I’m 35 years old. I’ve gone skydiving in Indiana, whitewater rafting in West Virginia, mountain hiking in Alaska, snorkeling in Hawaii and have felt the mist of Niagara Falls in Canada. One thing these all have in common is that they took place prior to my having two beautiful children in 2003 and 2005. Obviously, my life changed, not to mention the havoc that was wreaked on my body. I mellowed out.
I’ve been an apprentice for several months now at Mojo, and so I’ve been working very hard to train my muscles (and tame any fears/apprehension/etc – it can be intimidating to step out of your comfort zone) to be able to do things I’ve never done before.
But this past weekend – you guessed it, at Circus Mojo – I learned an important lesson. Neither childbirth nor age can hold a person back from something they want to accomplish. I saw this in two instances.
The first was during the Advanced Circus class on Saturday morning, when I met Emily, a friendly acrobat instructor that Pauly so kindly has brought into the Mojo atmosphere to train us all further on gymnastics. The class (about 20 of us) split into three rotating groups of juggling, walking the tight wire and training with Emily.
It was during this time that the important lesson we’ve all heard about being able to do anything became an “ah-ha” moment for me. Granted, I have these often, as I’m a creative through-and-through, but since I joined Mojo, there’s been this high-pitched voice in the back of my mind asking me if I’m too old to start this, and questioning if it’s too hard. I think this voice is common for others as well, hence the reason I’m sharing this with you.
So, three things that Circus Mojo helped me accomplish on a bright and chilly Saturday morning: handstand (without a wall! Thank you Emily!), several new juggling tricks that involve passing rings with one- to three other jugglers (Thank you Donald!), and holy smoke, I actually walked across the tight wire (Thank you Kaitlyn, Andrew and Adam!). Unbelievable. So I sort of feel like if I can do this, anyone can. You just have to want it bad enough. I’m also toying with the aerial silks, which seems like a distant dream…part of me thinks it’s just too hard given my age/weight/flexibility, but then my audacious side counters that thought with the notion that those are simply excuses. Stay tuned.
Saturday morning was one big instance put together. The other was Saturday night, when I met the incredible gym-wheel performer from Germany, Wolfgang Bientzle. I’ve been hearing about Wolfgang since I became a Mojo apprentice – this man is 45, has performed and coached for Cirque du Soleil, has won eight world champion titles, 11 European champion titles and more than 60 German champion titles for this art form. Obviously he’s no longer in his 20’s, but during Saturday night’s show (see circus pictures here) for 200 Jewish YP’s (Event by Access/Mayerson Family Foundation) I watched Wolfgang perform (as very nearly as I could through the curtain backstage) and felt inspired by his age and skill. Audience members were letting out little screams as he commanded the wheel this way, then threw his body that way.
What does all of this mean? No excuses. Circus teaches us that anything can be done!