Back in November, I went to my first flying class with Trapeze Federation courtesy of my sister. I had such a blast, but unfortunately scheduling conflicts and holiday flying has kept me far from one of the sweetest discoveries I made in 2013. A text from my beautiful sister prompted my return, and all it took was, “Everyone’s wondering when you’re coming back.” In my best Barney Stintson voice, “Challenge Accepted!”
TF recently moved their rig and now call Fun Spot America (Orlando, FL) home. What better way to run away and join the circus arts than in the midst of a carnival park?! While 2-hour classes can be booked online, single and three swing passes are also available for those wanting to give it a shot. The rig is easy to find once you clear the main gates, it’s immediately on the left of the carousel. My sis and her pal, Zach, were on break when I arrived, so Efe, the boss himself, came to my rescue. Catching sight of my Tinkerbell Half Marathon shirt, he exclaimed, “Look! You’ve brought your wings!” We hung out at the table, waiting for their return.
I warmed up with a couple of swings and revisited my knee hang. While trying to do a simple tuck dismount, I froze, forgetting to pull my legs in, and wound up doing a completely unintentional layout. I think I was the most shocked out of everyone. I wasn’t showing off, honest! 😉 The weather today was colder than last time and that steel bar felt heavier than I remembered. Perhaps, my arms have become lazy with the lack of bag slinging I’ve done in recent months since flying flight lead. One of the tasks for 2014: resume core workouts. Ugh, every month may need to become Planksgiving!
After the warm up, Susie instructed myself and another flyer on a new trick using the low bar: the front end split. Testing out the new move with zero momentum reaffirmed my need to resume layover gym ratting stat! The holiday weight needs to go sayonara, too! On this trick, the hardest part is holding out for the call to let go of the bar. The positioning of the bar and pointing of toes make it look pretty, but when it comes to working on the catch, timing is paramount. I clumsily got a few passes done, scrambling to shove myself into position at the last possible moment. The sense of accomplishment felt great, coursing adrenaline through my veins over and over.
Then, my grip slipped.
One foot in front of the other…
It was embarrassing to shriek in front of a group of children with their parents, and I could feel the flush sweeping across my cheeks before I hit the net. I peeled off the bar thankfully with my palms still in tact. The cold combined with fatigue caught up with me, but remained beneath the surface, covered by my enthusiasm. I sucked in a deep breath and batted the mist from my eyes. One of the boys in the class in the middle of conquering his fear, so the last thing I wanted to do was exacerbate the situation. I pulled myself together by the time I reached the edge of the net, but my palms were throbbing. Knowing full well, I would have to go to work the next afternoon, I was worried about showing up with blisters or bandaged hands. Thankfully, the skin was in tact, but I had to use grips to cover my palms for the rest of the class.
I didn’t want to quit, so I chose to sit out a few rounds and give my arms a rest. I wanted to leave class having completed the catch for the split, but like with running, being aware of the limitations and boundaries of ones own body is essential, but listening to it when it starts screaming, “NO NO NOOOO,” is critical. I am quickly falling head over heels with trapeze, but I cannot afford to sacrifice my job or personal health while doing it. Plus, I need to set a good example for all those kids waiting at the ladder to go next. 😉
It bears repeating that having my sister on the board really helps with my confidence. Though her office is closer to the ground than my own, the view is quite spectacular. I have to work on my flashing posing because the flair is what makes circus arts look all fancy! 🙂 After a few passes (and a near miss with the catch), I was able to complete the front end split* with a catch with Efe (Zach on lines, and Alex on the board). I’m still hustling to get into position and I keep forgetting to point my toes, but I’ve managed to remember to keep my head up and avoid “waffle face” and to swing my arms straight out and not around the hands of the catcher! I really enjoy the time I spend with the folks at TF, and I am so happy to see that they are gaining more exposure! Now, the challenge is working my schedule better, so I can attend classes more frequently!
*Note: The video was taken with an iPhone in low light near dusk, so the quality isn’t that great, but you can see it (if you squint really hard)!