A Trip without a Plan Pt. 1: Lima to Puerto Varas

If you know me…you know the title of this blog would normally give me a heart attack. I would never do this. I like to have my trips planned, I like to know exactly what I’m doing, where I’m going, whose coming, how we’re getting there, how we’re getting back, what we’re doing in between, I like itineraries, tickets in hand, confirmations etc. etc.

But no.

This trip, we threw everything out the window. Fly by the seat of your pants kind of trip. We had no plan. In fact, the only thing we did have planned was our plane ticket from Lima, Peru to Santiago, Chile and then a bus ticket from Santiago to Puerto Montt which we ended up missing both. Mariana (my physio on Sep7imo Dia and totally cool awesome friend on tour) and I have never missed a plane in our lives. And we just flat-out, missed our alarms (she had 5 set, I had 3 set), didn’t wake up, woke up when we were supposed to be boarding the plane, and missed the damn plane. It was the only thing we had planned. Go figure.

Our general idea for the trip was to explore the Lake District of Chile which about a 12 hour drive south from Santiago. When we started talking about it, we thought we’d rent a car and drive down, explore and then head back up. But we ended up finding a cheap flight from SkyAirlines to Santiago and then like I said, we were going to overnight bus down to Puerto Montt and arrive there the next morning. After that, we didn’t have a plan. The strategy was to get in our rental car (which we booked a day before our missed flight) and explore. No plan. No booked hotels. No way back to Santiago. Nothing. Truly, a trip without a plan.

But, I will say, once we missed that flight, the speed in which we assembled the troops and got our shit together was down right impressive. Our SkyAirline’s plane (which I would definitely recommend this airline if you ever have the chance to fly with them) was meant to take off at 8:30am, I woke up at 7:30am, and like a frantic lunatic, ran up to Mariana’s room and pounded on her door. She opened and we just stared at each other. But by the time the plane was supposed to take off, we had a completely new method to make our trip happen. We were in the airline office that was conveniently located around the corner from our hotel by 9am (the time it opened), asking if we could switch flights from here to there, from there to here, how much it would take to take one flight here, one flight there (they were very patient with us), we had messaged the bus company about our tickets, and we were calling people left and right (well Mariana was doing most of the calling due to the fact that she is fluent in Spanish…and I am not). We were in ‘go mode’. By 9:30am, we had a completely new course of action to at least get down to Puerto Montt because you bet your sweet ass we were still going to make it on our trip.

So from about 10am on…we had a free day in Lima we weren’t accounting for which actually ended up working in our favor. We decided what we were going to do on our next transfer between cities, booked those tickets, figured out where we were going to stay when we got down to Southern Chile, confirmed our rental car, took a walk, ate delicious crepes looking over the cliffs of the Miraflores coastline and chatted a bunch. It ended up being a hell-of-a-productive travel planning day.

With that being said, for the next morning, we had the front desk of the hotel give us 2 wake up calls, we both had multiple alarms set…again, and we had people calling us at 4:30am to make sure we were awake. It worked. We woke up and made both our flights down to Puerto Montt, we even gave ourselves extra time at the airport between flights to ensure we made the second connection. Once we got there, we picked up our rental car and headed to our hostel in Puerto Varas, where we had planned to spend the first night. That was that, we made it. It was time to start the trip but where to first?

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xo,

B

Holiday Plans & Matadors

Here are a couple of fun pictures from previous events 🙂

As I’m writing this, it’s currently 39° F at home and 92° F in Buenos Aires. With that being said…

Cody and I booked our tickets for our Christmas/New Years Adventure! I am so beyond excited! Not only will we be spending the “winter (our summer) break” on the beach, we’re going to Iguazu Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world and spending New Years on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! 🙂 WHHHAT?!

So excited!!!!

If anyone has any suggestions of things so do I’m all ears!

We will fly into Iguazu Falls and go to both the Argentinian side and the Brazilian side. The Argentinian side is more adventurous whereas the Brazilian side has the better view, so we will do both!

We’ll fly out from the Brazilian side and head to Rio de Janeiro! The Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf mountain are obviously on the list of things to do while we’re there as well as the AMAZING fireworks show that will happen on New Years Eve! It’s suppose to be one of the best firework shows IN THE WORLD! We’re stay a few blocks from Copacabana beach where all the action happens. 2 million people go to this beach to celebrate…it’s going to be a hell-of-a party!

Other things on the list of things to do, suggestions are welcome:

  1. Have a caipirinha, in a coconut, on the beach (this has been a life long dream. I kid you not)
  2. Feria Hippie de Ipanema – a hippie market that only happens on Sundays
  3. The Copacabana Fortress and Palace (two different places)
  4. Pedra do Arpoador for a sunset
  5. Possibly the Carioca Aqueduct & Escadaria Selaron which are a little farther away from the beach
  6. and maybe a tour of a favela

As well as spend as much time on the beach as we can! I know there are a lot of safety concerns when it comes to Rio. I’ve talked with a few people who have told me be street smart. If you feel like you’re in the wrong area, you probably are.

The Christmas situation here is definitely different from what I’m used to! The other night a few of us went walking through La Boca (where the famous soccer stadium is), San Telmo and Puerta Madero to finally sit down and share a drink by the water. In San Telmo there was a massive parade supporting many of the South American countries. There were lots of drums, lots of noise, lots of feathers, in as little clothing as possible with lots of booty shaking! The streets were packed with people watching and cheering their favorite country. We continued walking to Puerta Madero which is where I saw my first glimpse of Christmas this year! There were lights strung on lamp posts in the shape of candy canes, lights wrapped around ships in the water, and a large lighted Christmas tree. It was a little odd walking by in shorts and a tank top with Christmas music playing at a concert near by…but again, I’m not complaining 😉 The lights were absolutely beautiful.

