- Sebastian’s First Silk Lesson at 7 Months
At the ripe old age of twenty four (you can’t see me right now, but I’m snickering in a very snarky way), I decided to run away and join the circus. Among the many sensitive and caring questions I got from friends and family was, “Aren’t you a little old for that? I thought you had to be born into the circus!”. The short answer is no, I wasn’t, and no, you don’t. Let’s unpack this, shall we? Here’s the straight talk about age and circus.
The Downside of Starting Later
You want the bad news first? You got it. Now, when I say “later”, I mean anything after sixteen (brutal, right?). If you are lucky enough to be born a Wallenda, you start training practically in utero. Some lucky kids get hooked up with awesome youth circuses like Circus Smirkus
or Circus Juventas
, and are performing at a professional level before they’re out of junior high. But what about the rest of us who didn’t discover this wacky world of circus until (gasp!) their twenties? Thirties? Forties and beyond?
The downside is this: you have to work much harder, and the older you are, the longer it takes to bounce back from injuries. Jumping in without a warmup is no longer an option, and you may find that you spend more time with frozen peas taped to your shoulders that not. BUT. That’s it. That’s the whole downside, people – hard work and some frozen peas.
The Upside of Starting Later
I began my training with the utterly extraordinary Tanya Gagne, one half of the Wau Wau Sisters
and owner of Big Sky Works/The Trapeze Loft (awesome space – check it out
). When I kvetched about my age, she set me straight in a hurry. She told me she had never felt so strong (seriously – you could bounce a quarter off her tush), or had mastery over so many skills; she assured me that with patience and hard work, I could have my dream. She was right! There are real upsides to starting later: intense focus, greater vision, perseverance, resources, and more.
Did you know that your thirties are a spectacular time to pack on major muscle? Our perceptions can age us faster than our bodies ever could.
So, what are you waiting for, friend? Here’s a quotable from Julia Cameron:
“Question: Do you know how old I’ll be by the time I learn how to play the piano?
Answer: The same age you will be if you don’t.” – Julia Cameron, “The Artist’s Way”
Deep thoughts, people! If you’re using your age as an excuse not to try aerials, or anything for that matter, knock it off. Get going – there’s living to be done! Love and pull-ups, Laura
PS – check out this quick video from Marie Forleo
about this very thing – highly entertaining! And comment on this post with your success stories of starting to train a little later – I wanna hear you!
As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, FB, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are posting things these days!