Circus pain is the BEST pain

I am warning you ahead of time that this post is LENGTHY, even for me.


I finally got to class last night.  Part of the total awesomeness is that they offer a first class for free to everyone.  So, there I am, all ready to do some circus stuff.  I was told that two other people would be coming but that I could start stretching out and stuff since I was already there.  Cool. 

The class started at 6, but in Miami time that means people show up a bit late.  (Although, I tend to be fairly prompt and not run my schedule on CP Time, there are certainly an abundance of folks working on Hispanic time here.)

The owner/instructor (O/I) asked me what I knew and what I wanted to work on.  I told him about what I had previously done and that I really wanted to learn silks.  He nodded and pointed me in the direction of them.

I don't think that he would have moved as quickly with someone with no experience, but hey, I don't know exactly how he runs his gig.  I was okay with it.  He showed me some "basic" stuff like how to wrap my feet in the silks and some turning around trick.  Umm, ouch.  My feet hurt.  I never knew there was silks pain.  But, I think I was putting the silks in the wrong place on my foot (more towards my heel and not in the arch).  I also did some climbing and a little wrap.  Ha, my hands hurt too.  They need to adjust to grabbing the silks.

After we had gone over this stuff, the other two had shown up.  Cutest couple.  Today is her birthday so it was a mini-present for her.  I'm guessing they were in their early 20s, but I'm a horrible judge.  Even as a bartender, if you look like you might not be 30, I'm carding you.  Take it as a compliment.

They did some stretching and then we all did some tumbling work.  I completely love that he has a belt rigged where it is so that my back handspring can be spotted without me worrying about kicking someone in the head.  So, we did front handsprings and front walkovers, then back handsprings and back tucks, then a back handspring, back tuck combo.  Fun, but I ain't going to the Olympics any time soon. 🙂

After floor, we brought out the trampoline.  There are (at least) two types of trampoline beds – beds are the jumpy part.  I'd venture to guess that most people are familiar with this kind:

It gives you a good bounce but you don't have to worry about catching a toe or anything in it.  These are the ones I've mostly used, although I've been fortunate enough to get my hands/feet/butt on one of these bad boys:

That's the super close-up view.  Those beds are like the professional/Olympian ones.  Since there are holes, you get way less drag and you bounce STUPID high!  It can actually be scary, especially if you haven't gotten the stop-bounce down.

Anyways, we got to do back flips and front flips on the trampoline.  It isn't as easy as it sounds to do it and do it properly and safely.  Back in my hayday (sp?), I could do some rocking back flips.  Tucked, piked, laid out, I could do them.  I learned it in like a day in Africa when some folks pestered me until I tried it.  Good times.

After trampoline (thank goodness there were three of us or I would've been wiped out by this point), we moved over to the trapeze.  Let me just say that I am so far out of circus shape that it is totally disgusting.  O/I asked me if I knew a couple of moves and I said that I might but I might know them by different names.  He asked me to do one of my favorite moves, monkey roll to ankle hang, but I just didn't feel ready and I didn't have my ankle protectors on.  I came down and my classmates went up for a while.  I felt right at home jumping in with assisting with explanations as O/I is Russian and sometimes his English doesn't come across very well.  He seemed happy to have the help.

After my classmates came back down, I went back up to try a move while swinging.  As O/I was explaining it, I realized that I knew what he wanted, it had just been a damn long time since I did it.  Not only that, when I first learned it, it took me a long damn time to get it right.  Part of it is that I was used to a longer arc in the swing, therefore having more time to complete moves, and part of it is that I'm just trying to remember.  I don't think this will mean much to you, but I was trying to accomplish a chute half-turn.  In a nutshell, I am balancing myself overtop of the trapeze bar and before I get to the peak of the swing, I shoot myself over the bar (facing the floor) and then do a half-turn so I'm facing the ceiling and catch myself on the bar with my ankles.  Didn't happen.  Not for lack of me trying though.  I had to call it quits because I was tired and getting sore and found out at shower time that I had successfully removed some skin from my hip.  I tried to get a photo, but lucky for you, not so much.

Last on the agenda (at around 7:45 when class was supposed to be an hour and started at 6 – BONUS!), were the stretching and conditioning exercises known as "torture wall".  Flexibility is a big problem for me so I was surprised when I did as well as I did.  Basically, for the first one, you stand against the wall while O/I tries to put your shin on your nose.  Then you have to lower the leg slowly and give it back to him so he can try it again.  Three times on each leg.  Next, you stand sideways and see if O/I can split you in half like a wishbone.  Both legs.  Hey, let's turn and face the torture wall while O/I tries to touch your toe to your head by bringing your leg up behind you.  Mmm, mmm fun.  This is where torture wall turns into torture floor.  So how about you lay on the floor on your back and hold on to the trampoline leg.  Bring your legs up so they make a 90 degree angle with your body and then push against him as he tries to push them to the floor back in a natrual position.  Ten.  Times.  Oww.  Think that's it?  Nope.  O/I now sticks a foot under your side, like where your waist is and get those legs back up in a 90 degree.  Now, push against him as he tries to push your legs down to the side.  And oh yeah, keep your side on his shoe.  Pain.  Last exercise is back extensions.  Lay down on the trampoline on your belly and put the top half of your body out over the edge.  Relax.  Now lift your upper half to parallel with the floor.  Again.  Keep your head up or it doesn't count!  Ten more times.

