These past 2 years have been absolutely incredible in every way. Being on tour with Circus Smirkus has allowed me to follow my dreams of running away with the circus. My fellow castmates are more like family than friends. The circus ring is my true north, my “home” and when I step in that ring, I feel more alive than anywhere else in the world!
Here is a small snapshot of my performances on tour:
Highwire Hannah 2016-2017 Tour Highlight Reel
All video credits: Andy Bell
First meet of the season! Super excited to show of my awesome new skills that I have been working incredibly hard on for the last 3 months since returning from tour. When I am not touring with Smirkus, I am a USAG Level 9 competitive gymnast.
Our first meet is a home meet that our gym hosts. Since the Level 10 gymnasts will finish the meet on the floor, the level 9’s are required to start on beam. You see, if you didn’t know it, the rotational order of a meet is in alphabetical order – Bars, Beam, Floor, Vault. The L10’s started on vault so they would end on floor (always a crowd fave), therefore the L 9’s had to start on Beam – since we’re the next highest level. 🙂
Beam has historically been my best event, earning me several state championship titles and in our gym, I have been referred to as the “beam queen” a time or two. I walk on a 1″ wire, performing on a 4″ beam should be a breeze, right? Not so much, lol.
At this meet, one of my big moments in a series is a back tuck on beam. During warm ups, I was actually warming up a different series and felt myself go a little “off” so instead of continuing through, I decided I would warm up my back tuck just….”one more time”. You know the old saying that you should never do something just one more time? Proved to be true once again. I missed my landing entirely with one foot and caught my other foot on the beam bending it in half breaking my tibia at the growth plate. 😦
4-6 weeks recovery they said……because of the extreme nature of my sports, they are being extremely cautious so that I do not stress or reinjure the bone quickly so I am in a boot non-weight bearing. Totally sucks! I had plans to participate with Smirkus at First Night and this was the very first meet of the year, which means that my competition season is cut incredibly short and my chances of qualifying to compete at the state and/or regional meets is reduced every day I am wearing this boot.
Sooooo, if you’re reading this……and you’re a gymnast……it’s always better to land on the beam and never, ever do something just “one more time”. 🙂
Off tour season training at Aerial CLT in Charlotte, NC, the closest training gym to me, has seasoned coaches and an absolutely gorgeous facility. It makes the 3 hours drive to train worth every second!
Aerial CLT (in Charlotte, NC) training session
Have you ever had to pack for 10 weeks? Three of those weeks, I’ll be at Smirkus headquarters and the next 7 weeks, on tour. So, I have to be prepared for all kinds of weather and be able to grab and go.As a first year trouper, I am sure I am packing waaay too much however, I’d rather have it and not need it than to want it and have left it at home. I am like my mom though, I have “tetris brain” and we are crafty packers, lol!
And while I have my big brother, Xander, here to spot me, I am spending some time practicing a few last minute skills. Besides, I just want to have some hang time with him anyway. Thanks Xander, I love you. I am glad you were able to help me learn a cartwheel on the wire.
We’ll be leaving tomorrow. Say a prayer for us for safe travels and an awesome summer. I’ll be updating every day that I have internet. Keep checking back or click the link to follow me. Thanks for all your support!
I spent the entire morning with the cool cat reporter,Eamon O’Meara (Yes that means I skipped school…) He asked me a ton of questions, I performed a few (circus) stunts, and then after he left, I chilled with my mom at breakfast! Tune in to WDBJ7 tonight for the full broadcast. Click HERE for a little teaser from WDBJ7.
Cyrus the Swordsman and I were invited to be the halftime show for a roller derby bout,the Rail City Roller Girls. It was a great experience and a lot of fun to be asked to perform especially since my mom was a former derby girl herself. I have countless memories of hanging out on the side of the rink while she practiced and really came to love the sport myself. I even had my own name picked out, Cookies and Scream. Thank you to Cyrus for teaching me new skills and teaching me not to be afraid to pull a sword out of his throat.