Tag Archives: Circus

Wall Running & Bungee

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When I first attacked the hobby year, I created a list of activities I could tackle. That list included everything from pole dancing to surfing-and from hip-hop dance to glass making. And while I did hit all of those things–what excited me a lot through the year was when I found hobbies that weren’t on my list–hobbies that I didn’t even know existed in and around New York City until I really started digging. These hobbies included samurai sword fighting and Jedi light saber training.

Most recently, I was introduced to another little known New York gem: Wall Running & Bungee. I have to admit–I didn’t come across this one on my own. A new friend of mine, Lauren, messaged me on Facebook asking me if I’d be up for trying this great class that involved running on walls and dancing in a bungee at a place called The Muse Brooklyn. She attached a video to the message in hopes of piquing my interest, but I didn’t even need to watch the video to know that I’d be in –it sounded awesome without the help of the video. Shortly after Lauren’s initial message, we set a date (May 1), signed up for the class, and patiently waited for our lesson to roll around.

On May 1, I showed up to the studio and watched as people stealthily climbed to the ceiling in a silks class, and I oooooed and awwwwed as others somersaulted in an acrobatics class. I have to admit, I was a little nervous for the class. The only form of acrobatics that I had really given a shot to during the hobby year was trapeze. Usually anything that involves flipping and spinning is an invitation for disaster for me, but I took a moment to mentally get my energy level up and pursue the evening with an optimistic frame of mind. I didn’t want to get to the wall and have to build up my confidence then.

Soon enough, it was time for class to begin.  Our teacher, Angela, introduced herself with a bright smile on her face and gave us the option of trying wall running or bungee first. Whichever we chose, we knew we’d have a little bit more time to dedicate to it. We opted for the wall running–because let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to spend a little more time feeling like they are Spiderman?

While Lauren and I were newbies to the class, the third woman in our class–was not. She’d been practicing wall running for a good amount of time and she was ready to jump right into a choreography she was working on for an upcoming show. I observed as she moved gracefully back and forth on the wall–like a horizontal ballerina.

“Wow,” I exclaimed. “That’s incredible.”

Before I knew it, she was starting to spin and flip.

I laughed with awe. “Are you kidding me? How freaking cool.”

“You’ll be doing that too,” Angela turned to me and said.

My confidence level was growing, but I still wasn’t sure I would be flipping. Even still, I smiled and nodded along. I appreciated her positivity.

Not before long, it was my turn to give the basics a shot. I climbed up onto the stool, and then stepped off of it. Then I rotated from my vertical initial position to a horizontal position with my feet placed on the wall and my back parallel to the ground. Slowly, I began to bounce to and from the wall. “I got this,” I thought to myself, and then I progressively got into a better rhythm. After a few minutes, Angela asked me to give the “wall running” a shot. I turned to my right,  relaxed my shoulders, and felt gravity begin to pull me down. I giggled. “This is hard, but I can do it.”

I began moving–not nearly as gracefully as the woman who’d been coming for lessons for weeks, but I was certainly moving. I felt like I was performing a scene straight out of the Matrix. As I began to feel my muscles fatigue a bit, I took a break and let my other two classmates take their second turns.

But before I knew it, it was my turn again–and this time, I was going to get to attempt to flip.

“You ready?” Angela asked.

“I think so,” I responded.

“You can do this,” She told me.

And then I gave it my best shot, pushing off my right foot, extending my left leg, and spinning through the air.  As I landed, slightly ungracefully, I started to laugh with excitement. “Oh my goodness…I did it….I just flipped through the air.”

Angela laughed along and said, “Good–now give it another shot.” And so I did–and then I did again–and then one more time. I began to feel muscles in my body that I didn’t know existed. I began to understand parts of my body that I didn’t know existed. I tested out the power in my push off foot–sometimes giving myself a little bit too much of an oomph. Not only did I feel like I was training to be in an action-packed movie, I felt like I was really beginning to understand my body–and the capabilities of my body.

After a few more flips, I returned to the stool and de-harnessed myself. “So cool,” I thought–“so cool.”

And class wasn’t even over yet….We still had harness bungee to jump into–and man did we jump into it. Angela had each of us bounce, turn, and flip within the bungee.

“I feel like Peter Pan,” I yelled!

I added, “Just think happy thoughts.”

All I needed was Tinker Bell to be throwing fairy dust all around me.

As I took my final bounce, de-clipped myself from the bungee, and climbed down the ladder, I couldn’t help but smile. And while I’m not sure that I’m ready to try out for the next Fuerza Bruta cast–or star in a Matrix remake–I do know that  having the opportunity to feel like I had the capabilities of a superhero was pretty damn awesome, and I can DEFINITELY see myself going back to The Muse Brooklyn very, very soon.

