Today’s Gallery Theme: ‘Boys in Training’
Having kept in training with all the stuff we prepared for the aborted summer circus tour, we’ve been looking out for more opportunities to present it in addition to the three summer-camp ‘circus school’ gigs I mentioned a while back. Nothing happens for ages and then (as they like to say about London buses) two come along at once. Requests for private engagements, that is. We like doing private shows because we can change things ‘on the hoof’ and even try out new things to see if they work for an audience without looking too silly.
So we have one on Friday evening (tonight) and one on Sunday, about 200 miles apart! And, with very short notice, almost no time to prepare.
We have decided to divide our resources: the ladies (Karen, Clare, young Jaymee [Dave’s daughter] and her friend Karla) will do the first one, then Karen drives the tour bus back here on Saturday, our ‘roady’ Chet takes over and we ‘boys’ will do the second show. The first show will have a lot of fire in it because, traditionally, that is what the girls have always done – they call it ‘body-burning’ but of course it isn’t – plus fire breathing and tricks like walking barefoot over glass with some flames (kerosene) flickering through… actually Jaymee will walk on hands over that and do some rolls too. It all depends on understanding the different between heat and temperature (I think I’ve said that several times before).
Karla, who is pretty much living with us while her parents go through a messy break-up, is an excellent acrobatic gymnast and, along with her acrobat partner Jaymee, will open their proceedings with a balance routine. Karla is not into the fire stuff, but will be adding her weight when the others use the nail beds and so forth, usually in a variety of one-hand balance positions. Karen (slight shudder from me) has decided to resurrect her old game of ‘suspension’ (from hooks) at the end of the show – I thought they had given that up but it always seems to be ‘just one last time…’. So, and all-female acrobatic and fakir entertainment there!
For show number 2 we boys (Dave and I, Zach and Gary, my son Leo and his friend Chris) need the nails and glass track. We don’t do fire (except for the flames in the glass track) but we do a lot more acrobatics – and both young lads relish having concrete blocks broken on them while lying on a nail bed, so much fun likely to be had. Chet will drive us back overnight Sunday and the bus has bunks so the boys will be fresh (-ish) for school Monday morning. Theoretically!
We more senior persons tired of the endless bus trails that go with circus tours a while back, so we’re not entirely unhappy about that tour cancellation. And these occasional gigs, plus the summer-camp sessions, help the young ‘uns to overcome their obvious disappointment. And, with them back in school next week, Dave and I will need to do some extra coaching sessions at the gymnastics centre to make up for those colleagues who had to ‘cover’ for us at the weekend.
A cautionary note following something that I recently heard about (but was not, I think, to blame for). Do not try the things I describe here (or in the books) without proper training. While you do NOT have to be superhuman to do these tricks on nail beds, glass and whatever – and pretty much anyone can do them – you MUST receive proper instruction and then train appropriately!
Now let’s enjoy some more boys training hard to achieve their goals:
(That is a HUGE weight and not to be trifled with – do that lift with the wrong form and you will destroy your back for ever. Exercise care and do not attempt to copy without supervision! BY the way, the chains in the background can be fixed to a weight bar so that, as you lift it, the weight increases as more chain is lifted off the floor – a useful technique for working muscles in a different way, which is always desirable.)
And, finally, remember that you do not need specialist equipment for fitness training!