I’m a Swinger

2 Jul

Sometime around when I turned 30, I made a commitment to myself that each year for my birthday I’d do something wild and crazy that would push my limits and remind myself that I’m not as much of a wimp as I thought I was.

At 30, that was skydiving.

At 31, I went surfing.

And at 32, I decided to take a trapeze lesson.

One year later (yes, I was a little delayed), I finally got around to taking the lesson. On Saturday, Pyles and I signed up for a class at Jordan’s Furniture in Reading, where Trapeze School New York has a whole operation set up.

I was pretty excited for this, having watched the videos on TSNY’s site that made it look pretty easy (of course they do).

But I know I’m not the most limber or svelte of people, and I suppose my first heads up that I would have trouble was TSNY’s weight limit of 205 pounds, which I’m not so far off from.

That was gonna make doing any sort of tricks — even basic ones, like hanging upside down — more of a challenge.

Still, I psyched myself up, and after a little bit of training on the ground, I was ready to climb the stairs 35 feet to the platform.

You know, when you’re dangling your feet over the edge of a metal frame reaching out to grab a trapeze bar that’s a foot or two away, and you’re trying to properly distribute your weight, and the only thing holding you back is a guy lighter than you holding onto a strap on your safety harness — well, that’s kinda scary. (Scarier, even, than skydiving, I thought.)

And when the guy tells you to just jump, even though he’s still holding on to you, well, that’s kind of confusing.

So suffice it to say, I was pretty freaked out when it was time for my first try.

But off I went, swinging back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Gliding through the air with the greatest of ease, the Amazing Martino on the flying trapeze.

Whee! Look out below!

Alright, it wasn’t nearly as graceful as that, as the video Barry took demonstrated (you can watch it below). It was more like watching a boulder — or a bag of concrete, as my buddy JPP told me (thanks, John) — swinging from side to side.

And while it got a little easier with each successive swing, I was never quite comfortable enough to do anything more than swinging, despite encouragement and assistance from the instructors, who were some pretty nice (and really patient) guys.

At one point, a 10-year-old girl in our class tried to correct me on what I may have been doing wrong, and that didn’t really make me feel any better. (Gee, thanks, you little smart ass.)

So, after three attempts, I decided I was never meant for such an activity and I stopped trying to make it work.

But I have no shame about it at all.

Really.

I may write in a self-deprecating style here, but that’s only to emphasize the absurdity of what I was doing. After all, three times swinging on a trapeze is more than I thought I’d ever do in my life, and while I don’t think I’ll ever do it again (unlike skydiving, which I still do want to try again), I can say that I have done it.

And if nothing else, it made for a good story.

Was it fun? I don’t know about that. But it was worth it.

As for Pyles, well, she put her legs up on the bar, was caught by another instructor, and looked really great up there.

Good for Pyles! (For more of Barry’s pictures, click here. Thanks, Barry!)

To celebrate my 33rd birthday, I’ve decided to do something a little less physical but no less exciting — buying real estate. Which means, stay tuned for my 34th birthday.

Who knows what I’ll do next.

(BTW, “Jump” was actually playing in the background when I, um, jumped. It was nothing more than a coincidence, not something I planned. That said, how perfect is that??)

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3 Responses to “I’m a Swinger”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Curiosity Killed My Appetite « Martin's Musings - March 18, 2012

    […] example, I’ve seen the Grateful Dead live in concert, I’ve taken a trapeze lesson, I’ve hiked Tuckerman Ravine, and I’ve gone […]

  2. High Wire « Martin's Musings - June 15, 2012

    […] fancy myself a bit of a daredevil, having gone skydiving and taken trapeze lessons, and even though I completely respect Petit for his accomplishment, you’ll be happy to know […]

  3. Do It Again? | Martin's Musings - October 3, 2015

    […] to get right back into the plane and do it again, time has tempered that excitement (my experience taking trapeze lessons did […]

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