Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Running away to join the circus

(stolen from GRS blog :)

Today some of the more adventurous GRS riders tried out a new form of cross-training:  circus school!

Yes, I'm serious.

Arguably not the best thing to do the day after stacking 400+ bales of hay, but still So. Much. Fun!

Today's participants included:  









and Rowan.
There will be photos.  Lots of photos.  Some here and tons on FB.  Just waiting till I get the the ones from other cameras so I can pick and choose the best.  So far many of the ones I've seen have been blurry (the lighting was tricky and for some reason people really weren't staying very still!) BUT in every one the subject is smiling.  Definitely a good sign.

I also have to say - rotating photos so they're the right way around when half the time the people are *supposed* to be upside-down...?  Tricky.  And the photos in this particular blog are of the unedited-unphotoshopped-just-want-to-publish-and-go-to-bed variety...  hahaha they may or may not (realistically likely not :) get updated at a future time.

Ok so last time I did this (ummmm should I admit there was a last time?) we did a very gentle series of stretches and then were slowly introduced to the silks.  Got tons of time to play on them as we had several sets going at once, but was very low key.  This time?  Yeah not so much.  We started with jumping jacks and push-ups and a roll-over thing that made people look a little like fish out of water (and some of us couldn't steer so there was a bit of crashing into each other too -- just not pretty, trust me).  *Then* stretching -- but not nice easy stretching, no...  Cruel and unusual stretching up to and including the splits (Kirby won that one :)

But *finally* we got to play!   We started with the trapeze.  Somehow I got volunteered to go first -- I think I have Kerri to thank for that, but she was rapidly seconded by a whole bunch of people.  Sheesh.

So the last time I sat on a trapeze I was about 12.  Oh dear.  But still just as much fun as I remembered.  Step one was getting on.  Tip backwards and bring your knees up, rotate over your head so they're in pike position, then straighten them back up and hook them over the bar.
Emily with her knees up, ready for the next step!
Personally, I found getting my knees up over the bar was np, but that pike position -- wow was that trapeze ever wavering all over the place with my arms shaking!
Mieke demonstrating the pike :)
But yes, once on the first task was to hang upside down.  Did I mention this was the FIRST task.  So much for starting out simple!  hahaha but *everybody* did it!  Wooohoo!!!
Brena showing off the upside-down hang
Ok so then still on the trapeze, we did a sideways hang which was actually both fun AND easy -- a not entirely common combination we rapidly discovered *g*  The hardest part of this move was the ab strength required to get back out of it.  Yeah sitting trot.  This was where we started to notice that some people have a natural grace.  Alas, I am not one of those people.  *sigh*

The first step was to sit on the trapeze:
Aileen up on the trapeze
 And then to tip sideways and hang off of it with kind of a queen-wave thing going:
Kerri 's princess wave
You gotta admit - you're never going to see the queen waving quite the same way again :)

So about this point we left the trapeze to try the silks.   Step one was to climb!  Some found this easier than others.  A few lessons learned...  1: wrap the silk around your foot and step on it.  Those that didn't quite get that part really didn't get far off the ground.  2: Long pants and/or socks make life significantly more challenging.  And 3: once you DO get off the ground, Don't. Look. Down.  
Katlyn breaking rule 3!
The next step required no actual skill but far more bravery.  hahaha our instructor tied a knot in the silks making a swing of sorts, and as with the trapeze -- step one was to hang upside-down.  Sheesh >;-P
Demi is WAY too flexible -- actually managed to make this look graceful!
Following that entertainment was a combination of skill and strength leading to...  ummm I guess I'll call it a swan, but really?  I don't know what we were doing *g*   Kirby was definitely by FAR the most graceful of us here, but sadly I did not get a decent photo of it (maybe when the rest come in :)   However, everybody managed to pull this one off reasonably well!
Chelsea being a swan
After the swan we had our most complex maneuver of the day -- always good when your muscles are starting to fatigue.  At least we got to practice this one sitting down first!   You have to basically use one foot to tie a knot around the other one.  Sounds tricky enough like that -- even more when you realize you have to do this while holding yourself up in the air!
Kirby wasn't alone with getting the "a little sloppy" comment about the knot - but @ least she got it done!
Then AFTER you managed to get the knot tied, you could try one of a few movements -- most of us opted for this star type pose.  Rowan definitely pulled it off the best!
Rowan's Star
 After that, we were all a little beat...

So we watched our coach show off (at our request) for the last few minutes.  And honestly, that was just as if not more entertaining than the rest of the day!  He did rope and hoop -- and thanks to Bev, we have video of some of the rope :)

But all in all, an awesome day!  As I said at the beginning: So. Much. Fun!  Not sure what the *next* outing may be, but with these girls involved, I'm already looking forward to whatever it is!

hmmmm ok so I def just saw a few of Katlyn's mum's photos - and they are amazing.  But it's bedtime >;-P So they'll go up in the fb album instead!


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