Pretty much all triathletes do is cross train. We swim, bike, run, lift, strength train, punch and kick the heavy bag, do push ups & sit ups - the list goes on and on. Last fall I added dance (tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary) to my list of cross training sports. But last week I added a new sport - the Flying Trapeze. I had been to Trapeze School once before a couple of years ago with my son. I caught the bug, but never was able to fit trapeze into my life at that time. Well I finally decided that I just had to go back. I even had a friend, Joannie, who was willing and able to come along and fly with me. It is truly a special friend who will go flying with you. I am a lot stronger now than I was then and I was pretty sure that I would love it just as much. Well I was wrong - I loved it even more. So here I am now simply addicted to trapeze.
The first jump is always the scariest and this time was no different. I balked a little before finally allowing myself to jump and fly free from the platform. I am not afraid of heights, instead my fear is that I will not be able to hold up my own body weight. After the first jump was over, I felt like my body responded well to the swinging motion. With each subsequent swing I learned how to listen for the caller better so that I could get the most out of the centripetal force of the trapeze and work my body less.
I learned to complete the knee hang well enough so that I was allowed to try the "heels off" trick. In this trick you hold on by your heels and then let go with your hands and reach for the catcher. In the picture above you can see that I am literally hanging by my heels. I was so happy to be able to attempt this trick. It meant that I was gaining small successes as the class went on.
Near the end of the two hour class we start to actually do release and catch tricks with a very experienced catcher ready and waiting for us on the far trapeze. The audio and visual cues of the tricks change just a tiny bit. We get to try for the catch three times. My first was the knee hang and it was a success. Then I was set to try the heels off trick. I had a bad hop on the first jump and totally lost my concentration and then blew it. I nailed the second jump with confidence, but then missed the catcher by inches.
Without a doubt, Flying Trapeze is a full body exercise. I was sore and bruised for a full week after the class, but I have not let that deter me. I am all signed up to go back again next month, ready and determined to successfully complete the heels off catch!