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Archive for October, 2009

IMG_4172Standing at the bottom of the very tall metal ladder, I questioned what I had gotten myself into. I began to climb. The ladder shook as I went higher and higher, doing nothing to give me any more confidence about what was going to happen next. When I reached the platform for the first time, I rather inelegantly climbed over the top of the ladder and crawled onto the platform on all fours.

As I clutched on to the handrails, the “catcher” unhooked the clips for the ladder ropes from my harness and clipped on the flying ropes. He directed me to step right to the edge of the platform. He grabbed the back of my harness belt and instructed me to push my hips all the way forward and grab the trapeze bar. As I did what he said, my nerves, just for a split second, almost got the better of me. But, I pushed through, grabbed the bar with my left hand and bent my knees to get into the “ready” position. As the command “Hep!” floated up from the ground, I jumped off and was suddenly swinging at high speed through the air.

“Knees up!” was the next command, in answer to which I pulled my knees up to my chest, put my feet over the bar and tucked the bar tightly behind my knees. “Hands down!” said the instructor and suddenly I was hanging upside down, swinging freely. Exhilarated, I dismounted as per the instructions and headed back up to try it again.

The second time around the dismount included a backflip, which was relatively easy due to the momentum of the swing. I was thinking to myself how easy it all was….and I got a bit too confident.

The next time, I failed to properly secure the bar behind my knees and slipped off when I released my hands. No harm was done, although I did fall rather gracelessly into the big bouncy net below.

The last time up was the “catch”, where from the upside-down position, I was to reach out to the instructor on the “catch” trapeze bar and swing with him away. I didn’t think at all. I just listened to the commands – “Ready!” Hep!” Knees Up!” “Hands Down!” “Reach out!” and there I was hanging down with the instructor’s strong grip holding me tightly around my forearms.

As I dropped back down to the net below and did the somersault off, I knew that wouldn’t be the last time that I would be flying through the air. I’ll shoot for “the greatest of ease” next time!

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