No, I never had any grandiose plans to join the circus (as one co-worker asked), nor had I ever seen Water for Elephants (did that encourage a rash of trapeze sign-ups, I wonder?). But for some reason, taking a trapeze class had been on my to-do list for over two years.
The day of the class, I was so nervous, not only could I hardly eat but I also spent most of the day pacing. To calm my nerves (it was unsuccessful), I logged onto the New York Trapeze School website to check out what I was getting myself into.
The site proudly proclaims, Forget Fear. Worry about the addiction.
While deep down, I knew that had to be true, it didn’t stop the 10 of us, even after a run-through on the ground of hips forward, bend your knees, and hup (meaning jump), from shaking in our socks and individual harnesses.
But once we started climbing up that giant ladder and swinging, our nervousness turned into jittery excitement and cheers. While the first and second times for most of us were simply swinging, hooking our legs over the bar at the peak of the first swing, letting go of the bar with our hands at the next swing, hands back on, legs back down, and releasing as we dropped into a giant net (that was nearly impossible to get out of), it was an intensely unique experience for each of us.
A few people just swung from the fly bar and bypassed hanging from their knees. Another girl, afraid of heights got half way up the ladder and climbed back down. But the instructors didn’t give up. It took two of them (one in front and one behind) to get her all the way back up the ladder, and she did it! She jumped off that two by four foot platform and swung! We were all in it together and immenselyproud of her.
There was the power couple that each attempted and succeeded beautifully at doing a catch on their second turn— the only two in our group who the instructors felt were ready to try.
As for me, the first time was rough. My timing was off, I struggled to get my knees over the bar, and when I finally did, I let go of the bar too soon. But the second time, I was pumped and ready. I grilled the instructor before climbing up the ladder on timing, and I did it— perfectly. And when the boyfriend of the “power couple” caught up to me on our way to the trampoline station to ask if that last girl who went was me; he told me I looked professional.
It was then and there that I understood. I giggled and literally jumped up and down, which is not something I frequently do. It was incredible, amazing, and all too entirely addicting! I cannot wait to take another class. Christmas present, anyone?!