Oh Seattle, I don't even know where to begin to on introducing to you what I did this weekend. Part of me wants to start with the popular Gen Y acronym, "OMG", part of me wants to come in with discussing the Sex and the City episode where Carrie Bradshaw overcomes her fears on a trapeze and relates it to her everyday life and part of me wants to introduce it by making some sort of connection with being able to fly without the assistance of an airplane.
Since I can't quite decide which I like best, I'm just going to cut to the chase. This weekend, I had the privilege of being invited down to Emerald City Trapeze to try my hand at a Flying Trapeze lesson! Yes, I'm talking about the same kind of stuff you see at Cirque Du Soleil, the same thing some of you may have seen in the Sex and the City episode called, "The Catch", the same acrobatic movements that mesmerize most and terrify some. I did that!
I have to admit, when they invited me to come check them out, I said yes thinking to myself, "Well, this will be fun to blog about. My readers will love this. This is just the kind of thing I'm looking to write about- something active aside from the gym." In all of my blog focus, I sort of forgot that this meant I was going to have to get my booty up on the ladder, up onto a platform, and swing high above the ground (with a net below me mind you) so I could make sure I had all the details ready for you. Needless to say, the minute I walked into the large warehouse, and ropes and nets and two bars dangling from the ceiling, I suddenly wondered what I had gotten myself into for you people!
As the butterflies filled my stomach and thoughts of falling to my death filled my head, I sat in with the other 6 or so flyers that day getting our lesson on the techniques of flying. It only took about 20 minutes or so for them to get through it all before they were harnessing us in and asking who wanted to go first.
I watched the first person climb the ladder, watched the look of terror on her face as she pulled the bar towards her, standing on the small platform with an instructor holding on and strapping her in and then I watched her fly. She flew, she swung, she lifted her legs up onto the bar just as we were trained to do down on the ground. She looked back with grace, she came down like she went up with grace and she back flipped with perfection just as the instructor on the ground, holding the rope that also secured her instructed the whole way through- and then it was my turn.
As they harnessed me to the ladder to ensure I was safe on my way up, I trembled, and as I got to the top on the platform, trying to remember all I was told (although the instructor on top was still telling me what to do), I trembled more asking, "Is it normal to shake this much?" He assured me I was far better than some he had seen. But, then I remembered that the woman who harnessed me in assured me that she harnesses people in so tight she can, "Make an anorexic 12 year old have a muffin top". I laughed, but secretly felt safer by the silly comment. We went through the motions, hooking me in, waiting for the person below with the ropes to be ready for me, pulling the bar in closer, working on my stance and positioning, as I grabbed the bar and waited for my call of, "HEP!" I knew it was all or nothing on that call, so when I heard it, I leaped from the platform and flew through the sky!
While I know I didn't do it quite as gracefully as the woman before me (who was also a first timer), and I had to work on getting things down the first time through with each takeoff, I can't even begin to describe to you the feeling flying through the air and flipping around on a bar, high above the ground gave me. Sure, the platform was terrifying at first and I'm not sure I ever got used to the platform part, however once I was on the bar, above the net, going through the motions, I felt so free, so fierce and so accomplished!
After several flies, they informed us that those of us who had gotten down all the motions in one swing would then perform a, "catch" where another flyer would be on the bar opposite of us, catching us in their hands and swinging us in the air. Terrified? Actually, no; at this point, it became more of an, "I can do this, I want to do this!" So, I went through the motions again, really focusing on what it was I needed to do, and I as I looked back, saw the other flyer with his hands out, I focused on nothing but those hands and in the milliseconds of time I had to think heard nothing except, "grab my hands", and I did! I grabbed those hands, and let out the biggest cheer you'll ever hear. Happy danced my way off of the net, high fived every person in the room and couldn't wipe the smile off of my face all day, in fact as I write this I'm still smiling.
All I can say is you have to try this! If you're afraid of heights, it's the perfect, safest way to deal with them. If you're looking for something active and fun to do to change up your fitness routine, I recommend this. Trust me, it's only the next day and my abs are sore, my lats are sore, shoot there are parts of me I didn't even realize I was using that are sore! Or, if you just want to try something new and fun and feel what it's like to fly through the sky, then give this a shot. I sincerely believe you'll leave wanting more!
Check out the Emerald City Trapeze website for more info on Trapeze Flying as well as some of the other classes they have to offer as well.
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