Meet your Neighbour: Valkyrie - Building her inner warrior by swallowing swords!
Valkyrie shows off her sword swallowing skills with a one of a kind custom sword that she received as a wedding gift from her husband, Delta. (Source: Corey Paquette)
LONDON, ONT. -- Don't try this at home.
Meet Cory Paquette AKA Valkyrie – sword swallower – a unique profession, but one that Valkyrie used to help her overcome some life challenging diagnoses.
Of course, this art form is not a 'usual' way to deal with difficulties, but Valkyrie found it to be a way to help her deal with what she was going through at the time.
In mid 2015 after a vehicle she was in collided with a moose, Valkyrie was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, losing a majority of the use of her right hand.
Shortly after her accident and diagnosis, the single mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer. A strong woman, Valkyrie faced her challenges head on.
"I began to take up bodybuilding and sword swallowing as a way to build up the inner warrior within me, and help motivate and inspire those around me to follow their goals, or just get beyond the hurdle they currently face."
After watching a group known as the Circus of Horrors in the UK, Valkyrie decided that she wanted to learn the art of sword swallowing herself. Recognizing the dangers, she reached out to a professionals in the field to learn from.
Learning how to control her esophagus and stomach valves with the help of professional sword swallower 'El Lurchio', Valkyrie preformed at various events in Ontario and England.
"Sword Swallowing is potentially very dangerous. There is a risk of poking your heart, tearing your esophagus, and other very harmful issues," Valkyrie warns.
Valkyrie explains the chain on the end of the sword is to dispute the rumours that some swords go back into the handle. (Source: Corey Paquette)
Reactions are mixed when they see Valkyrie perform. Guests often go from feeling scared to feeling impressed with what she can do.
"More often than not, when I inform people of my abilities they tend to think it's a faked talent and not actually real…which of course makes it all the more fun to show them the realness of the talent!"
A talented artist, she also makes vegan organic soaps and bath-bombs.
"After being diagnosed with cancer, making natural soaps was very important to me and my sensitive skin."
Valkyrie says as a single mother, she wanted to show her children that she was better than her illness. She wanted to inspire others to not let their illness define them.
Of course, Valkyrie is not suggesting that people should attempt a dangerous act without the proper training. For her, it was an escape that she used to find meaning during a difficult time.
With a lot of practice and passion, this artist performs and creates even though it’s not always easy.
"We all do have our good and bad days," she says. "We just can't let the bad days define us."