Sunday morning I woke up and thought I was going to go walk around San Telmo market again just because I could. But another idea popped into my head, I wanted to go to the Feria de Mataderos which is pretty far out of the center of the city. It’s a market celebrating the traditional gaucho (Argentinian cowboy) ways and traditions.

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I walked 45 mins to the train station and took a 30 min train ride and a 20 min uber to get to the Feria. Once I was there it was really cool! Like most markets, there were hundreds of stands set up but this one had a stage in the middle. As soon as I got there I heard the music and singing. Come to find out, on December 6th (in two days) they were celebrating 30 years of the Matadors. There were lots of traditional instruments playing, singing and tango dancing. It was quite the show!

I walked around munching on an empanada looking at all of the trinkets and food available and finally decided to get a tamale and oh boy was it good! I remember having tamales growing up when my mom would make them and I thought they were the coolest thing. You had to unwrap the corn husk and the texture and taste of the corn meal was always so tasty to me, needless to say, these were very delicious. I also had some type of sweet puff pastry with jam or jelly on the inside. I don’t know what it was but it was sugary and I liked it!

I spent a few hours walking and enjoying everything before heading back home. Another successful Sunday spent at a market 🙂

Since I can’t show many training photos, here are a few photos of us attempting to get stronger….maybe, you decide.

xo,

B

Thanksgiving & El Tigre

On Tuesday night we had the chance to meet the two remaining members of Soda Stereo, Zeta and Charlie!! They wanted to have a look around and meet all of us! There’s a professional picture of it somewhere but it hasn’t come out yet, stay tuned.

THANKSGIVING! 

What a difference it is celebrating in a country that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving with people who don’t know what Thanksgiving celebrates or what we even do for the holiday! Crazy! Thanksgiving is just one of those things that’s been engrained in our heads since we were younger, in elementary school we would make pilgrim hats or make Native American themed things out of paper. It’s such a part of American culture that you don’t realize, when you go to other countries, they have no idea what it is!

At the beginning of the week I had asked the manager if the catering could possibly do a Thanksgiving themed lunch or dinner on Thursday and he said he couldn’t guarantee anything but he would ask. The next day he said one of the chefs lived in New Orleans for 3 years and was going to give the ‘Thanksgiving lunch’ his best try! I was excited to have some comfort food 🙂

And sure enough, on Thursday he had a turkey with stuffing, a potato salad, chicken and beef for people who didn’t know it was even Thanksgiving, and an apple pecan crumble to top off dessert! It was incredibly cute and thoughtful of him to do all of that! Here he is with his turkey:

Later I was able to FaceTime with my family and play a few hands of Cards Against Humanity which has tradition in our house after Thanksgiving dinner.

Friday night, PopArt set us up with tickets to see Fuerza Bruta which is an acrobatic show that also tours around the world. They wanted us to experience a show in Argentina before our show premieres. During the show the audience was standing the whole time so there were ushers moving people constantly, water was being sprayed, a pool hovered above us and boxes of confetti burst over people’s heads! Definitely worth going to the show! I wouldn’t do it justice trying to describe everything. After the show a DJ played for a few hours so we stayed and danced! The show didn’t start until 11:30pm so by the time we were finished dancing it was around 1:30am-2am. A group of us decided to go to a shots bar call Chupitos down the street which was similar to the one we went to in Spain. It had a list of crazy shots you could order ranging in strength or sweetness. We stayed for about an hour and decided to go home around 3am feet swollen, still a little damp from the show and covered in confetti. Fun night!

Saturday was rainy and thunderstorms all day. Since I’m on the 34th floor I had a perfect view of the storm. Lighting filled the sky and the thunder was so loud and close it felt like it shook the building. With all the beautiful sunsets we’ve been having, the storm was a reminder that the prettiest sunsets come after the strongest storms. Cheesy I know but I had to say it. So I was snuggled in my room all day…all 4 episodes of the new Gilmore Girls and some napping might have also been involved.

Sunday I actually left my room and was out and about the entire day. I left at 9am to catch the metro to a stop a little outside the center of the city to meet up with Silvia and her husband Daniel! I was introduced to Silvia through a friend’s friend and she is a true porteño. Her and her husband have owned a house in El Tigre for 15 years and invited me to spend the day with them. El Tigre is a delta about an hour train ride (different from the metro) of the city of Buenos Aires. A delta is a place where 2 or more rivers join (there’s your geology lesson for the day) and there’s only 7 around the world. In this case, the rivers from Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet and over time have formed many islands that people have inhabited as either vacation homes or actual homes.

They picked me up from the metro station close and we drove to the boat yard, you can’t access the islands without a boat. This boatel was enormous! 10+ hangers of rows and columns of boats, it was so impressive watching the get boats down and back up into storage. We got the boat, loaded in and we were off.

It was about a 20 min ride through the canals to their house and it was such a breath of fresh air. You don’t realize how much pure oxygen is out there until you get out of the city. There was so much nature everywhere, it was hard not to embrace it all. We pulled up to their house and their neighbors were having a birthday party for their two kids so it wasn’t quite the ‘quiet day’ Silvia thought we were going to have but it was filled with laughter and splashes.

Silvia and I took a long walk down the canal to a neighbor who sells honey and jam. We continued past the house to “Lover’s Bridge” as Silvia calls it; her son would come here with girls when he was younger so she nicknamed it Lover’s Bridge. The view was really beautiful but it made me wonder if anyone ever maintained the bridges or if my foot was going to fall through…luckily it didn’t. Walking back, we saw so many different styles of houses that were painted bright blue, red or yellow. The houses were corky and fun, each with their own style.

Not long after we got back Silvia handed me a glass of wine and told me to go relax for a bit. I didn’t refuse, it was wonderful.

