Wednesday, March 14, 2012

High Flyer


A few weeks ago I briefly mentioned to Michael how I had this fixation/fantasy about being on a trapeze. I don't's just something that flits across my mind every once in awhile. So it was SUCH an exciting surprise when he got me a session at Trapeze U for my birthday!

It was a 2-hour class on Sunday afternoon at a little site out in Gilbert. While my mom stayed home with June, Michael came with me to watch, take pictures and generally try to catch me if I fell and missed the net.


There were four other people in my group. We had a brief (5 minutes?) safety talk about how to jump off the platform and then it was "Up you get!" I loved this because I get antsy when I want to just do something and have to sit through a long how-to.
You want to know the toughest part of the whole thing? CLIMBING THAT LADDER.
First of all, it's scary because it's really high and narrow and you aren't connected to any safety lines at that point. I probably got around 15 tries on the trapeze that day and I really feel like that ladder was really what took it out of me.
The first thing we did was a little routine that ends with a backflip! We relied heavily on listening to the instructor who gave us guidance on what to do when. It reminded me of my dad - how he compares everything to soccer. But this was just like have half of your mind on what you're doing and the other half is listening to the calls of your teammates. You automatically do what they say because you trust that they have a better perspective than you do.
You end each "go" by falling/flipping to the net below. While you do a little tummy flip off the net to the pad below, the instructor would give you little tips. For example, I was being over-enthusiastic with throwing my hands back and needed to make it a more fluid movement to encourage momentum.
The next part was THE COOLEST. I couldn't believe that after a five or so rounds of the routine we moved up to...being caught by another instructor! DJ would be swinging on the far trapeze and we were to reach out and lock hands-to-forearms with him! I was the first one to nail it!
It was such a crazy moment, flying back with my knees over the bar, arms outstretched...I couldn't even see DJ until the very last moment. I don't remember searching for his hands or looking any particular place, but I do remember an awesome moment when my hands locked on his and he said, "Gotcha!" It was so exhilarating.

After I managed to land a catch with DJ, the instructor had me try the next step up. I would catch with DJ, swing back and forth once and then release with him and try to make it back to the bar. I think this next picture is one of the coolest of the night:
I didn't make it...I hit the bar but didn't grab it. So close!

The last thing we tried was another little combination that ended with us soaring off the bar. I think the idea was that we could be caught from this position as well.
It was so very fun and exciting but it was tiring. One of the women in my group quit after an hour because she was so exhausted. Once she sat out I felt like I was constantly going up and down, which was good but I got tired and a little queasy!

Here is my group with DJ in the middle and Bentley the dog in front. We got diplomas to document our graduation from class.
I'm not going to lie, I've thought seriously about enrolling in their 8 week class (complete with a show for family and friends at the end!). Anyone want to go with me?!

If you're interested in attending Trapeze U, I have some tips for you!
  1. Go at a time when you think there will be a small group. Smaller group means more attempts on the bar!
  2. Wear tight-fitting clothes that end above or around the ankle. Some of the others were complaining that their yoga pants were getting caught up when they were trying to pull their legs over the bar.
  3. A certain amount of athleticism is great because it certainly does take some muscle. However, it doesn't require you to be completely in shape. I'm not! I said something in the beginning about not having much upper body strength. The instructor said that you rely much more on momentum than upper body strength. Plus, you can always sit a round or two out to conserve energy!
  4. Do not eat a big meal beforehand!
  5. Go with a friend! Preferably one with great photo-taking skills and timing. Michael is available for rent.


  1. If I lived near you I would ABSOLUTELY do this!!! I am SO jealous! I have chills just looking at all of your pictures. Such an amazing opportunity and a great gift!

  2. Julie, you truly live life. I am inspired.