One Coach or Four? The Ups and Downs of Circus Monogamy: Part 1

Chris risked his life by getting in a wheel with me. That's dedication.

Chris risked his life by getting in a wheel with me. That’s dedication.

“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.” ― Richard Feynman

Hello, Dear Danglers! First, let me say how utterly delightful and insanely wonderful you all are. Your words of kindness and encouragement helped me  re-frame my entire experience! (if you missed it, click here) You are magical, and I love this brilliant  community right down to the tips of my toes.

It occurred to me that perhaps I  should contrast the Sturm and Drang of the previous post with a sliver of silver lining,  and so I shall. In between all the “ugly crying” and feeeeeeeeeelings, I also  got a few minutes with my two very favorite wheel coaches in all the world. I think now might be a great time to talk about the pros and cons of circus monogamy versus poly-amoury: should you have one coach or many?

 

In it For Life – My Main (Wheel) Man, Chris Delgado

Story time. Chris was teaching workshops nearby as I was having my wee crisis learning new techniques on “twisties,” as we call them. When he had a five-minute break, he came over, put his hand on my shoulder, and gently asked, “Do you want me to fix your twisties?” I nodded, hiccupped, and stepped into my wheel. And with three words (“push, grab, GO!”), he did it. He fixed my twisties. THAT, friends, is the beauty of one coach.

 

  • They Know You. No doubt about it, poor Chris had never encountered a student like me. Demanding, emotional, Type A, lippy, and a New Yorker of 18 years, I don’t think he’ll disagree that it took time for us to learn to speak the same language. But here’s the beautiful part: now, he GETS me. He knows from minute to minute whether to push, or to cajole; whether to introduce new material, or let me be the one to set the pace. He knows how to fix what’s broken, hammer my bad habits, and calm me down when I’m scared. He knows just where to spot me, the ridiculous things I’m likely to do, and my litany of ouchie places. He knows what I know, and what I don’t – we don’t have to invent the wheel every day. (!!!)

 

  • They Don’t Let You Get Away With Anything. It sucks when your coach calls you on all your shit. It is also wonderful. Nobody said this wouldn’t be complicated.

 

  • The Technique is Consistent. In training, especially in the early days, consistency counts. Doing the same thing the same way increases strength, muscle memory, and a solid foundation on which to build. BTW – this is one of the reasons it’s so important to find a coach with EXCELLENT TECHNIQUE. Good freakin’ luck unlearning bad habits once you’ve been training them for years on end.

 

  • You Build Trust. Trust is sometimes hard for us in circus. Letting someone else be responsible for my safety in a metal wheel zooming along at what is SURELY 10,000 MPH just does not come easily. Real trust takes time. Also? Time will reveal whether that teacher is worthy of your trust.

 

“So Laura,” you ask, “what more do you NEED? He’s an incredible wheeler, amazing coach, knows you, you trust him, and he puts up with all your crap. Seriously – you’ve got it all!”

I AGREE, Dear Danglers! And he will always be my Numero Uno! I cannot imagine loving a coach more. But tune in tomorrow, and I’ll tell you a (not at all) sordid tale of my wheel guy in Chicago, and why I really want them both… 😉 Love and pull-ups, Laura

 

For the second in this series, click here!

 

As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, the F-books, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are sharing things these days.

 

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