Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Defying Gravity.

It's a Saturday afternoon, you walk into this place, and the regulars are doing their thing on various apparatus. Scott, the instructor, greets you, and you immediately take a liking to him and his quips. It's almost like a regular gymnastics gym - chalk bins and flexible people stretching and practicing handstands against the walls. And then you look up and see the net and trapeze bars and wonder how on earth this place came to exist. But you're glad it did.

And then you start watching the people around you. One starts bounding on the trampoline - using his body rather than feet. Bouncing off his chest, reaching the heights of the trampoline net. And in the corner of your eye, you see the guy juggling what resembles 8 orange bowling pins. The girl who was stretching on the mats next to you is now spinning upside down, contorting into forms seemingly unnatural to humans.

And then you snap back to reality and remember why you're here - trapeze. Trapeze, like surfing, is one of those things you figure would just come naturally to you. On your first attempt, you'd master the catch and release without a second thought. It looked easy enough.. on tv, that is.

Dora and Jennings saunter over and spot you as they walk you through the steps to trapezing. Step 1: Practice swinging your legs over a practice bar while Dora gives your butt a little shove. Step 2: Practice on actual trapeze bar, 20 feet in the air. Whatever happened to steps 1a, b, and z?

But all delusion melts away as you climb the long ladder to the podium. And as you grab the bar, right hand, then left, step off the podium and screeeeeeaaaam, the terror/delight/exhilaration rushes to you, and for that moment, you feel more alive than you have in ages.

1 comment:

Passionate Eater said...

What an exhilarating experience! You deserve a gold medal for your fearlessness!