Flying Trapeze (June 2012’s Something New) – Part 1 (Gah! I Can’t Seem To Get Me Legs Up)

July 24, 2012

A story from about a month ago. How timely, right?

I meant to talk about this back close to my actual birthday, but I got so distracted ranting and raving that I didn’t get a chance to make it to this – until now.

Every year for my birthday, I do something that I’ve never done before. I’ve only been doing this for three years. For the past two, I’ve procrastinated figuring out the new thing until the last minute.

This year, my lovely friend Jaclyn and I tried the flying trapeze. (I wanted to say “tried trapezing,” but apparently that’s not a word. Is that only weird to me, or did we all already know that “trapezing” is not a word?)

Jaclyn and I ventured down to the Santa Monica Pier, ready to fly at the Trapeze School New York. (Yes, that’s what it’s called, even though we were in California. And yes, having “New York” in the title immediately made me trust the school more.) Everyone who worked there was unbelievably sweet and helpful.

Here’s a thing about flying trapeze – I think you need upper body strength to really be successful. Some people believe that you don’t need it, thinking it’s maybe more about momentum and smarts.

But I’m gonna have to go ahead and say that your upper body plays a part. First off, your arms have to be able to hold your body weight as it all hangs and flies around. Secondly, even though momentum is helping you, your core plays a large part in swinging your legs up over your head.

Sometimes, I jump into something thinking, “Meh. It’s open to anyone. Lots of people do it. I’m sure I can totally do it too.” (Some of these things include that time I entered a bike race before learning how to ride a bike… and this time I went trapezing (I really want it to be a word!) without thinking about the fact that I have no upper body strength whatsoever. It honestly did not dawn on me until I got up to the top of the ladder and saw the bar that I thought, “I’m going to have to hold my own body weight in the air. Oh goodness.”

I get to the top and grab the bar. I put on my super serious/professional face. Sometimes when I have no idea what I’m doing, I just act like someone who probably knows what she’s doing.

Today I’d be a girl who’d been participating in flying trapeze (she doesn’t say trapezing, ’cause she knows it’s not a word) for years. She’s an expert, and she’s ready to go.

That girl lasted a good 5 seconds as I prepped to jump. Then they started calling out those ready and hup commands, and I was all, “oh, I have no idea what I’m doing! [*breathes heavily*].” I jumped off the platform and swung through the air. That was pretty incredibly cool. Then the instructor shouted, “Okay, swing your feet up.”

Yeah, that didn’t work out at all. I just kept swinging in the air a couple of times, until it was time to jump down. Once I safely fell to the net at the bottom, I thought the hard part was over. No. You still had to flip off of the net!

 The instructor said, “Slide to the edge of the net, and put your stomach over the side. Grab these handles, then flip over.”

What? This is how we get down? Gymnastics? Oh goodness.

Somehow, I survived the flip off of the net. Before you knew it, it was time to go up all over again.

I’ll pick up here on Thursday.



[ps – A note on this day. My secret shame is that this occurred on June 26th, not June 25th (my actual birthday). [*gasp, music, dramatic looks*] I hate to admit it. But I can’t escape it.

The reason is, I could either go alone on the 25th or with my friend on the 26th. Not only did I want to experience this with Jaclyn, but I live really far from Santa Monica and was just exhausted after a weekend of traveling and half marathons. I knew going with someone would be easier on me (not to mention a bit more fun). Obviously (as is shown over and over in this blog), I don’t mind doing stuff alone… It just worked out this way this year.

I justified it this way: “When I was born on the 25th, it was the 26th in certain places in the world. So 26th/25th, it’s all the same. I also think it’s lame when people put such time constraints on themselves, they miss out on cool things. So I didn’t want to be a stickler when I could go with a friend the very next day.

Hoooowever, the whole point of the June 25th thing is to go out and live and do something fun an exciting on a sad day – the anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death and a day you’re getting older (therefore generally less valuable in Hollywood – ah, the joys of being a woman!). I’m supposed to do it on the day! And I think I just lost a little sight of that. So, I’m embarrassed to have messed up the tradition by 12 or so hours. But I shan’t do it again! (As at least this year showed me how important it is to me to do it on the actual 25th – whether that’s super silly/kinda stupid or not. :-P)

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