Stay at home challenge: circus student Manon

Manon Verplancke, third year student Circus Arts, misses training, most of all. And the social contacts. “So yeah, I do miss school. I have to admit, though, that this period lends itself well to working on myself and take some personal time.”

A Circus Student in Times of Corona

Name (age): Manon Verplancke (22)
Study (specialisation): Circus Arts (duo hand to hand, as flyer)
Year: Third
Originally from: Bruges, Belgium
Lives in: Rotterdam
Currently in: Rotterdam

Who else are at home with you?
“I am now in our apartment, together with my roomie Joe. He is a first-year student of Circus Arts. At the moment we are doing almost everything together. Our other roomie left for home in the UK a week ago.”

What does your day look like now?
“We get up around 10 AM, and start our day with a nice breakfast. Then we do our exercises, together or separately: stretching, power training, cardio, and so on. Then we take a shower. And then we cook lunch. After that we usually engage in some kind of activity, like taking a walk or go somewhere on our bicycles. Or we work in the garden; we are fortunate to have a large garden. Or we may bake a cake. By then it is usually already around 5 PM and we get ready to hit the couch to have a nice dinner and watch a movie. Between times I usually do some handstand training; handstand is my second discipline. Unfortunately, I can’t do any hand to hand training now, as my partner, Yahel, has gone home to Israel.”

Do you miss school?
“I miss training, most of all. And the social contacts. So yeah, I do miss school. I have to admit, though, that this period lends itself well to working on myself and take some personal time. We normally have a very busy schedule and there is no room for everything. Now I can do the things I normally can’t do often or not at all, such as cook, bake a cake, read a book, take photographs, make long bicycle trips, and work in the garden.”

Are you in touch with your fellow students?
“Yeah, we sometimes meet in small groups in the park or visit each other. Not that often, though. Usually we stay at home and try to develop a routine as best we can.”

Are you in contact with one or more teachers?
“I’ve already been in contact with my two coaches for hand to hand. Just a message to check how things are going.”

Is there a positive side to this situation for you?
“Sure. Like I said, we normally don’t have much time for hobbies or for ourselves. Now we do. We finally get to work in our garden; and we are fortunate to have such good weather. I can also do more photography now. I like photography and I want to get better at it. Now I also have time to work on myself as a person. Of course, I do miss my friends. Or going downtown or to a party.  On the other hand, we are now forced to be creative and think of other fun things to do.”

What is your biggest wish right now?
“For my mum to stay healthy. And I also hope that, when this disaster has passed, mankind will finally realise in what luxury we are living and that that isn’t as self-evident as it seems.”