A story from about a month ago. How timely, right?
I meant to talk about this back on 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 now. For the past two of those three, I’ve procrastinated figuring out the new thing until the last minute.
This year, my lovely friend Jaclyn and 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, because more than anything it’s 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, saw the bar, and 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 my super serious/professional face on. Sometimes when I have no idea what I’m doing in life, I just act like someone who probably knows what they’re doing. So, on the top of the platform, I decided that 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, no, no, no (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. “Okay, Aurora. This time, really use the momentum to get your feet over the bar. Jump off like you’re a banana. Make a banana shape in the air, then whip your feet around when we tell you to.”
“Gotcha. Sounds simple enough. I’m all about it.” Or not. They yell for me to flip my feet over, and it’s not happening. My arms are barely holding on, and my abs are no help whatsoever in swinging my legs around. Goodness gracious. I jump down into the net again, followed by another flip back onto solid ground.
I’ll pick up here on Thursday.