Well, now that you can barely walk and have to drive a stick shift home, you're done!

All in all a great time.  They want me to come back to work out with some other people they have there.  Two of whom are cheerleaders (guys) at FIU.  They have some performances coming up and think that I'd mesh well with them.  They also want me to learn hoop.

So yeah, those last 7 pounds, those will be gone soon although I think they'll come back in the form of muscle which is okay by me too.  I'm putting the frontal enhancements on permanent hold until I break myself doing circus.  Then when I can't walk anymore, maybe I'll think about it.

In closing, I just want to say that if you can find circus classes in your area, GET TO IT!  You'll get to use cool phrases like "listo", "hep", "kip", and "ready on the board!"

PS.  I had three glucosamine pills for dinner last night and I can still walk.  Three more when I get home along with a hot bath MIGHT ensure that I can walk tomorrow.

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Son, be a dentist

Maybe you remember that little ditty from Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors. (You know, I can never remember if I'm supposed to put titles in italics or quotes.)  Anywho, if you don't, you can have a good laugh here.

Yesterday, I had an appointment with the dermatologist.  I figure at 34, I deserve to have some semblence of clear skin.  I will say it's considerably better than it was, but that's neither here nor there.  I am fortunate enough to have health insurance and I don't really use it for much else, so I thought that I should get my money's worth.

I arrived at the office in a timely manner and filled out the typical first-timer paperwork.  I was a little concerned because I had not had a chance to wash my face because traffic was TERRIBLE and I had to go directly to the appointment without stopping at home first.  Why not forgo the makeup for one day, you may ask?  Because it isn't polite to scare people at work, that's why.

I was whisked into an exam room where the nursey lady asked me if I was wearing makeup, as if she couldn't tell.  I told her I was and she asked me to wash and I obliged.  They had some yummy smelling face soap there in the room.  After a quick wash, I sat back on the exam table and waited.  The doctor arrived in a timely fashion and introduced herself and then gave her best shot at pronouncing my name.  I didn't think it that difficult to sound it out, but she insisted on putting an 'R' in it when there is not one. (Lovey said that I should have told her that the R is silent.)

In the manner that doctors do, she asked me why I was in her office.  Now, call me crazy, but I would think that if I were a dermatologist and someone came to my office, I would think that they felt they had some sort of skin issue.  I let it slide and answered that I had some mild acne and some big-ass pores and I'd like to see them go away.

At this point, I think it's important to say that this dermatologist came highly recommended by two patients, one of whom is of the darker complextion, like me, so I was just gonna run with it.

Ms. Derma donned her glasses and practically sat on my lap to give me the close-up exam.  She pointed out my zits and a mole I had and said that she could get rid of all of them.  Hooray!  She was just going to do some treatment and an injection and put me on a regimen and boom!, beautiful skin.


Right, put on the brakes.  Did you say injection??!  Um, I don't like vampires.  But, I'm gonna pretend I didn't hear that.

She gets some thing out of a sealed plastic package and attaches it to a machine of doom behind me.  Dr. Derma then tells me that I may feel a little 'discomfort'.  But no worse than getting a facial.  Have I ever had a facial?  Yes, and I swore never to do it again.  Oh, yes, yes, I agree.  All that discomfort and no results, she says.  And then she starts.

It's a frickin laser!  And she's zapping my face in random areas and guess what?  It's more than a little discomfort.  It isn't excrutiating pain, but it does hurt a little.  Dr. Derma is zapping away and hits a spot that, for whatever reason, is more sensitive than the rest of my face.  A small ouch escaped me.  Dr. Death tells me that it's not that bad and "Beauty is pain."  Thanks for making me feel better.

In a feat of sheer willpower, I didn't bolt from the table and then the office screaming like a banshee when she said, okay, time for the injections.  I just closed my eyes so I wouldn't see the needle coming.  It honestly hurt less than the lasers and considerably less than you would think it would to have needles STUCK IN YOUR FACE.

I thought she was maybe using a little too much goo as, after one injection, I could feel it running down my face.  Dr. Evil has some cotton patchy things and she tells me to hold it to the last place she shot me.  She moves to the other side, needle-happy, and nursey lady comes back in and says "ooh" and tells me to move my patchies over to the other side.  In the process of moving them, I opened my eyes, and yes, almost passed out after squeaking.  Why?  Because it wasn't needle goo running down my face, it was blood.  MY BLOOD!

Dr. Bedside-Manner said, "What, it's only a little blood."  HAHAHAHAHA!  I curbed my insane laughter and urge to floor this woman where she stood.  Besides, I was all done except for the hard sell.  She tried to get me to do a peel and I said that I had had enough for one day thankyouverymuch.  Okay, then get your regimen and get out of here you pansy.  Oh, and take these prescriptions too.  Before you go, please stop by the front desk and have your picture taken for later humiliation posterity and give me all of your money.

Thanks, see you in six weeks!

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