Egyptian Hair

Ex­clu­sive for the Dai­ly Bend mag­a­zine. Our ques­tions were an­swered by An­drzej's per­son­al train­er Fiona Di­et­rich.

I be­lieve what we see in the pic­ture is noth­ing less than a full 360 de­grees over­split?
Yes. It ac­tu­al­ly can be fur­ther than 360 de­grees, de­pend­ing on how you count. The thighs may be slight­ly be­low 360 but the an­kles are near­ing 450.

Im­pres­sive. But I'm sure our au­di­ence re­mem­bers An­drzej as an ex­cep­tion­al back­ben­der. What in­spired the change of reper­toire, so to speak?
He is still an ex­cep­tion­al back­ben­der, I give him that. I'm spe­cial­ly proud of that be­cause I used to be a-back­ben­der my­self, though I keep say­ing to every­one that my best achieve­ment in con­tor­tion­ism was to find such an amaz­ing stu­dent. It's just that he pret­ty much reached the lim­it in back­bend­ing, I mean when the butt sits on the shoul­ders there's not much more you can do, so to in­crease the stretch fur­ther we have to work on the hip joints.

In­deed, I must ex­plain to our new read­ers who are still learn­ing about con­tor­tion­ism, that it's true that con­tor­tion­ists can on­ly re­al­ly bend in half back­wards. When we see it tak­en fur­ther than that it's be­cause the per­fomer's legs are so flex­i­ble...
That's cor­rect. The spine is on­ly one part of the back­bend, the more sig­nif­i­cant part is, strange­ly, the legs. They can be brough un­der the armpits and fur­ther, mak­ing it look like the con­tor­tion­ist can bend more than in half back­wards. The flex­i­bil­i­ty of the hip joints is es­sen­tial to more ad­vanced con­tor­tion­ists and that's what we're work­ing on very in­tense­ly at this time.

An­drzej's hip joints seem al­most like he's able to dis­lo­cate his legs and re-align them at will.
Yes, he's al­ways had very flex­i­ble hip joints and could twist his legs this and that way, he used to sit in fun­ny but quite painful look­ing pos­es as a child. Be­fore we even start­ed train­ing, he could put his feet be­hind his own back, as well as stand and twist his feet 180 de­grees around and stand like that with his feet point­ing the op­po­site way.

Should we un­der­stand it in a way that... well, the true cause of what we see in this pic­ture is ac­tu­al­ly a cer­tain health con­di­tion then?
Oh, no, not at all. Of course, An­drzej was a dou­ble-joint­ed child, he could do quite a few things that very few kids can do nat­u­ral­ly, so he was lucky, but over­splits re­quire stretchy ham­strings and that's some­thing he had to get through hours and hours of sweat­ing. It's a dif­fer­ent mus­cle and it took hours of dai­ly stretch­ing for sev­er­al years.

So prac­ti­cal­ly, An­drzej can use the flex­i­bil­i­ty of his hip joints for both over­splits and ex­treme back­bends now?
That's the beau­ti­ful thing about it. We're catch­ing two hares at once these days be­cause An­drzej's ex­treme back­bend­ing al­so im­proves his over­splits and vice ver­sa, so his ex­er­cis­es are very uni­ver­sal now.

How did you get the idea for this pic­ture?
Oh, it wasn't me but our oth­er stu­dent Na­talya. Her and An­drzej must have made this up in their spare time. These mod­ern In­sta­gram kids, you know... I on­ly helped with the po­si­tion un­til An­drzej could get a hold of his feet. I was re­al­ly sur­prised to see him wear­ing that egypt­ian wig, though, I'm more used to his usu­al hair­cut, but Na­talya seems very hap­py about mak­ing him wear it and kept bug­ging him to grow a longer hair for re­al.

So was the pic­ture tak­en in some sort of a mu­se­um place?
No, not at all. In the Egypt­ian Café near­by. It's a nice place, the own­er is a big fan of An­drzej, so him and Na­talya get a free cap­puc­ci­no every day. I be­lieve some­times An­drzej even per­forms there for free but... as I can imag­ine, in his ca­su­al clothes, so I'd per­son­al­ly rec­om­mend to watch his nor­mal per­for­mance in the cir­cus... Ah, and back­ground is ac­tu­al­ly a wall­pa­per, Na­talya said that the orig­i­nal is in Lou­vre, called the Stele of... some­thing-desh... I'd give you Na­talya but those two are away as usu­al.

No prob­lem, I'm sure our read­ers are dy­ing to see any­thing you'd be will­ing to share in the fu­ture!
Of course! Me, An­drzej and Na­talya al­so can't wait to get our hands on the next is­sue of Dai­ly Bend, it's al­ways our fa­vorite read and we al­ways buy sev­er­al copies, they're all over the place... Any­way, thanks a lot for the in­ter­view and a good time of day to all the read­ers! Stay bendy!

See al­so