Five Minutes of Fame

Good heavens, is it Saturday night already?! This week has FLOWN by!

Fuzz and New Balance.
Fuzz and New Balance.

20/20 news continues to be good. I’ve lost some weight by the gym’s scale at long last! It’s still not dramatic, but every little bit counts. While John opted to stay on Stage 2 for another week as a coping mechanism for crunch time at work, I’ve decided to move ahead with Stage 3. This diversion isn’t a huge problem for meal planning, since I’m still eating 98% of what I was before; I just have to be sure that anything we make doesn’t rely on the inclusion of cheese or yogurt (but can always have it added for me!)

As you might guess, Stage 3 is the partial dairy stage. This gives me back low-fat cheese and plain Greek yogurt as tools in my dietary arsenal. Flavored yogurt, non-Greek yogurt, and other dairy are still off limits until Stage 5. (Obviously full-fat cheese is not encouraged now, or at any other time!) I’m thrilled to have my Greek yogurt and cottage cheese back, and sprinkling a tiny bit of fresh Parmesan on dishes goes a long way toward adding deliciousness without a lot of calories. I haven’t experimented much with melty cheese applications yet, but we’ll see what happens!

The big news this week comes from outside the gym. John and I have had tickets to the latest Cirque du Soleil performance (Luzia) in Marymoor Park for months, and Wednesday night was our show. I’d forgotten until we arrived at the tent, but we’d splurged on VIP tickets as a treat. This nets you the best seating choices, complimentary collector programs (a must-buy for me at shows,) and access to a special lounge with horsdeurves and cocktails before/after the show and during intermission. The latter was more of a perk before we knew we’d be doing 20/20!

I’d further forgotten that we didn’t just have good seats. We had FRONT ROW seats. As it turned out, we had FRONT ROW CENTER seats. If there is ever a performance that you want front-row seating for, any Cirque show is going to be high on the list. There’s nothing like seeing performers doing impossible things directly over your head, and feeling the rush of wind from the swings and props they use hurtling past. The performers were close enough to touch at most times, if doing so wouldn’t have been a complete disaster. 🙂

I was already spellbound when one segment of the jester act (a common theme in Cirque shows; a goofy actor in a costume meant to elicit laughs from the audience and serve as a kind of link between the show and the crowd) began about three acts in. As usual, audience participation was begged and granted, and I was thrilled to not be targeted. Many of you know this, but being chosen for such an event is one of my biggest wishes AND one of my biggest terrors. I would love to be a part of any show, especially one like this, but stage spotlights? every eye in a massive crowd on you? actually doing something they ask you to do? possibly messing it up? Nothankyou.

Aaand then. Just when I thought it was over.

It was one thing to repeatedly have the big stage ball that had been tossed around the crowd handed to me and then taken back as a joke. I was thrilled enough by that. But I guess I stood out enough that I got called to stand up. In the aisle. By myself. In front of a RIDICULOUS crowd. Spotlight on.

Then the real fun started. To make a long story short, the act had already followed the themes of both “silly tourist out of water” and “World Cup hijinks” prior to that moment. The jester’s role is always silent, and he’d been interacting with the crowd through short, repeated bursts of a whistle throughout the act. With me standing up, he proceeded to attempt to direct me using only said whistle bursts and hand gestures. You may consider this the hardest game of charades on the planet.

The basic instruction to get in the aisle and back up – a lot – up several rows of seats/stairs was pretty clear. My first attempt to do so backwards almost landed me in the laps of people a few rows behind me – after which I turned around and just kept walking until one of those whistle bursts stopped me. This seemed to be what was intended. He saluted and I returned it. The crowd was cheering and laughing. It was kind of awesome and kind of terrifying all at once.

Then he tried to raise someone from the other side of the center aisle. The first guy he picked had a broken leg – I think this was intended to be part of the joke. He finally picked someone else, but either the time limit for the act had passed, or he’d caused enough mayhem that he called it – leaving both of us to dive for each other’s open seat as the show went on!

Still confused and assuming there was a larger purpose for this (i.e.: further hijinks later, or possibly a need to move seats for someone) I ended up staying in that seat until intermission. Only then did I realize the guy that had taken my seat wasn’t there anymore. I kind of assumed he’d enjoy the front row in my absence, but I’m not sure what happened on that. I hope I didn’t mess up anyone’s experience, but nobody asked me to move and I sure as heck wasn’t going to interrupt the performance by getting up and moving back to my seat during an act!

During intermission, so many people walked by to tell me I’d done great, and that they were so glad it wasn’t them in the spotlight because they’d have been just as lost as I was. I’m not entirely convinced it was all meant to be a riff on making the audience feel like “strangers in a strange land,” and I wish I knew what was SUPPOSED to have happened there. Either way, I did the best I could have with a crazy situation, and I’m still beyond honored to have been chosen. For five minutes, I got to be part of one of the coolest performances in the world!

(And here I thought it couldn’t get any better than being harassed by the lizard-tail prop/actor from Amaluna during seating, when we went to that years ago…)

Sadly, I don’t have any photos to share; while Cirque performances are more permissive than most about photos, both John and I had our phones off as a matter of course. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are rogue photos out there on the Internet somewhere, but I’ll have to take heart in the memories. I’m at least glad I was dressed well AND even bothered to put makeup on, despite having to haul all of my junk to the Pro Club to do it! I’ve never been so glad for the opportunity to shower outside of home in my life.

Even my dress was a nice surprise for the week. I bought a bunch of new tops for exercise purposes, and I also grabbed a couple of simple dresses that would be easy to throw on after a shower for group on Tuesdays. One was a simple black maxi dress; the other was a blue sheath-style dress with a fleur-de-lis pattern. The latter is one of those dresses that shows off almost every curve you have, and I was deeply worried that my belly would make it untenable. I’ve now lost enough weight to where I feel really good in it! (It was also the closest thing I owned to something that looked Mexico-inspired for Luzia!) I guess it looked as good as I thought it did…

Next week should be fun. It’s time for our five-week doctor check-ins and additional measurements. We get new measurements done every five weeks, so that we have a good idea of how much our bodies are changing. I’ll be really curious to see what the measuring tape has to say about how far I’ve come. Even if the weight loss isn’t dramatic yet, I feel like the tightening-up of everything is quite real and quite noticeable, even this early.

If I can stand in front of that kind of crowd, I know I’m still moving in all the right directions.


  1. Carolyn Bruce

    Oh wow… What big steps you are taking, in so many ways and in so many different directions! Bravo! I think this is both very impressive and truly exciting.

    WIshing Easter blessings to you and John, sent with love,
    Mom Carolyn

  2. Mom

    Bravo!! You were singled out and it wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be. I know you can do it. Many of us don’t like to stand out in a crowd but it always seems to be someone like that who is chosen. You should be very proud of yourself! Performers usually look for someone whos is enthralled with the performance and I know that is you and John. I can’t wait to hear more about it. A belated Happy Easter to you.

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