#13 – Go to circus school
Okay, I’ll be honest. When I added this item to my list originally, I really didn’t think it would happen. But that’s the magic of creating a list – once it’s written down, the “impossible” becomes possible.
And so it was that, a week ago, my daughter and I headed to the Toronto School of Circus Arts. On most Friday nights, they have a drop-in flying trapeze class (who knew?) and we’d decided to give it a try.
I thought we’d start by learning how to swing ever so gently by our knees on the low bars I could see in the large facility. Nope. The instructors had us all sit down on the floor mats and look up – way, way up – to the platform (gulp) and the bar (gulp again) and the metal extension ladder that we’d climb to get there.
I thought I was going to throw up.
I watched as, one by one, participants were strapped into the harness and began the l-o-n-g climb up the ladder. I began to sweat. Profusely. My daughter seemed cool as a cucumber.
It was my turn. How had I gotten myself into this? My daughter reminded me that it would make a great blog story and I think I muttered something about “if I survive to tell the tale”.
The instructor tightened the harness around my mid-section. I couldn’t breathe. I took off my glasses and headed to the base of the ladder.
Have I ever mentioned that I don’t like heights? Ladders with more than three rungs leave me shaking. This one must have had 30 or more. I lost count. I was focused on placing each foot one at a time.
Finally I reached the platform. It was a lot narrower that it appeared from the ground. I was grateful I couldn’t see (for once, being near-sighted was an advantage!)
I reached forward and grabbed the bar with one hand while clutching the platform wire with the other. With the instructor holding my harness firmly from behind, I grabbed the bar with my other hand. Then it was time to jump.
She gently nudged me and suddenly I was soaring. Terrified, but soaring.
I wasn’t able to get my legs up so I could hang from my knees like my daughter and most of the other participants. Although the third time, I came within inches of getting my toes to the bar. If I’d managed to do that, I just know I would have been able to get my knees over. Would I have let go with my hands? I guess we’ll never know.
I did do a gorgeous back flip dismount however. Check it out in the video.
Pretty fab for a fifty-five year old, don’t you think??!!
For more photos, go to my Photos and Quotes page 🙂