There are three things on the bucket list of any red-blooded Canadian: to find a way  to cheat on their Employment Insurance, to write the Great Canadian Novel, and to run away and join the circus.

I have always been partial to the last one. When I was eight, I rigged up a tight rope in the basement between two supporting four by fours. It was only a foot off the ground and went all of fifteen feet. I assembled by two sisters and the cat to watch as I stepped on the rope while holding a bamboo pole that one once part of the grass rake. The rope touched the floor.  I wasn’t as exciting as I thought it was going to be.

 I moved the rope higher, and used a turnbuckle at one end to add tension. I used a chair to mount it, and took my first steps , There were only two of them as the rope began to vibrate. I lost my footing and landed with the rope at the confluence of my anatomy. My but landed on the floor, but the rope launched me like a Polaris missile off the floor, the off the ceiling, then into the cat box.

My sisters applauded. I cleaned up the kitty litter.

My next circus stunt involved a trapeze that was set up at whistler. There I hung upside down on a swing as I watched the owner of the trapeze run around underneath me picking up all the change that fell out of my pockets.

A couple of weeks ago I had a notification that one of my contacts, Pixie-Ann just landed a new position. When I first met her at the Vancouver Board of Trade she was a commercial representative for Staples. Then she went to another company to sell other stationery products and computers. I don’t think she liked it there much. They made her drop the Pixie part of here name.

Now she has a new job. She is the is the Antigravity Fitness and Aerial Silks Instructor, Front of House Representative at the Vancouver Circus school in New Westminster.

I emailed her my congratulations and invited myself to her school. She said to come on Saturday.

The school is located inside New Westminster quay, It has a high ceiling with aerial apparatus all over the place. I witnessed students putting on performances that I spent $100 to see at Cirq de Soleil. There were tumblers, acrobats, jugglers and people doing gravity defying tricks on a contraption Pixie-Ann described as a Chinese Pole.

Pixie-Ann had a wonderful smile when I was there. I commented that this looked infinitely more fun than selling Toshibas.

“You have to follow your passion,” she said.  “I also teach an Aerial Yoga class at Steve Nash Fitness World downtown. It’s like Yoga on a hammock.”

“Tell me you’re not going to get me to do a  hand stand on a hammock.”  I said.

“Don’t worry,” she said. “ It’s very safe.”

I love seeing people make big career changes.

She asked me if I wanted to try the trapeze when I realized I had too much change in my pocket. I do, however , have a granddaughter that I would like to bring.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.




  1. energywriter Says:

    Great story. Try the zip lines next. They’re a hoot and a half, but climbing to the starting points is another story. My body did not like that at all.

    Just a reminder to edit your work before you post.

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