Flying Trapeze (June 2012’s Something New) – Part 2 (Oof. I Pretty Much Failed At This)

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Aurora De Lucia prepping for flying trapeze back view Picking up from Tuesday

“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.

Jaclyn was getting the hang of it much better than I was. By the end of the day, she was able to swing into the arms of a staff member who got on the opposite trapeze and flew toward her! Not me. I never even get my own feet over the bar!

In between turns, I had little practice sessions with staff members, simulating from the ground what the jump would be like. They told me to picture going through a basketball hoop, so that I’d have a nice, tight, controlled jump. My attempts to replicate these ideas in the air never worked out as well as my brilliant practice hops on the ground.

Also, I think it’s possible that we all might be underestimating precisely how little arm strength I have. It was surprisingly tiring just to swing around in the air for a minute a few times. By my 4th and final turn, I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to hold onto the bar long enough to jump off of the platform. My arms were so tired.

But I pushed myself to do it anyway. I’ve been trying lately to push myself a little father than I think I can go, in most things that I do. (Even if it doesn’t work out great, I have that satisfaction of giving that extra little umph.)

On that 4th try, I did in fact hold onto the bar long enough to swing through the air. But I was panicking with my dead arms the whole time.

There was an “I Can’t” bucket that you were supposed to put a dollar in every time you said “I can’t.” Thank goodness it wasn’t enforced, or I’d be poor now. From the moment I jumped off of the platform that 4th time to the moment I landed in the net – “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t!”

Speaking of penalties they had – in case you’re wondering why my whole face is exposed to the elements in all of the pictures – you weren’t allowed to wear a hat or sunglasses while trapezing. (Yes, I still know it’s not a word. I’m using it anyway.)

The official phrasing of their rule was if you wore a hat or sunglasses, you had to buy everyone a drink (which might’ve been worth it for the protection from the sun). However, the real rule was you couldn’t fly if you were wearing your hat and sunglasses.

(Don’t worry. I layered sunscreen and put my hat on between turns.) My forehead was pretty safe.

Overall, I had a blast trying flying trapeze with Jaclyn. Sure, I failed pretty miserably. But, my teacher in a different (non-trapeze) class said something great this past Saturday – he said you want to go for A’s and F’s. You don’t learn a lot from C’s. If you swing huge and miss huge – having a big ol’ failure in the process – you’ll probably learn and grow (and give yourself a chance for a huge success). But if you just get by – well, then you just get by.

So, I failed at being graceful and flying into someone’s arms. But I loved flying (and spending time with such a sweet, fun friend). And at some point, I’m coming back to flying trapeze with a vengeance (after hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of push-ups)!

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?