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Meanwhile, Silvia and Daniel had started on lunch and guess what we were having?? Argentinian meat! My first asado! An asado is an Argentinian bbq with meat, meat and more meat. Silvia speaks very good English because she was a translator but her husband Daniel only knows a few words in English so it was a chance for me to practice Spanish! You’d be surprised how much you can communicate with animal sounds and gestures. When he was grilling I told him I was taking a picture to show my dad 🙂

These types of grills are found literally everywhere around Argentina because meat is so essential to their lifestyle and when it tastes that delicious, I don’t blame them! Daniel cooked lomo, chorizo, and blood sausage and let me tell you, my plate was clean! The lomo was the thick cut, juicy, tender, traditional steak-looking cut that melted in my mouth. The chorizo was a spicy sausage and the blood sausage was almost all black but I enjoyed it! Frist time trying it and they were surprised I liked it! The typical salad to have with your meal is called ‘ensalada mixta’ which is just lettuce, tomato and onion and we had some carrot shaving on top. I knew I wasn’t going to be hungry for the rest of the day, everything was beyond delicious!

After lunch, there was a boat that came down the canal, essentially a floating grocery store. You don’t even have to leave your own pier, it comes right to you! It had all the essentials, beer and wine included, and you just wave your hand to flag them down! It comes everyday once a day at the same time so people know when to expect it.

After relaxing a little more in the sun, letting all of that meat digest, I was off back to the main land to check out the El Tigre market before heading back into BA. It was a holiday on Monday so Silvia and Daniel were going to stay at the house. Silvia walked me to the “bus stop” where a boat bus usually picks people up to bring them “to continent”. She was sending me off on my next adventure…making it home.

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Water shuttle

Silvia had given me directions to the Puerta de Frutas market because at one point, fruit is all they sold. Now you can only find maybe one fruit stand, the rest is a big market with everything imaginable. It was about a 10 min walk from where we docked and I got to spend an hour there before things started closing. I didn’t even make it to a quarter of the market, it was massive! I definitely have plans to go back!

You can buy matte cups everywhere! It’s really more of a lifestyle then an activity, I’ll have to dedicate a whole post to ‘The Matte Life’.

I walked back to the train station to ride back into the city. What a successful day!

I could not be more thankful to Silvia and Daniel for inviting me to their home. Not many travelers get to have an experience like that! They’ve already claimed me as a daughter, I feel like I have another home away from home 🙂

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So fun & so thankful!

It’s NOT starting to feel a lot like Christmas here considering it’s 80 degrees and sunny but I’m not complaining 🙂

xo,

B

VIPs for the Night

Thankful. Grateful. Blessed. Honored. Happy. Appreciative.

These are the words that come to mind when I get to look out my balcony at this view 🙂

This past weekend we were invited to a PopArtMusic concert, the same company that will be touring our show! It’s one of the biggest concerts in BA with some of the most popular South American bands. We were picked up from our hotel in shuttles and taken to the back entrance of the concert. They gave us wrist bands and guided us into the VIP lounge where they had a wall of Soda Stereo album covers that people could look at and take pictures in front of and there were drinks, apps, and our own personal entrance into the concert!

 

It was a little intimidating walking into the concert area. We walked down this big open pathway with people crammed against the fences on both sides. They had been there all day waiting for the good bands to come on and trying to get as close to the front as they could while we had all the space we wanted…we were those people 🙂 Once we were in the area we had an amazing view of the stage, lights, and monitors. The music was not just loud, it was that type of loud where you could feel it in your whole body but it was also the type of music you wanted to dance to even though we knew none of the words! And we got to see the bass player, Zeta, from Soda Stereo play!

After the concert we went to a food truck festival happening in the same place as the meat festival, at the horse race stadium. There were so many food trucks it was hard to choose what to eat! I ended up getting wine (obviously), an onion sausage frittata, and nitrogen ice cream! The ice cream was made right in front of us in a kitchen aid mixer that made tons of fog when everything was mixed, and then all the sudden, your cone of ice cream would appear. It was magic. Cool process and the ice cream was phenomenal! Dulce de leche flavored of course 🙂

Fun night with fun people!

xo,

B

Cirque du Soleil Workshop: The Final Week

Ahh I can’t believe I forgot to post this!

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WEEK 4! The final week of the workshop, I can’t believe it’s been a month already!

Monday:

Cody left early in the morning to catch his 12 hour bus home.

This week’s schedule was a little different from the previous weeks because there was a kid’s camp happening in the mornings so our schedule started an hour later, cut a half and hour out of our lunch but then finished at the same time at the end of the day.

So instead of starting warm up at 9am we started at 10am but today I had a meeting with a guy I’ve been talking to about #SodaCirque (!!!) at 9:45am. So great getting to meet all of these people in person who I’ve spoken with on the phone! I found out a lot more information about the show and a more definite schedule although nothing in definite with Cirque until it’s actually happening I’ve come to learn.

When practice started I was actually able to do real skills this week! I started out doing the skill I was working on before I got split open by the bar. No one else had worked on this skill so for the big presentation at the end of the week, I would be the only one doing it.

During our lunch hour, in the studio next door, they were setting up the stage for the show in South America! So cool!! They had to make sure all the pieces were there and everything worked before they sent it down.

After lunch, during the afternoon session, I tried a different skill but ended up going back to the morning session skill because I liked it better 🙂

After a trip to the nicer grocery store with a few other crew members we had dinner and reconvened downstairs for a little Cards Against Humanity with some new friends we met at HQ who were staying the residence now too. That game gets people comfortable with each other pretty quickly! Two of the guys were actually on touring shows already and were just here for rehab or training a new act.

Tuesday 

Regular sessions for the day, continued to work on different skills while making them consistant at the same time. We started to nail down more of a routine and an order for the presentation that was coming which we found out there were going to be quite a few important people coming to watch…no pressure.

After the afternoon session, I rented a bike and went to the pharmacy down the street and grabbed a few thank you cards just to show my appreciation to everyone there who I was able to meet and work with. I really had a great time and I wanted to make sure they knew that! And of course, along with the French thank you cards (that I had to translate first before I bought them to make sure they did actually say thank you and not something else…) I found some more candy bars I hadn’t tried yet, I can’t resist trying sweets 🙂

My favorite out of this bunch is the Crunchie bar, it’s sponge toffee that has a weird texture but is one of those candies that can get stuck in you teeth and you get to pick out for the next hour. I like those, it keep me occupied. I know what you’re thinking, no I did not eat all of these candy bars at once! I actually brought most of them home so my family could try them too.

Wednesday 

Wednesday, I had another meeting with Patrick at 9:45am to ask a few more questions forgot to ask the first time. I am getting a better idea of the show the more I get to talk with people about it, it gets me more and more excited!!

Morning session, lunch and afternoon session were the same, making more of the routine adding in costumes if we wanted to. At the end of the afternoon session we meet the VP of Cirque who actually has actually announced the past 7 Olympics for Canada, he had just gotten back from Rio!

We also got to go see another C:Lab happening for #Soda! Can you tell I’m excited!! I went back to the physio room to see the trainers to get some strengthening moves I could do when I got home to keep my ankle and knee strength up before going to SA.

I went home and had told Olivia and Steph that we should go up to the Portuguese place up the street because it was that good! We all go chicken that hit the spot right away but at 6:45pm I had my last massage. When I looked at my watch it was 6:38…I had to literally sprint home on a full stomach to make it! I made it there just in time.

With my belly full and muscles relaxed I went back to my room and slept like a baby.

Thursday 

Today was the day of the final presentation!!

We started practice at the same time but our coach let us out an hour before our scheduled lunch time so we could have extra time to get ready. The boutique store which never seemed to be open was finally open! So I went to go check that out and ended up buying a few things of course.

After lunch we put our costumes on and got ready as people started to show up. The man in charge of this project expected 25ish people to come…there were 90-100 people who came!! It was awesome! He introduced the project to everyone while we climbed up on the apparatus. When he was done, the music started and we started our routine. If someone didn’t make their combination or skill, we created an interesting system to hoist the person back up so they could try again if they wanted to. Everyone either made their combo the first or second time and the presentation was an amazing success! Even though I had only been back swinging on the apparatus for a week, I made my skill the first time! The power of positive thinking and visualization at work 🙂 (thanks dad).

After the presentation I went to the physio room to see JP on how to “manipulate my scar” so the scar tissue doesn’t continue to build up to the point where the skin gets stiff, it’s not pleasant to rub a new scar and it’s a little painful.

Before the happy hour they had prepared for us, Steph, Olivia and I went exploring in the rest of HQ. When you’re wandering around a place known for its creativity, you’re bound to find some odd things:

We went right up to the happy hour Marie had set up for us as a good-bye/great job! Sangria and apps galore. We were able to talk with the coaches and some of the head people who came to watch the presentation and get some insight into where this apparatus is heading and what they are thinking the next steps will be. It’s pretty cool to be able to talk with some of the important people making the executive decisions about the shows.

We ended up leaving HQ and heading back to the residence with pitchers of unfinished sangria in our arms 🙂 All we had tomorrow was a meeting to wrap up the month so we were going to make the best of the night!

Friday

Checked into my flight at 10am, I had another meeting with the costume department at 10:30am to get more measurements taken so they can have something to work with before going down to SA. This time I got to meet Michael Laprise and Chantal Tremblay who are MAJOR PLAYERS in Cirque. They created the show Kurios which is now touring the US! And they are the artistic directors for my show!!!

Our final wrap up meeting started at 1pm and the whole team + coaches and riggers were there to give final thoughts on month and what we thought the next steps should be. It was an awesome meeting, so many good ideas being thrown out there with a lot of constructive feedback.

In lines with concluding everything, we each had a meeting with the physio to make sure we were leaving in the same condition we came in as…stitch free! Aside from some rips, pretty good finger burns, and a gash that didn’t want to stay closed without stitches, I was doing just fine!

Doing a little more exploring, I was able to go up to the very top of HQ to “the grid” and see what the technicians see:

Since this was our very last night in town we wanted to do something all as a team. A few members had been to an archery tag place earlier in the month and said it was a ton of fun. Our new friends joined us for our 6:30pm reservation time. I was expecting a laser tag kind of set up but it was actually just an open area inside a building with a few blow up things to hide behind. The concept was a lot like laser tag, if someone hit you, you were out. It ended up being really fun! We played against a team of random people and of course, being the compeitive athletes and acrobats, we won!

We went back to the residence and joined our Russian friends out by the BBQ and played games and laughed until we were exhausted.

Conclusion of the month: I would not have changed a thing! I loved every single second of this month and I could not be more grateful to have gotten the opportunity! The people, the apparatus and the workshop became my friends, a challenge conquered and an absolutely wonderful experience! I wish everyone the best of luck and I will miss everyone! Hopefully I will be fortunate enough to be up there again in the future but for now, I’ve got my sights set on South America 🙂


Saturday

Saturday came early, I had to turn my ID in (which I wish I wouldn’t have but you live and you learn) and left the residence at 6:30am to give myself enough time to go through customs. Montreal has an interesting system where you go through customs in the Montreal airport rather than when you get into the US. The flight took off at 10am and I was headed home! What a great experience! 🙂

Xx, Bets

Cirque du Soleil Worshop: Week Three

Week 2 Recap:

 WEEK 3 Monday:

I actually got up on the equipment and pushed! The coaches could tell I was getting bored standing on the floor…I was to told to stop conditioning.