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Special Thanks
The Muse Brooklyn
32D South 1st Street
Brooklyn, NYC

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Finding Balance

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I imagine that learning to walk must have been the scariest moment of my life to date, even if I never formed a memory of it. Tiny feet pattering–a bruised baby bum–a dizzying disaster. Thank goodness, that as children, we have a hand to hold, and someone to help us back up.

As I cross the wire set up at the Trapeze Loft, I suddenly feel like a child again, as I desperately reach for a hand to hold.

“You can let go,” I say as I grasp Debra’s hand tighter. We laugh. At this point, she’s not holding my hand at all. I am squeezing her thumb with all my might. “I swear I’ll be fine if we just let go,” I forcefully say as I finally go to release her hand. I then yell, “Wait, no–not ready.” I can’t fathom the baby jumble that came out of my mouth as I learned how to walk for the first time.

I feel my hips sway back and forth. My arms wave, almost violently. “Wooooooah,” “ahhhhh” are some of the reactions coming out of me.

My instructor walks away.

“Where are you going?”

Debra adds that people get it best when she pays no attention.

She’s right–but not just for wire walking–but for life as well.

Even if someone’s not literally holding our hand–if they are near by, we know we can reach for them to help us back up. but if no one is around. Well then, it’s up to oneself and only oneself. Debra sits across the room chatting away. It’s only up to me now–and my two feet.

I race quickly–one foot at a time. I’m falling from one side to the other–saving myself and catching myself from an invisible doom below. It doesn’t look graceful–but neither does life at most points.

Either way, I am learning to walk on my own–the most important lesson there is.

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Special Thanks
Debra Chilcott
The Trapeze Loft

The Hobby Hoarder Gets Beat Up by a Sock: Ventriloquism

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During my ziplining adventure on June 10, one of our adventure tour friends suggested that I try out a ventriloquist lesson for the hobby year. Just a few days later, I scheduled  a lesson with comic and ventriloquist April Brucker, who welcomed me into her apartment and took me under her wing. In an hour, I went from novice to street performing novice.

Pretty freaking incredible.

25 hobbies down–27 to go. Ahead of schedule. BAM

 

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April Brucker

This fall, April will be releasing her brand new book. Be sure to check it:

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a New York City Singing Telegram Delivery Girl.

It will be available  through Infinity Publishing, ebook, Kindle and Amazon.

The Hobby Hoarder Walks It Out: Stilt Walking

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Each year, on July 4th, there are parades all around America–and in those parades, stilt walkers come out by the dozens–dressed as Uncle Sam, Lady Liberty–and more. When I went to choose my hobby for the week of July 4th, I took a poll on Facebook and Twitter of what hobby I should do. The majority voted that I should stilt walk–and so I did. It felt pretty nice to be tall.

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Special Thanks

Flynn Michael

Lea Perella

Brian Forman

Docking Bay 420

And all those who voted on THIS hobby!

The Hobby Hoarder Heads to the Circus: Unicycle Riding

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If you ever say you can’t- you won’t. Stop can’ting and won’ting and start trying and doing. It’s called life so start living it.

When I scheduled a unicycle lesson with Cody over email a few weeks ago, I didn’t know what I was in for. I’ve seen people unicycle before–and I knew it was hard–but I didn’t know just how truly difficult it would be–to even get on the one wheeled mobile.

But on the day of the hobby, I began getting a bit nervous–which is odd for me–I don’t get nervous–heck I let a guy use me as his knife throwing target-but this–this seemed dangerous. So I went out and bought a helmet, elbow pads, wrist guards, and knee pads, and pretended I wasn’t scared I’d nose dive off this thing onto my face–when truly I was terrified.

The terror ultimately become my biggest enemy. I’ve learned recently that when I am anxious about something going well or right–and what people may think of me–I laugh like a hyena through nearly the entire event. On my first attempt, I giggled like a little girl trying to do the monkey bars the entire time. My frame of mind had affected me so much that I asked immediately how to get off this contraption.

But after watching Cody go again, I gave it another shot. Frustrated, I dismounted from the bike–and then tried once more…with much more success. So it goes back to the old saying–if at first you don’t succeed–try, try again.

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Oh and the Hobby Hoarder even got to experience something else that was really rewarding–another person–and friend also giving the unicycle their own first try. What does this mean? You should really stop saying can’t–and won’t and start getting out there–Start living life. Check out Mike Bonner’s succesful attempt:

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Cody Buesing
www.codybuesing.com 

Special Thanks
Jeff Lutz
www.ifeltawkwardwhen.com

Michael Bonner
www.takebacksproductions.tumblr.com 

The Hobby Hoarder Throws Knives: Knife Throwing

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Life is about tasking risks–putting yourself in vulnerable positions–and knowing that you’re making the right decisions.

Today, I stood in front of a professional, world-record holding knife thrower–shut my eyes–and breathed in life.

And told my mom I loved her before having knives thrown all around me.

Oh, and I learned knife throwing for a hobby–totally, amazing.

It was a pretty awesome day.

 

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The Great Throwdini
http://www.knifethrower.com

 

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