Polka dot, polka dot, Kimbo circus.

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.

Head is thumping instead of heart. Oops.

Head is thumping instead of heart as I wait by the ladder. 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?

Nice trees at trapeze school. Scenic.

Nice trees at trapeze school. Scenic.

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



Shaking things up. Rage, rage against the comfort zone!

I’ve embraced it. We are one, this midlife crisis and me. But we will not go gentle into that good night. Instead it seems, somehow, that I’ve lately acquired a taste for adrenalin, through fairly unexpected channels.

Mumabulous, while I respect and admire your comfort zone perimeter (with all those hot men living inside) and commitment to thinking inside the box (since I’m a big fan of things that come in boxes myself), I’m going to have to contradict your ‘hit the ground walking’ theory. Lately I’m kind of in the mood to run before I can walk. Like a baby. Maturity has never been such a strong point for me. This mood is quite lucky, since I somehow landed on the radio today, in an interview on the ABC Afternoons radio show in Adelaide with Sonya Feldhoff. WHAT? I know. Random. And I LOVE randomness.

Swinging upside down on the parallel bars at the local YMCA where little A does gym, like some kind of hairless orangutang, I flipped down this morning, red-faced, just to check my emails and found one requesting an interview 4 hours later. Sure? Why not? I had a head full of blood so I was sure to be thinking clearly. It was to talk about the stupid things we do when we’re tired, and I am clearly an expert on the subject matter. I was the perfect choice.

I’m glad I did it. Sonya was lovely and the buzz!!! I’d forgotten how much I love adrenalin (especially when preceded by abject terror and stage fright). No, actually, I hadn’t. Only two weeks ago I stood up on stage (hmmm… ok, that time slightly more immune to the pitches of my nerves, numbed by the dulcet thrums of alcohol’s music) to sing to a packed bar, with my knees knocking. Climbing down from the stage? The SAME BUZZ. Knees shaking with adrenalin, and grinning from ear to ear.

I’m finding the pinky purple hair I’m sporting this month (read, post-birthday) is more a mindset than a hairstyle. It’s impossible to get into a tracky-pant wearing mummish slump when I catch sight of myself in the mirror. I can pretend to myself I’m still bucking some trend, of what? I’m still not sure. Enough people go ‘woah, what happened to your hair?’ and ‘that’s a bit wild’ for me to get shaken out of any funky mood I might be slipping into. You can’t walk around all droopy-faced with pink hair. So I don’t, even if I want to. It’s the nicer version of someone saying ‘Hey, smile. Life’s not that bad.’ Except I said it to myself with an inconsequential little stripe of hair dye.

Does trapeze also throw in upside-down men like these? Sign me up.

Shaking things up is FUN. If this is a mid-life crisis, I think I’ll keep it for a while. I’m not sure what’s next, but I think I’ll have to give trapeze a go. I really, really like hanging upside down. And falling? I reckon that would be even better.