The schedule was normal for the day: Morning session, Lunch and Afternoon session, went to the grocery store and then had a chance to catch up with my mom 🙂 It was the first time we had talked since she got back from her trip and I left on mine.

Tuesday:

Before morning session I had a measurements appointment for my costume for the show in South America!! They measured EVERYTHING. Took my shoe size, hand size, skin tone all while wearing a lovely light blue spandex body suit…I looked fantastic…

After, I had a meeting with CSST which is the workers compensation unit because I was technically “injured” on the job. Even though I didn’t really miss any days, you have the option of opening a file just in case something else were to happen later down the road.

After that, regular schedule for the day! I pushed both sessions and I could feel it, my shoulders were feeling those lactic acids building.

Wednesday:

Regular schedule. Pushing the bar was just as much of a workout as actually doing the skills! I was using my full body and would sweat by the end of the session. Obviously the dance moves and laughing we were doing on the platforms 25 feet in the air would keep my occupied too 🙂

Made a trip to the grocery store and then a few of us headed to get Pho for dinner! There were a lot of pho places around but some of them had bad reviews, so we picked a good one, rented bikes and rode the bikes there for dinner. It was delicious!

Thursday:

I finally got the chance to swing! But I was pretty much starting from Day 1 again. The group had progressed so much that I didn’t know if I would be able to catch up in the short time we had left but I was damn sure going to try!

Swinging felt a little weird just because the stitches were still in so the skin was pretty tight but there was no way I was going to complain about it because I was only allowed 3-4 times on the bar per session so I was going to make each one count! I’m not stubborn.

For the last half and hour of lunch, I went back to HQ into the costume department again to get my head scanned to make head pieces! The custom will be fitted to my head 🙂 I essentially had a swimming cap on with a bunch of magnet dots all over my face and there was a guy with a scanner who went around and took a 3D scan of my head which popped up on the computer, it was pretty awesome!

The afternoon session went well and I got to swing 3-4 more times. Because we get done at 4pm I have to occupy myself until at least 5 so I don’t just go back to my room and eat dinner because then I would be starving later. That’s why I’ve gone to the grocery store so many times, not because I need anything which usually backfires on me because then I end up buying things I don’t need….double edged sword.

Later I had my second massage with our masseuse 🙂 Again, you tell her what’s sore or what you want worked on and she finds muscles you didn’t know you have. Since I started pushing, my shoulders were getting pretty sore so she made sure she dug into those bad boys.

Friday:

Stitches removal today!!

Had to make it through the morning and afternoon sessions first…then the AT said he would remove them.

I have a video of them being removed but I’ll spare you from watching it, it’s pretty weird-looking and that was the first time I had gotten to see it since the doc put them in. Here’s a before and after (the first one pic my leg is so white from the numbing meds they injected into the muscle, it looked like a zombie limb):

 

For dinner, a group of us met up with Roxane, who lives in Montreal, to take the metro downtown to the Gay Village for Vietnamese, she knew of a good place. A lot of restaurants here allow you to bring in your own wine or liquor and drink in the restaurant, so we stopped by a liquor store on the way and made our purchases, much cheaper than buying single drinks at the restaurant. Then spent a night out on the town! We met up with a couple of artists who were also at HQ rehabbing before going back to their tours. One was from Toruk (the avitar show) and one was the main character in Varekai. So cool to be able to meet these people who I have seen on stage!

All in all, another awesome week!

Weekend #3 Adventures…CODY COMES TO VISIT!

Xx, Betsy

Weekend #2 Adventures

Saturday 

Started off Saturday with some rain showers so I wasn’t sure how the day was going to go. Kevin, a Canadian gymnast who came to visit Olivia and Kristina (they competed together in national comps.), drove his car down so Olivia, Steph and I decided to take Kevin around town and check off some boxes on my bucket list. We started by driving up Mt. Royal to the overlook spot and got to see a beautiful view of the whole city:

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After seeing the view, there was that famous bagel spot I wanted to try again but this time we were going to go to the original location. The other spot Anna and I went to was not the original location and apparently this one is always less busy. We went, we ate, we conquered. Best homemade bagels I’ve had! They were phenomenal!

The pictures don’t do it justice. I bought half a dozen, all different kinds and every single one of them were light and fluffy and warm and just homemade-amazing-ness.

Still munching on our bagels, we dropped Olivia off to get her eyelashes done and Kevin, Steph and I went downtown to check out the Basilica of Notre Dame and Old Port. The Basilica was impressive even from the outside. We didn’t go inside because there was a very long line out front due to the fact that the next coming weeks were dedicated to an Organ Festival, which apparently inside, they have a very impressive organ.

Since Kevin and Steph hadn’t been downtown yet, I was their tour guide 🙂 I kind of knew my way around. We went to the maple place Anna and I went to before and made our way down the rest of the French street and back to the car. It was still raining off and on so we were trying to avoid the downpours as they came and went.

We hoped back in the car and made our way up Rue St. Laurent (where we had dropped Olivia off), but not being able to communicate with her was difficult. Kevin was hungry so we made our way to Schwartz, the famous smoked meat place and a box to check off on my bucket list. The line was incredibly long for the lunch rush but right next to the restaurant they had the take-away section. By that time we had actually found Olivia and got inline for take-away. Steph, Olivia and I weren’t that hungry, and I knew I would be back at some point, so we let Kevin get some lunch and we walked down the street and went into a store Olivia had seen earlier. But not before stopping to take some cool picture in front of graffiti 🙂

At 3:30pm there was a show at ToHu, the performance center next to HQ, we wanted to get back for. Weekend traffic was a mess so we got there just in time! There were 5 acts that performed and after each act, the artist would come back our on stage and take advice from the audience about what they thought could make it better or what they thought was great.

