There’s No Sacrifice In Circus

Photo Credit: Andrew Miller

Photo Credit: Andrew Miller

It comes down to value. When you ask yourself the daunting question “what do I want”, you are asking yourself what you value. The word sacrifice insinuates that you’ve lost something to gain something else. But in becoming an aerial artist, I’ve given up nothing. Each day that I’m up on my trapeze bar, bad or good, is another day that I’m doing circus.

Think about Olympic interviews where athletes talk about everything they had to give up to be on the podium. Or your friend who complains about the expense of their house or car or vacation. Instead of appreciating what they have, the focus is on what they don’t have.

It could look like we sacrifice a lot, being aerial artists – parties, romantic relationships, pain-free existence, stability, Krispy Kreame donuts. Sometimes my body looks like an abstract painting with bruises that range from a sickly yellow to a dark black. I’ve been asked what factory I work in because that’s a logical explanation to why my hands are calloused and ripped. There are days when getting out of bed seems as difficult as climbing Mount Everest.

Despite what it may look like from the outside, circus has only added to my life. Eye for detail, creativity, strength (mental and physical), confidence, trust and self-discipline are just some of the benefits. All pursuits that we explore with passion and audacity have the ability to change us for the better. Circus is the rabbit hole I went down. Like the scales of justice, it is a constant balancing act between what is perceived as sacrifice and the benefits you reap.flaming-hole-spin

This is where value comes in. Love contorting 40 feet in the air and waking up with geriatric mobility? If the answer is yes then circus is the right path. If you feel like you are missing out on life because of circus, then you shouldn’t be doing it. I’ve watched many people start aerial classes with grandiose dreams of performing with Cirque du Soleil but find out that they don’t like the training part. Performers all know that elated feeling you have after a performance but you also need to love the achy feeling all through your muscles, bandaging your wounds and getting ready to do it again tomorrow. Sounds masochistic but extraordinary feats are accomplished by pushing the boundaries. If we wanted easy, we wouldn’t be doing this.

But this is my opinion. What do you think?


Mary-Margaret Circus

hckygrlphoto by Ramo M

Mary-Margaret Scrimger – A writer by trade, Mary-Margaret has worked in a variety of sectors such as finance, technology and publishing. In addition, she is a high-level amateur circus performer who has trained in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto. Currently finishing a certificate in public relations, Mary-Margaret hopes to meld it with her creativity and financial knowledge.


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