Tramatized by clowns as a boy, Tor Constantino is thrilled to see extreme athletes embrace unicycling—breaking clowndom’s monopoly on the uber-cool, one-wheelers.
When I was eight-years old, my mother signed me up for a clownology class—the study of learning to be a clown—at our local youth rec center.
In hindsight, I’m sure the six-person clown troupe had the best intentions, but it was a hot summer day with no AC in the gym and all of the clown’s make-up started to run.
The the bright faced smiles slowly melted into drippy, drab-colored frowns, while sweat rings saturated their poofy costumed neck lines and arm pit areas.
I attribute my mild case of coulrophobia—fear of clowns—to that day. While it’s a funny fear, it’s a fear nonetheless that was anchored into my young mind.
However, there was one teenager in the troupe who was not wearing make up and who spent the entire four hours on a unicycle. It was an amazing feat of athleticism, balance and endurance that was also anchored into my young mind.
At the end of the class he let me sit on the single-wheel seat, while holding his hands. It was much more difficult than it looked.
That day, all unicyclists became superior athletes in my book.
Regrettably, the only time since then that I’ve witnessed unicycle riders in action was at the circus, parades or carnivals—with the vast majority of those riders in full-blown clowny regalia—that was until I saw the video below.
I have nothing against the wonderful people who dedicate their lives to making children smile through their clowning abilities, but I’m comforted by the fact that unicycles appear to have been unshackled from the monopolistic association with all things clowny.
Rejoice and watch that awesome video again….
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