After the show, I had another doctors appointment at another hospital to see the “Cirque Doctor” to get the A-OK to start coming back gradually from the stitches as long as they didn’t come out before 10 days. I took a cab to the hospital, checked in, saw the doc, he gave me a sheet, and sent me on my way! It was nice and easy. He even said his wife was working at a hospital in Baltimore! It’s a small world.

Sunday 

Even though it had cleared up about half way through Saturday, it decided to rain again on Sunday morning. I woke up to the rain coming down pretty hard but by 10am it seemed to have stopped. A few of us wanted to go to the Jean-Talon Market which is a pretty well-known market in Montreal. We met in the bottom of the residence and decided how we wanted to get there. Kristina and I decided to walk because I didn’t think it was going to be that bad of a walk and I needed to get my legs moving from not being able to do anything during the week. The walk only took 35-40 mins and we made our way around the market losing each other eventually. I hadn’t planned on doing much else for the rest of the day because it wasn’t fantastic weather and I didn’t want to get caught in the rain if it decided to start again.

The market was amazing! You could try samples of all kinds of fruits, veggies and maple syrup. The peaches were mouth-watering and the sweet corn sample was phenomenal, I wanted to come back to and get a whole ear, I do love a good corn-on-the-cob. I ended up buying a sampler pack of maple goodies, some bananas, cucumbers (obviously all fresh), and ice wine….I had no idea what ice wine was so I went up and asked and had about a 10 min conversation with the guy and he gave me a few samples. Apparently, instead of using regular fruit to make wine, ice wine is when they go into the fruit orchards and pick the frozen fruit to make wine. That gives the wine a sweeter taste, so more moscato tasting. And the colder into the winter months you get, the more expensive the wine/cider is. So if they go pick the fruit in December (which is still cold!!), the wine made is less expensive as opposed to fruit picked in Jan/Feb and then made into the wine or cider, pretty unique concept. There was also a crepe place I was determined to come back to, they looked and smelled fantastic!

At the market, I ran into Kevin and Olivia! They asked if I wanted to join them in going back to the bagel place and exploring some more of town….in a car! So I was on board.

We were heading to Bulk Barn which is a store where you can buy anything (food wise) in bulk, Kevin really wanted to go there and I wanted some specific Canadian candy that you can’t get in the states….because let’s face it, I have a sweet tooth that needs to be fed.

On our way there, we look out the car window and to our right there is Gibeau Orange Julep! That was on my list but it was on the outskirts of the city so I didn’t think I would get a chance to go there! Olivia and I tell Kevin to pull over because first of all, it looks awesome, and second of all it was on the list!

It’s probably “just a fast food place” to Montreal residence but it had the best orange juice I’ve ever had in my life, and I’m not a fan of orange juice! It was almost whipped, it was so delicious! Another check off the bucket list!

The Bulk Barn was really close to Gibeau so we went right over and got some normal candy. They didn’t have very Canada-specific candy so we actually went to the Wal-Mart next door and got Canadian candy bars. Here was the loot:

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I think Cadbury may have started in Canada because they have a lot here that they don’t have in the states. All 4 of these were good! Some combination of chocolate and caramel, you can never go wrong! The Wunderbar was my favorite.

We made our way back to St. Viateur’s Bagels because Olivia wanted more and headed down to the Gay Village because 1. Kevin hadn’t been and 2. Pride Parade was happening and it seemed like it would be fun to experience. We got down there, starving, and found a pizza place to eat quick. Behind us, there was some sort of painting-of-the-bodies thing going on. It was definitely a great day to people watch!

After our lunch, I had one more thing downtown that was on my bucket list we could check off. It was called the Underground City, not knowing it was just going to be a regular mall, we went to check it out. Since Montreal gets so cold in the winter they have an a tunnel system which connects different areas of the mall. We went for about an hour before all of the shops closed and made our way back to the residence.

It turned out to be quite a busy and fun day! Checked a lot of things off the bucket list but I still have a few more to go!

Xx, Betsy

 

Cirque du Soleil Workshop: Week Two

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 🙂

Tuesday:

Same schedule for the day, with a massage to look forward to in the evening! My hands were feeling the love 🙂

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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.

Wednesday:

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.

Thursday:

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.

Friday:

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!

Xx, Bets

 

Weekend #1 Adventures

First weekend in Montreal was a success! Did a lot, saw a lot, walked a lot…but still have a lot more to do!

Saturday 

Olivia, Anna and I started Saturday by going to visit the Lululemon located on the Plateau which is part of the ‘fun part’ of town. Olivia is an athlete embassador for Lulu and Anna works at a store in Albany NY as the community outreach manager. So both girls are very connected with Lulu and get a pretty good deal when going to shop.

Olivia was scheduled to meet up with the community outreach manager of the Montreal area. She was so nice, welcomed us, asked all about the workshop and gave us suggestions on great places to go and visit while we’re here. Olivia had plans to go get her nails and eyelashes done so Anna and I set off to walk around the Plateau to see the sights. Anna has been to Montreal many times so she was my own personal tour guide of sorts which worked out fantastically because now I have a good grasp of how the city is laid out for my adventures next weekend.

We were able to see Mt. Royal (I still plan on hiking up next weekend to see the view of the city), beautiful street art that seemed to be on every available wall, and some fun shops and coffee cafés.

The one place I have been dying to go is a very famous bagel place called St-Viateur Bagel & Café. Montreal is known for the bagels, most people’s opinions I’ve read have even said they’re better than the famous New York bagels…I love bagels. We had a few minutes left on the parking meter and it was only a couple blocks down so we hustled. When we got there, of course there was a line. We didn’t have enough time to stand in the line so we had to abandon my hope for bagels and return to the car. Bagels are definitely in the plan for next weekend!

