It’s a pretty good day when you can fly though the air and be caught by a shirtless man wearing tights. I’m on a quest to beat back the looming midlife crisis that creeps with crepitus fingers into the whooping last years of my 30s. Adrenalin is my light sabre, and I’m using it to vanquish the forces of ageing. If you pop by here regularly you’ll have read about the drunken buzz I gained from belting out ‘Living on a Prayer‘ to a packed bar. This time I tried a more sober style of hit. It was even better. Trapeeeeeeeeeeze! Polka dot polka dot Afro circus!
If you want to shake up your weekend, here are a couple of little tips I picked up.
TIP 1: Be NOT hungover. A thumping heart upon reaching the top of the trapeze ladder is better than a thumping head. Try not to go to the rugby and drink until 1am the previous evening. Being upside-down is more comfortable without a headache. The good part is, the excitement and thrill will throw your headache out the window after the first 10 minutes.
I know, I know. This goes without saying. I have to be sensible most of the time, so on the rare occasion I go out at night, I am all jazz hands and wild eyes. A bit like a flying fox. It was Waratahs v Brumbies. Husband v Wife. We were in a box with many friends. A waiter was topping up my drink. We had big fun. It was hard to say – ‘oh…. I’m doing something mad in the morning so I’ll just have a water thanks’. So… I didn’t. Oops.
TIP 2: Falling face first can be a GOOD thing.
YAY finally I’ve found my place! Did they really just say fall down face first and land on your belly? This is something I know how to do. I’m not saying I didn’t fail. Duh. I stuffed up quite a few moves, like the one where I accidentally listened to my inner 8-year-old instead of the dude without a shirt, and instead of tucking my legs back down straight from the swing, flipped them backwards over my head while still hanging on with my arms. It was extremely un-co, and I let go when I heard slight panic in shirtless’ voice telling me to ‘DROP’! Little does he realise my weirdo-contorto arms had no plans to pop out from the shoulders. Dislocated shoulder are for WIMPS. I spit in the face of dislocation. I later found out I did half of ‘skin the cat’ – I’m like, SO totally way advanced.
But I was supposed to fall on my face on the net. It was the superman move. We had to reach out like superman with our legs on, then let go mid-swing and fall on our bellies on the net. Not. Scary. At all. (She says, then spews though the net when nobody is looking).
TIP 3: Try to listen with your ears, not your eyes.
The scenery around the trapeze net is lovely. Trees and stuff. See?
TIP 4: When they say let go, LET GO!
I learned this the hard way. I wouldn’t be me unless I had a couple of fairly unique screw-ups this day. Last time I went skiing I managed to stab myself in the throat with my own ski stock. This is my special talent. I winded myself in the voice box and after I stopped going ‘huuurr’ ‘huuuur’ like a dying cow I decided to sit the day out with some frozen peas and the soothing warmth of schnapps. When I play tennis, I’m regularly belted by balls in the head, BY MY OWN TENNIS PARTNER. Just rude.
So fairly unsurprisingly, when we went to do the first trapeze catch, and the girl said ‘Legs off’ while we clamped each others’ forearms firmly, my contrary mistrusting knees said ‘You’re out of your mind lady – we’re staying HERE’! Thus our respective swings swung apart from each other, our arms remained locked, and I made myself just a little bit longer. Wanna see? Course you do.
TIP 5: Before you book trapeze, book your recovery massage.
Ninety minutes of ladder climbing, swinging by underused arm muscles, somersaults and unexpected core work will see you walking like a thunderbird if you don’t have access to a hot bath and some Tiger Balm (says the Thunderbird).
I finally got it right. I missed the backflip. Maybe next time. But this was good enough for me.
Would I do trapeze again? In a heartbeat. Would I run away and join the circus? Hell no. I’m petrified of clowns. It was such a buzz though. I squealed like a girl and climbed down shaking from the net. I’m sore but have such a sense of achievement. I’m after my next challenge but haven’t lined it up yet. Hit me with your ideas! I’m game…
To save you a little googling time if you’re down Sydney way and keen, I did this at Circus Arts – Sydney Aquatic Centre at Homebush, and it was $55 for 90 minutes.
Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT