Perhaps it's my desire to draw a thick black line through another item on my bucket list or my Peter Pain-ish need to never grow up (and for that matter, to fly) but I joined a aerial performance group today and started training on the trapeze and aerial fabric.
I figured since my previous experience in this field starts and ends with a number of visits to circus, as a cotton candy-eating spectator, the instructor would start me out easy. You know, maybe some stretches, maybe some simple dangling from the bar, terra firma just a few inches below.
Yeah. No. Not so much.
My first meeting with the trapeze bar had me doing a pike which starts with you hanging upside down with your arse and neatly pointed legs over your head. Oh, and hold it. Keeeeeeeping holding it.... Oh, that burning and shaking is just your muscles trying to flee from your body. You'll get used to it.
Next the instructor had me swing up into a seated position. ahhhhh, sitting! I can do this! Then drop back, let go and hang from my knees. I probably did something like this on the monkey bars as a kid, but I don't remember it... perhaps I fell. That would explain a lot.
Anyway, I'm dangling upside down by my knees. Sadly, despite the discomfort of all my blood rushing to my head, this would prove to be the easiest part of my training. From there we did some wretched arm lifts, some leverage moves and finally standing on my toes on the wee bar. Oh and did I mention, all of this is supposed to be done with grace?
Grace! Moi? Seriously, what the hell was I thinking?
Oh sweet, soft, cozy fabric.
Ummmm, not really.
Lesson number one is of course climbing the long swaths of cloth. This task is accomplished by wrapping the fabric around one foot, pulling up and gripping the fabric against your other foot. And repeat. That rug burn sensation? You'll get used to that.
Oh and it's stretchy, so no matter how hard you work and struggle, you still only find yourself about 1/2 inch off the ground. Sonofa!
Next we worked on a wrist locks which requires a method of wrapping the fabric around your wrists. From there you flip upside down, wrap one leg around the fabric, and dangle your head and, neatly pointed, free leg down to the spinning Earth below. Then, release and gracefully flip back down to a standing position.
By this point all my shoulder muscles were plotting revenge, my arms were at least 5 inches longer than before we started and my abs were so sore I considered giving up breathing. As my feet touched the ground I realized two things; getting my wrists out of the fabric knots would be neither easy nor graceful. And I was dizzy. Really, really dizzy. Suddenly I found myself looking like an epileptic, drunk marionette. Dangling from my wrists I stumbled, staggered and spun. I couldn't get my balance, my head was spinning and the possibility of throwing up was all too real. I think my slightly greenish complexion and profuse sweating paired with my increasing panic over the situation clued the instructor to untie me and call it a night.
So I survived my first training session without falling, crying (loudly) or throwing up. But my muscles have made it very clear that they're pissed.
I don't think they'll be much happier tomorrow.
Here's a little inspiration. Pink can do all this and carry a note (and a pastie)! Yeah, she rocks.
(skip the first two minutes)