  But I was not defeated, I still thought I was going to be a trapeze master!

When it was my time to go up on the trapeze, I got strapped into the harness, and looked around for the ladder, which I quickly learned did not exist.  To get up on the trapeze, about 20 feet off the ground, you have to climb a thick rope.  You do this by wrapping the rope around your foot and creating a lever, which you then pull yourself up by.  If I thought that was hard, I was about to be surprised.  Because as it turns out, flying trapeze is HARD!!! To get the trapeze going, you have to stand up on the bar on your very tippy toes, bend your knees and push back.  Think of swinging on a swing when you were 3, except you’re 20 feet up, and on your tip toes.  I instantly had visions of falling off, and had to convince myself that I was OK.  At one point I actually stopped swinging, and got yelled at by my instructor, 20 feet below, to keep going.  Then he yelled “Sit down”, and I honestly thought “How? This thing is still moving??”… I somehow, very awkwardly, sat down.

Long story short, I was not going to be a trapeze star.  But, I did get better, and I actually got over the fear of the moving swing, which is a good thing :) Also, I wasn’t horrible! I was told I had beautiful lines, and that I caught on quickly.  By week 3 I was doing exciting tricks, like “Angel” and “Mermaid”, and by week 5, they had me dropping off the back of the bar and swinging to the front! Watch out Cirque Du Soliel, here I come!! I graduated Circus School on March 26th, and the wonderful ladies took a video of me:

The one thing I’ve learned, is that if you’ve been wanting to do something, do it.  If I had signed up for Circus School three years ago, I really would have been a master by now. I had no idea I had beautiful lines :) and was even more clueless as to how hard Circus School is. I honestly feel extremely gratified to have taken the plunge, and am happy to know that if my career flops, I might have a backup (with a little more practice…).

Life is waiting for you, but you have to show up to enjoy it.  


3 thoughts on “love thursday: joining the circus

  1. Imagine how excited I was when I found this blog post, because I was one of those 30-something ladies cheering Rhiannon on! So lovely to see that you enjoyed yourself and hope you’ll come back to circus school soon.


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