Starting off Week 2 with a 30 second recap of week one!! This video is on the official Cirque du Soleil YouTube page! So Exciting! Even though I’m not technically allowed to share info about the workshop…you can kind of see what we’re working on:
WEEK 2: Monday:
This is the first full week of training morning and afternoon sessions. So the coaches told us to be prepared for a hard-working week. The schedule was normal; morning session, lunch, and afternoon session but after the afternoon session, our point woman Marie, told us we would be getting weekly massages!! WHHHHHAT?! She would come in with a schedule tomorrow for time slots to sign up. We are pampered 🙂
Same schedule for the day, with a massage to look forward to in the evening! My hands were feeling the love 🙂
The afternoon session ended at 4:30pm and my massage was scheduled for 6:45pm so Randy, Olivia and I drove to IGA (a nicer grocery story) which was a little farther away then the usual one. Think Whole Foods compared to Shoppers.
When 6:45pm rolled around, I didn’t even have to go out of my building. I went up to the 4th floor of the residence, in the common area room and a massage chair was set up. The entire 45 min massage was skating on the line between painful but good and too painful which was perfect for me. If you don’t like deep tissue, you would’ve hated it. She used her elbows, forearms, thumbs and it wouldn’t surprise me if she had her heel there as well, it was amazing! She would press on a muscle I didn’t even know I had and say “is that sore” without needing any validation it was sore, she knew just by feeling it.
After watching us the first week, the coaches decided we were coming a bit too close to hitting our heads on some skills so they wanted us to take the Impact Concussion Test just to have a baseline in case anything should happen (all NCAA sports are now required to do this before season so I had taken it a few times). I took mine at 8:30am and went right into the morning session.
I had thought of a skill standing on the bar which I hadn’t done very many times yet, but I decided to give it a go anyways. The key element was going to be to wait until just the right time to let go and grab the bar again…anyone that knows me knows that “waiting” it not my forte…so of course I let go early, hit the bar with my shins and slid all the way up to my hips. Whamp-bam-thank-you-ma’am. At first I thought it was just my shins that were hurting so I grabbed some ice and sat down. But then I looked down at my hip area, sure enough there was a hole in my skin. So my lunch and part of the afternoon session was spent at the General Hospital getting 7 stitches.
It was actually quite the adventure going to the hospital. I went with our point woman Marie. On the cab ride there she told me about her experience as a scientist and how she started working for Cirque and we passed the posh part of the neighborhood where the multimillion dollar houses are and where the President of Cirque du Soleil’s lives.
We made it to the hospital but since Canadian healthcare is free for everyone I didn’t know how long the wait would be. I overheard a lady ask the average wait-time and the woman behind the desk said 8 hours in Quebec…yikes. But I was taken into Triage to get processed (I felt like an animal) and fortunately, everything we said was in English until we got up to leave and Marie said something in French. I didn’t ask what she said because when we went out to the waiting room we were registered and given a room within 15 mins! We waited another 15 mins for the doctor to come in, he sewed me up, gave me a sheet of paper that we thought said I DID NOT need to see another doctor before getting the stitches out at Cirque and went on our way. The incident happened at around 10am and we were back around 2:30pm! I’d say that was pretty good for Quebec healthcare. Come to find out, Marie had told the woman in French I was prone to panic attacks and she better get us into a room quick….it worked!
We finally made it back to HQ around 2:30pm so I grabbed some lunch from the cafeteria, ate quick and came back over for the last hour of afternoon session. Everyone kept on telling me to go relax but that’s the last thing I wanted to do, I just wanted to be there, be part of everything and be useful.
The day ended with popping a few ibuprofen, icing, dinner and a rough nights sleep. An interesting turn of events to say the least.
Since I didn’t have the best night falling asleep, I was anticipating waking up pretty sore. But I actually woke up feeling better than I thought I would! Don’t get me wrong, there wa pain, the skin felt…interesting, that’s the best way I can describe it. But the most sore was actually the muscle underneath. There wasn’t even that bad of a bruise! I wasn’t happy, if it was going to hurt that badly, I wanted something to show for it.
Per the doctors orders, the stitches had to stay in for at least 7-10 days and since the gash is right on the hip area, overextending the hip-joint isn’t going to allow the skin to heel. So I was “grounded” for at least until the end of the week.
The note we thought we got from the docs saying I didn’t need to see another doc before the stitches came out apparently did not say ‘I didn’t need to see another doc’…the note said I did. So the AT said he would figure out what we could do we would take it day by day.
For the morning and afternoon sessions I made myself useful by looking at the skills from the ground, giving my opinion and possible corrections or addition skills they could try. I also made a list of all of the skills we had tried and categorized them into different groups according to the nature of the skill…while also trying to learn to juggle. I made myself busy.
I’d have to say we are a pretty lively group so when the coaches could tell we were feeling the exhaustion, they let us out 30 mins early for the day and gave us an hour later start time for Friday. There’s no use pushing us and taking the risk of someone getting hurt when we can be fresh and rejuvenated acrobats in the morning.
Since I wasn’t allowed to bike, I took a walk to the grocery store just to keep myself moving since I wasn’t allowed to do much during the sessions.
Instead of a 9am warm up, we had a 10am warm up time. You could tell the difference of just an hour, everyone came in ready to go! The AT even called “their doctor” (the one Cirque uses) and got an appointment for me! So I would be going to a different hospital on Saturday, anytime after 5pm, to get cleared to gradually start coming back.
Every week, on our schedule, there’s two 30 min sessions blocked off as “Presentation”. The first week there wasn’t much to present because we hadn’t mastered anything. But the presentation just means people from all over the building in different departments can come watch what we are working on! On Friday’s there is a presentation block, so we had quite a few people come to see what we were up to before our lunch break.
The afternoon session went well and we were dismissed. We went back to the residence to change and left for a happy hour at one of the coach’s house. He had invited us over for a chance to relax together as a group. He told us a lot about his flying trapeze background and the shows he was able to fly in.
We went back to the residence to do a little BBQing and at 10pm there was supposed to be a meteor shower! It had been overcast all day so we didn’t think there was going to be a chance to see it and we were right. It was too cloudy to see anything which was a bummer but there have been some beautiful sunsets!
Weekend #2 adventures to follow!