4/14/14 – Big Trouble, Double Wheel


Big trouble, double wheel



For most people German wheel starts as a solo activity, but at one point or another you will find yourself tempted, tricked, or persuaded into the alluring word of doubles.  Having 2 people on a wheel opens up a whole new world of awesome; there is a greater potential for storytelling, interpersonal relations, and DRAMA.  But it does come with a certain price: a second person adds and entirely new chaos variable.  When you interact with a wheel it will always respond in the same way (with allowances for different floors and temperatures and…well even the wheel isn’t that easy to control : ) however another person is infinity less predictable.  That means when working with a human partner you should be ready to relinquish total control and you must be prepared for the unexpected.


When working in any partnership it is important to identify strengths and roles.  Especially when partnering with circus skills there will most often be one person more confident and familiar and one person more trepidacious and unstable; don’t be afraid to acknowledge this.  Being an older brother myself I identify these roles as big brother and little brother and each role has it’s own jobs.  Little brother has the simpler job but is more likely to get hurt.  Little brother has to remain calm, keep themselves safe, and let big brother know when they are in trouble or need to slow down.  Big brother has the more complicated job, but due to greater experience is less likely to hurt themselves.  Big brother has to be PATIENT, lead the trick, always be aware of what little brother is doing, keep little brother and themselves safe, and be aware of their surroundings.  Although I am rarely in the role I vastly prefer to be the little brother.  The most fun I ever had on a wheel was partnering with a friend of mine Maren; she is a world-class wheeler and after training for years by herself could find her way safely out of any situation.  We would start in 2-seater and just play, seeing where we could end up.  I could do anything and I knew she would be safe, it was so freeing.  We invented tricks I have never been able to remember or recreate.


I have banged myself up quite a bit on German wheel and it isn’t the most fun but it is just part of the game.  Working as a coach and being around others training I have seen people hurt themselves and been unable to stop it.  I have forgotten where all the little scars and bumps on my shins have come from and other more major injuries I can remember with a proud smirk.  Any big crash I have had to witness has scared much deeper, I still can’t smile when I tell and they are always tinged with guilt.  So little brothers be strong, don’t’ freak out, be brave, have fun, and don’t forget to breathe.  Big brothers don’t rush, don’t push, be a good example, take care of your little brother, be prepared for your little brother to do weird, dangerous, and often stupid things.  Both of you, communicate, smile, and don’t forget to forgive.

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