THINGS I LEARNED IN TRAPEZE SCHOOL
I went to one 2-hour class at Trapeze School New York, on the top of Pier 40 in Manhattan (http://newyork.trapezeschool.com). In no way am I a trapeze artist.
- •Doing something terrifying and difficult is a great way to bond with people.I went as part of a "mom's night out" with people I barely knew. By the end of the night we had cheered for and hugged each other, and learned a bit about each other's personalities and strengths.
- •I am much more scared of heights than I thought.The trapeze school is on the roof of the pier. It's not so many stories tall, but when you ascend the shaky ladder to the top of the platform and look around, you are *really* high up. Like, the cars look small and you are eye level with tall buildings. For each of the five turns, I had to count each step out loud to distract myself from the climb.
- •The trapeze bar is extremely heavy.When you lean out and grab it, it's heavy enough that you feel like it will pull you right off the platform. Reaching out to grab it is honestly the scariest part - you have to let go of the nice, relatively safe platform, first with one hand, then the other, and for a second it really feels like you will get yanked right off your feet.
- •Being set in position feels different than it looks from the ground.Your toes hang off the edge of the platform. Your knees are bent and your hips are forward as you clutch the bar. It feels like you are sort of dangling in limbo between the platform and the air. Due to the timing of the second person, you do not chose when you jump - you jump when you are told. Which is actually good. I might never have jumped. 😉
- •You need a lot of core strength.I thought my arms would be sore the next day. They were, a little, but not as much as my abs. You have to hook your knees over the bar in order to fly upside down, so as you're hanging from your hands and swinging through the air, you pull your feet up and over your head. I was not in proper shape for this maneuver. (Seriously - it took me twice as long on each turn as it did everyone else.)
- •There are so many people helping and guiding you.One guy holds your safety rope and calls out commands. Another guy helps you at the top of the platform to set you in position, and - if you make it to steps 4 and 5 of the lesson - another guy catches you from a second flying trapeze. They are all professionals who want to keep you safe, even though you feel like you might die. (This is what I told myself over and over again. It sort of helped.) Also, they *really* love trapeze and they want you to love it too.
- •I am braver than I think.Trying trapeze school was something I had always wanted to do. It sounded like such a good idea - until I was actually doing it. I could have backed out at any point and even refused to do the first maneuver because I was so scared. But I made myself stick with it, and I actually did all 5 turns over the course of the 2 hours. It was terrifying, but I did it.
- •Proof, in gif form:That's me! This was the culminating move of the lesson. I felt like such a rockstar.