Most people have things in their life that they’ve always wanted to do, but for some reason, have never gotten around to doing. I’m no different.
There are all sorts of reasons for putting off these experiences. Some are pretty valid reasons — affordability, time, or physical limitations. Some are not so valid reasons — procrastination, braggadocio, or unwillingness to put forth the effort.
Today’s post is about one of those things that I’ve always wanted to try, but haven’t. I’ve used all the above excuses, at one time or another, but what I realize is that it all comes down to fear Is it time to face my fear?
If I had ever left home to join the circus, it would have been to become a trapeze artist. Those gracefully looking people who fly through the air, leaping from swing to swing, hanging down and catching one another, have always fascinated me.
It turns out that you don’t have to join the circus to have this experience, you can learn to fly through the air at the Trapeze School of New York.
Opening for the 2007 season on April 28th, the TSNY will be setting up their outdoor rigging of tall poles and cable at their new location on top of Pier 40 (Houston and the West Side Highway). The school uses safety harnesses and lines to keep you safe as you climb steps up to a platform 23 feet high above the ground. That’s where you will take your first leap. They assure everyone that it’s a very soft net below.
The view from up there is said to be spectacular, even breath taking, but I’m not sure if it’s actually the view that takes your breath away, or if it’s fear. Surrounding the trapeze area is plenty of space for observers. If you get up the courage to do it, I figure you’re going to want to have lots of people there to witness it.
In you first class, you will learn about the safety gear, and practice hanging by your heads and knees on a low bar. Then it’s time to climb all those stairs to the higher platform. And then. . . you hold the fly bar. . . and jump! (My heart is racing just typing about the experience!) The instructors will be there to give you strong encouragement, but the decision of when to jump is up to you, so any moments of hesitation (fear?) are treated with patience and respect. When it’s all over, you fall into the safety net, and then crawl to the side where you are helped out of the net by an instructor.
Subsequent times on the bar will teach you the knee hang, which is just like hanging on the playground — upside down and arms hanging free. If the instructors think you’re ready, they may also teach you the flipping dismount. And, in that very first class, you will likely have the opportunity for a catching. Deep breath here, that’s moving from a knee hang, into a hanging position — from someone else’s arms. That’s really flying!
As scary as the whole things sounds, it also sounds incredibly exciting! A few other important things to know about learning to fly:
• Ages 6 and up can participate
• It’s an activity that suitable for a wide variety of people, and you don’t have to be particularly athletic.
• Classes are approximately 2 hours long
• Classes can accommodate 10 people
• No special clothing is required, and typical work out wear is a good choice. Loose clothing (that could get caught on something) is discouraged.
• Like any workout, you may be a little sore after this experience. Additionally, bumps, bruises, and blisters are not uncommon.
Classes can be booked online, advanced reservations are recommended as classes to sell out, and at the site. They are offered every day of the week, at a variety of times. You can check the schedule here. Classes are $65, with discounts given for multiple class purchases.
It all sounds so incredibly thrilling to me. Who knows, this may be the year that I face my fear and go flying through the air.
Photo credit: Trapeze School New York