After getting in the car, Anna had to pick up her swinging trapeze (for those of you who don’t know circus [which I didn’t know this until she told me either] there are swinging trapeze artists, flying trapeze artists and dance trapeze artists, all with very different performances) because she was leaving on Sunday. So we drove to the gym where she practices and I was able to see a girl who trains there as well, Elli (link to her FB performance page), perform her act before she left for Mexico on her next contract. It was stunning, she was dressed in a red-flare mesh costume with sparkles everywhere and her hair and make up all done up. It was quite a show and that was just practice.

I met Elli and another girl training, Brigdet, who performs straps. And let me tell you ladies and gents, if you’ve never seen a straps act, you should; pure strength. She will be performing at the ToHu Center right next to HQ this coming Saturday which I plan to go to! At this training center, on the ‘Wall of Fame’ we found one of our coaches we are currently working with at Cirque!

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Dimitri (our coach) is 10 years old bottom center. His father is standing on the right platform, his mother is on the top upside down, and his brother is flying underneath of her. He is from a true circus family! Note: there is no net to catch them if they fall…just two catchers.

After he picked up her trapeze, we drove to Old Port which is the most French feeling part of Montreal. People compare this section of town to walking down the streets of Paris which stood true in my opinion. At that point, Anna and I were starving and I knew I wanted poutine. Poutine is a must have when in Montreal, or so I was told. It’s french fries with cheese curds covered in gravy, that’s the most traditional form. Of course now you can get pretty much any topping your heart desires; beef, sausage, bacon, more cheese, etc. etc. So we walked until we found a place that serves it (most places do) and sat down for lunch. My take on poutine: definitely worth having! It’s a dish you probably shouldn’t have all the time but I plan to try it with some toppings next time I have it 🙂

Our bellies were satisfied so we took a walk down by the river, watched the triathlon athletes practicing for their race tomorrow, saw the apartment complex that looks like cardboard boxes stacked on top of it (also a well-known structure), and saw the Bota Bota spa which is a spa floating on the river.

We decided we’d had enough walking and went back to the car before going home to get ready for dinner with some of Anna and Roxane’s friends from the training center. But before we went home, Anna had to drop money off at a woman’s house for letting her stay for a few months to train. The woman’s name was Becky and according to Anna, is probably one of the best female juggler’s in the world! This town is filled with circus people!

For dinner we went to a Russian restaurant which had a limited food menu but an extensive drink menu. So of course, at a Russian restaurant, I ordered a Moscow Mule and loved it. We also had a traditional Russian meal of meat dumplings which was yummy as well.

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Not only did I meet a swinging trapeze artist, straps artist, and a juggler today, I then had dinner with a male straps artist, a hand balancer, and two more twin swinging trapeze artists who were flying off to Germany in the morning to start their new year-long contract performing! Crazy! After dinner, we decided, what meal is complete without dessert?! I’m a sucker for my desserts. We went to Juliette & Chocolat and ordered some pretty fancy desserts 😉

The desert in the glass was vanilla ice cream with hazelnut chocolate and whipped cream topped with toffee hazelnut crunchies and the one in the bowl (mine) was a fluffy meringue with a hazelnut chocolate inside floating in vanilla custard covered with caramel sauce and toffee hazelnuts. Needless to say, the sugar high was pretty fantastic!

Sunday 

Sunday was relaxing, I didn’t feel like I had to do a lot so I putzed around watching gymnastics on the Olympics until around 1pm when Olivia, Anna and I went to brunch with Elli at 1,000 Grammes which is a sandwich/lunch spot in Gay Town (I promise that’s the name listed on the map) which is by the Plateau. It was really cool walking down the main street because there were thousands of pink balls hanging from building to building.

I had a croquet for lunch which is just an open-faced sandwich on a french roll covered with melted cheese and it was pretty tasty. After lunch, Anna was leaving for Toronto and Olivia was going down to Old Port to watch her friend start off the triathlon so I walked down main street and decided to buy Ketchup chips…apparently Lays makes them but just for Canada. I’m not a huge fan of potato chips in general so take my review however you want but I liked them! You’re reading this from a girl who once submitted 100 different (mostly weird) flavor combinations into the Lays potato chip challenge….sooo there’s that. But I actually think the ketchup flavor is good!

I decided I wasn’t in the mood for shopping or walking anymore so I found a Starbucks, hopped on their wi-fi, ordered an über and headed back to the residence. The rest of the day was spent cooking the illegal squash I finagled from the gardens and watching the Olympics.

I’d say the first weekend in Montreal was a success but still lots to look forward to for next weekend!

Xx, Betsy

Cirque du Soleil Workshop: Week One

What a CRAZY week! We just finished week one of the Cirque du Soleil workshop up in Canada! It was an amazing week!

Again, I can’t tell you a ton about what we’re doing in our training sessions but I can break it down:

Sunday (the day I arrived):

I had a flight out at 6:05am to Philly and connection from Philly to Montreal so I should have arrived at 9am-ish in Montreal. We had a little bit of a delay on the tarmac due to weather in Philly so I didn’t get to Montreal until 10:30am but nothing was pressing when I got here so I wasn’t too concerned. I went through customs, got my work visa, picked up my luggage, got in a cab and headed to the Artist Residence which is right across the street from the Cirque du Soleil Headquarters!

