On Saturday morning I went to Flying Trapeze class at the Trapeze Class New York - Beantown. It was terrifying. And awesome. I don't have any pictures of me on the trapeze, since I am incapable of flying through the air and taking pictures at the same time, but I did draw you a handy diagram of trapeze-physics fun facts:
So you see when you jump off the platform, well, it's about the scariest thing ever. Not because it's unsafe, because it's not, and not because falling is scary, or heights are so awful (at least not for me), but JUST BECAUSE. You have to lose control. You have to dangle your body over two stories of air and then JUMP into that air. You have to hold on to a little bar and hang, trusting that you can manage to do the few simple things the very nice strangers have told you to do.
Here's one of the other students on the platform. I took this right after one of my runs. She is, as you can see, quite high up. Though each and every jump from the platform was, in its own way, extremely difficult, by the end, I managed to kick my feet over the bar, hang upside down, back-flip off into the net, and at the very end, get caught by one of the trainers. It was amazing.
But I had to give up control. I had to trust strangers. I had to shut off everything my mind and body were telling me about what NOT to do and just do it. That was the scary part.
1. Fear can be incredibly irrational and exhilarating and also such a hindrance to doing what you want to do.
2. Eleanor Roosevelt was right about facing fears and doing things that scare you every day.
3. You body will sometimes shut out your mind and do what it thinks is best and that is awesome. I did not consciously think about grabbing the catcher's hands and releasing my legs, but I did them at the right time. My body knew when and how to act.
4. Sometimes when you're doing something important that requires all of your concentration, other stimuli just don't get in. I know my eyes and ears were taking in sensory information while I was in the air, but I really don't remember any of it at all.
5. Flying is fun.
6. When all of my muscles hurt, I feel weirdly accomplished.
7. When you sign up for the second class, the third class is free. See you in mid-February, Trapeze School!
Other than learning about the trapeze I also had a delicious brunch with G prior to a very long rehearsal. We munched on zucchini fritters and warm goat cheese and biscuits with apricot butter and fig jam and some wonderful potato pancakes. By the end our bellies were full and warm and we were more ready for a nap than sitting on the floor for four hours since we don't yet have a set...
A slightly less daring adventure I had was an art show. I went with my friend A and met a coworker there (also A) and her boyfriend, who manages the art space and also showed some photographs. He and I have something in common: a love of pickles. It was at this hipster haven that I learned the brilliance of the pickle-in-a-cup method of pickle eating. This ensures that a minimum of pickle juice ends up on your hands and clothes. That's what culture is all about, right? Learning.