Weird and Wonderful

25-year-old Brisbane woman pays her bills with HANDSTANDS

Violeta loves a challenge!
Instagram

Here, Violeta De Marco, 25, from Brisbane, Qld, tells the story in her own words.

Legs raised skyward, sweat dripped down my body, and my arms quivered as I held my handstand.

But I hadn’t nailed the trick on the ground – I was balancing upside down atop five chairs, stacked one on top of another!

Aged 15, any moment that I wasn’t in school, I was training as a gymnast and circus performer.

Now, I was warming up for tonight’s big show.

Time to come down, I thought, slowly lowering my left leg.

As my right limb sliced the air – bang! – the chairs collapsed beneath me.

I’m going to fall to my death! I panicked, eyes wide open, as I plunged headfirst towards the stage.

But, the force flipped my body 360 degrees midair.

Somersaulting, I landed upright, sitting on one of the chairs!

Dusting myself off, I’d escaped with just a few scrapes and bruises.

I nearly died! I fretted.

But, live in 30 minutes, the show had to go on!

Petrified I’d fall again, it went perfectly in front of the crowd.

A risk-taking daredevil, I’d nailed my first handstand at the age of seven.

After that, there was no stopping me!

I’d walk on my hands down the school corridor, and pop up into a handstand on the edge of my bed or windowsill. I’d even perfect my craft on the couch armrest in the ad breaks watching TV with my family.

‘You nearly kicked me in the face, V!’ my dad, Nick, told me.

Growing up, I started working at my family’s business, selling tiles.

Along the way, I’d stopped gymnastics, circus – and even doing my beloved handstands.

Then, at the beginning of last year, aged 24, I started doing adult classes.

It took me a little while to get my confidence back, but soon I found my groove again.

After a tough day at work, most people would reach for a glass of wine to relax.

But I’d press myself up into a handstand to unwind!

I’d handstand in the shops, at the beach, on cars and in planes – even on top of a football!

Filled with joy, I felt like I’d found my inner kid again.

‘Follow your dreams and you’ll live your best life!’ I was forever coaching my loved ones.

However, I knew I also had to practise what I was preaching!

After my 25th birthday last September, I rocked up to work on Monday and found Dad straight away.

‘I quit,’ I told him. ‘I’m going to follow my passion – handstands.’

He thinks I’m mad, I thought, seeing the expression on his face.

‘No hard feelings, Dad, but I’ve got to do what’s right for me,’ I added.

‘Hanging upside down?!’ he exclaimed, bewildered. ‘There’s no money in that!’

But, six months on, I now share videos and photos of my adventurous handstands on social media. 

My posts are getting millions of hits and I’m even sponsored by 13 companies, including activewear label Lorna Jane, which pays me to wear the brand’s clothes in my posts.

I’m also coaching people to do handstands – which is helping me pay the bills!

Always looking to challenge myself, I recently did a handstand on a building ledge – 40 metres up in the air!

You’re on the ground, I told myself, as my body trembled precariously on the edge.

I could even feel the breeze whistling through my toes.

As a stray hair blew into my eyes, I blinked like crazy, too scared to even move a fingernail.

After just seven seconds, which felt like an eternity, I lowered my body down slowly, my heart beating out of my chest.

But I did it! I thought, proudly.

Down below, my little sister, Nicky, 23, had captured the whole crazy scene on video.

Watching it all unfold, my mum, Olga, nearly had a heart attack!

‘You silly, silly girl,’ she told me off.

I hate worrying her, but I’ve never been happier.

As far as I’m concerned, you’ve got to risk it for the biscuit!

Follow Violeta on Instagram, @violetadee.xo

Related stories