By Alissa Thibault
See that photo above? That’s me. On a unicycle. A unicycle!
Last night I went along to check out one of the many activities that are on offer at Work Shop in Redfern. The list is extensive and includes things I didn’t even know you could do a class on like ‘Learn to Rap’ and ‘Soapstone Carving’. But something pulled me toward the unicycling class… as they say at Work Shop – “Broaden your horizon and learn some mad skills”, so I did.
The class was taken by Ash Curtis who isn’t just a unicycling enthusiast, he’s one of the very best. He’s done things like road racing, mountain racing and unicycling hockey (which sounds hard) – he’s currently the Australian unicycle hockey captain. He’s competed at 3 World titles and has 7 Australian unicycle race records. So yeah, he was pretty good at it.
First things first, we had to learn how to get on one. This was much harder than I thought it would be and something I could only manage with the help of the wall. Luckily, just about everyone in the class was a beginner so we were all just as clumsy as each other.
We got into partners and tried our best to ride around the room (one hand on the wall, the other on our partner’s shoulder) just to get a feel of being on this one-wheel contraption. I’ll be honest, I didn’t progress much further than that, but I gave it a red hot go. Surprisingly, only two people ended up on the floor and we were all pretty proud of that. I also completely underestimated how hard it is on your legs – trying to balance took a whole lot of concentration and control. If you don’t like doing squats at the gym, get a unicycle instead.
After the two hour class I could get myself up without anyone helping and managed to balance just long enough for that photo to be taken. Definitely worth every cent of the $25 the class cost.
I can’t exactly say unicycling is my true calling in life (the bruises I’ve picked up are proof of that) so I may have to find some other skill to join the circus with. But my goodness it was fun. If you’re looking for a laugh and something completely out of the ordinary, give unicycling a go. If that’s not your thing, there are many other classes that don’t require nearly as much coordination - I think my next one might be ‘Cocktail Mixology’.
Prices range from about $15-$35 and will make your weeknight just that little bit more interesting. Head to www.work-shop.com.au