For months, I’ve been envious of my sister’s weekend excursions to west Orlando to do a very different kind of flying with Trapeze Federation. With most of my weekends being consumed with work, I kept promising and promising her that I would go with her to her trapeze class, but never managed to follow through. With a week’s worth of vacation, I figured that although I planned on running the RunDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon that night, I could squeeze in an hour long trapeze class. Having observed a lesson previously, I noticed that students did lots of awaiting around as they cycled through the queue. Little did I know that for the session I signed up for, I would be the only student in the class!
Knee hang… ready for the catch!!
I met up with my beautiful sister, Susie, for a healthy breakfast at First Watch. The key was something to fill the hole, but light enough to stay down. Downing cups of delicious diner coffee, we split a Power Bowl and an egg white omelet with bacon (on the side), avocado, and tomato. I love this time with my sister, especially after working outside the state and country consistently over the last ten years. We chatted as we dined, and then headed out to the rig just as the Saturday morning crowd picked up.
Driving over to the rig, I felt the anticipation growing! Susie has shared running with me over the last two years, and since then, I had been looking for something I could learn from her. The weather was beautiful and clear, which made it perfect for trying out something completely new. While we waited for the others to arrive, she taped my wrists and I felt like we were kids again, getting ready to play make believe. Many kids pretend they’re running off the join the circus, and we were preparing to actually soar on the flying trapeze! I watched my sister learning how to check the rigging, and I swelled with pride. Signing off on the waiver, I felt my heart tighten a little, but it wasn’t until she strapped on my belt that I felt my heart pound against my chest. There’s a comfort in having someone close to you fasten up your lines, if there was any doubt in my mind, it vanished with the firm yank of my belt strap.
Taping it up, nice and secure!
Susie went up to the platform, climbing the ladder quickly. Having a clear explanation of the goals and safety points made the challenge of clambering up the ladder for the first time a bit easier. Her outstretched hand for me when I reached the top made me smile. Standing atop the platform, I made the silly mistake of looking down, but thankfully no vertigo hit. I figured if I can stare straight down out the door of 747 aircraft, looking down at a net should be no problem. The difference is that I’m not going to jump from the door, and I’m not being held by my belt loop by my 115-lb younger sister as I lean over. The bar was much heavier than I anticipated, and felt awkward in my hands at first. Having done gymnastics as a kid, chalking up felt familiar and simple.
Surprisingly, I did well. I over rotated on my back flip release, almost completing a double, but landed on my head. Fear not, the lines kept me from landing on it. I realized that all the planksgiving I did so far, didn’t prepare me for the ab workout I’d get today. Posture, flexibility, and confidence really make hopping off the board easier. For me, having my sister beside me gave me the final kick I needed. The first few swings I felt tight, as I held my breath in. When I finally got my legs over the bar for the knee hang and let my hands go, I laughed as the world blurred beneath me. Despite my hatred for clowns, I feel like I’ve joined the circus.
With Susie on the board, Zach on safety lines, and Efe running the show, I worked my way up to a knee hang with a catch! I worried that I would forget to release my knees when our hands clasped around each others’ wrists, but before I knew it, I was hanging above the net. I grinned from ear to ear when I heard, “Hello, Sister,” and I didn’t stop until my body bounced on the netting below. I got a couple of catches, and I finished covered in chalk and sweat, aching all over, and drunk on adrenaline. This bird learned a completely new way to fly.
Getting ready to hit up Downtown Disney with my friends, I got a parting positivity shot from a girl in the next class. When mentioning that I can’t believe I’m going to DTD covered in sweat and chalk and decidedly “un-sexy” I felt, she laughed, “You’re the TARDIS, and the TARDIS is always ‘Sexy’.” I’m not sure when my schedule will allow me to join the gang at TF again, but I can’t wait to try again. I took some video and pictures of my sister doing her current trick, and she looked awesome! It’s times like this where I wished I lived much closer to Orlando, so I could get this into my regular stress therapy program.
I think I like being a “lista!”
Thanks, Efe & Zach, for a great afternoon!
UPDATE (04Jan14): I am attending my session session at 13:00 today! They’ve moved to 5700 Fun Spot Way Orlando, FL 32819.