I knew Quebec was French-Canadian but I don’t think I really prepared my mind in that sense. All of the street signs and store fronts we’re in French…I quickly decided I was going to learn some French words this month! It was all going to smoothly. After arriving at the residence, my instructions were to ring to doorbell and someone will greet you, give you your room key and check you in…but no one was in the building to let me in. I tried walking around to see if there was anyone inside to let me in instead of standing out on the sidewalk…no one. I ended up turning my cell phone data on (I was planning to just use wi-fi while up here but I couldn’t get signed onto the residence wi-fi because I didn’t have any of my check in information) and called my point person to ask what to do. She told me to walk across the street to HQ and get a temporary pass. So I did, the guard set me up and told me what room I was in. I went back over to the residence building and unpacked. About an hour later, I was called down to the front desk to checked in, officially getting my residence packet…wifi username and password included 🙂

The rest of the day was spent unpacking with a run to the grocery store about 4-5 blocks away to grab some essectials…peanut butter obviously being top on my list (my obsession). I get into the supermarket, and again everything was in French. But if I looked close enough, right below, in tiny letters, WAS ENGLISH! So I wasn’t completely lost! I did a pretty good job navigating around and collecting essentials, I even signed up for their value card so now I get points/discounts 🙂 Such a savvy shopper, thanks mom!

Successful first day!

Day 1 of the Workshop: 

First day of school, First day of school, First day of school!! I was so very excited to get in there, find out what we were doing, see the apparatus, and meet everyone! The first thing on the agenda was the physical evaluation. In order to start working, an athletic trainer goes through range of motion, previous injuries, medical eval etc. to clear you to train. If you do not pass the eval, which does happen sometimes, you unfortunately cannot participate in the workshop…but no need to worry, I PASSED WITH FLYING COLORS! The AT was actually surprised how well my body has been maintained considering I’ve been a gymnast my entire life. The only thing I need to work on are my hips. Apparently the hip joints are a little farther forward in the socket than normal but easily fixable with strength, conditioning, and maintenance protocols. We all need to schedule at least one training session a week with one of the AT’s so that wasn’t going to be a problem.

We had corralled the group participating in the workshop and met everyone as we were in and out of our evaluations. Next steps were finding out what we were actually doing there! We walked into the studio where we would be practicing…and there it was…

{use your imagination}

We met the coaches, learned safely protocols, and finally got to play! Essentially, I will be ‘playing’ for the next four weeks! How cool is that!

We were provided lunch the first day in order to collect all the members of the workshop including coaches, riggers, and safety instructors to tell us a little more about the vision of what we were going to be doing.

Everyone had passed their eval so after lunch we went into the afternoon training session to get used to the equipment and play some more! At the end of the session, we were dismissed and that was the end of the first day!

Tuesday:

Onto day 2! Because they had to adjust the equipment, we actually had the morning session off! So Anna, Olivia and I rented bikes from the front desk at HQ and rode around our neighborhood. HQ isn’t necessarily in the best part of Montreal (we were advised to not walk around at night by ourselves and the guys should be careful wearing red or blue because those colors are associated with gangs…) so we headed a little south, towards downtown and found a coffee shop where we sat and talked.

As the time got closer to afternoon session, we headed back to HQ to return our bikes. After parking the bikes out front, we noticed the abundance of fresh veggies growing in the gardens, my favorite! I remember our point person saying we were welcome to the garden vegetables so we went to town picking! Olivia picked a squash the size of her head and I got two summer zucchini and a fist sized tomato, we thought we won the jackpot! …Come to find out the next day, we aren’t allowed to do that anymore. The veggies are reserved for the cafeteria kitchen so no more veggies for us :'(.

The afternoon session went smoother because we had a better idea of what we should be creating/doing with the equipment, so we loosened up and had some fun! Everyday is structured the same unless we have an additional meeting:

Warm Up

Morning Session

Lunch

Warm Up

Afternoon Session

So day 2 was just getting more comfortable and communicating with each other about what works or what doesn’t work. At this point, my hands were loving it…{sarcasm}…I ended day 2 with some pretty raw feeling hands

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As a group, we decided after two successful days of training, we deserved tacos! So we all went out to a good Mexican restaurant Anna had been to in our neighborhood and enjoyed the night.

Wednesday:

We started off day 3 with a taxation meeting, making sure we knew the taxes being taken out of our pay and what we need to do come filing season, fun stuff…then we had to officially sign our contracts. We had e-signed them but Cirque likes to have a hard copy. Onto morning session, lunch and afternoon session.

Hand update: actually not too bad

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Thursday:

Day 4 was the first uninterrupted full day of working morning and afternoon sessions. The great thing about our lunch is it’s an hour and a half break from 12-1:30. That gives us enough time to go to the cafe and eat or go back to our residence across the street and lay down for a bit. It’s a nice break in the middle of the working day because the work is pretty physically demanding.

At the end of the afternoon session, I tweaked my shoulder a little and went to go see physio for some ice and rehab, all part of the job! To stay healthy and strong the plan is to continue with good maintenance and not be afraid to speak up because they are more than willing to help!

Friday:

Our first Friday session of the workshop! The equipment went through some more changes so we were essentially starting new again. Part of the process for the coaches is actually to not coaching us at all. They watch how different types of athletes adapt to the equipment with their own technique, that will tell them who they can recruit and train for this act.

During the week, one of the guy’s girlfriend had popped in a few times to watch the training session. She was actually asked if she would like to sign a release form and join training for the morning, pretty cool! She ended up doing the morning and afternoon sessions and by the end  of the day she was giving the coaches a different technique to consider. She was then offered a position as part of the workshop! That’s the way Cirque works, no one knows why they do what they do and schedules can change very quickly so a key quality to have and remember is to always stay adaptable.

An unexpected announcement occurred before the end of Friday’s training session. One of the girls, who has very specific skills and is excellent as what she does, was actually let go from the workshop. Not because of anything she did but because the coaches believed they had gained all of the knowledge they needed from her skill set and technique. It serves as a reminder for me to always stay relevant because this is the nature of the business!

What a crazy week to start!! Some very fun and exciting things happening and I cannot wait to continue next week! The weekend adventures will be next on the posting list 🙂

Xx, Betsy