Acrobatics – Everything is possible

I’m afraid all the time , but I have taught myself not to be afraid of being afraid

Acrobatics through history

Acrobatics is the term for » gymnastic tricks of a high degree of technical difficulty ». Performing acrobatics not only demands strength, vigour and flexibility but also highly developed spatial orientation and physical control since the body is in motion and not necessarily always in contact with firm support.

Acrobatics has much in common with gymnastics, but they differ in style, expression and use. Acrobatics can be considered one of the basic disciplines in the arts of circus, one from which several derivative disciplines have developed. Historically, acrobatics has been a great source of innovation, leading to the use of different apparatuses such as the teeterboard: a type of seesaw with which acrobats catapult each other into the air, the Chinese pole, the German wheel and cyr wheel using great metal wheels, and the Russian swing with which the acrobat uses a swing to gain height. New forms of acrobatics are constantly being developed using new equipment, recently with jumping stilts/power skips or parkour, but also by developing
new ways of approaching agility, movement qualities and composition, and otherwise furthering the basic acrobatic techniques.

From "Inside a Circus Heart"

I have been fighting my fear all my life. I hate that leaden lump that prevents me from gathering the courage to do what I should do. I try to fight it, suffocate it, ignore it. Sometimes it helps, but the fear soon returns. I don’t understand why. It is so unnecessary.

Who on Earth had anything to gain from me not daring to do what I want to? By mere chance, I happen to be at a large winter circus on the outskirts of Paris. People are flying through the air, running up the walls, jumping from great heights. In this place, no one seems to know fear. Here, everything is possible! I ask one of the acrobats if he is ever afraid. He laughs.

Of course I’m afraid ! My body is my tool . If I get injured , I’m done for. I’m afraid all the time . But I have taught myself not to be afraid of being afraid . When I’m about to do something difficult, I usually visualise taking my fear by the hand , and then I jump.

He makes me climb up on a pile of cubes stacked several metres high. He asks me to position myself on the very edge with my back to the floor where a large, thick mat lies. He commands: Fall!

Instant gratification…The rush of adrenaline…I can do it… I can do anything!