It’s about time I give you a full trapeze update! As you know, I went through a crappy spell when I just wasn’t improving that much at all. To be honest, I was doing pretty bad. And most days I left the rig, I was disappointed and discouraged. Am I just not cut out for this? I’ve wanted to do this my whole life, I thought I’d excel at it! Be the best trapeze artist they’ve ever seen (albeit, not limber in the least), I would impress them all with my natural ability. And I was just failing left and right. Should I quit? Give up? Move on with my life? I couldn’t bring myself to do that, I loved it way too much. The more bruises and bumps and shoulder pains the better. Our bodies are meant to work hard like this, and it feels so good to be using it to the full. And doing flips is pretty awesome too. Besides, no one is good at something when they first start learning it! I needed to keep pushing myself. Quitting gets you nowhere. It’s not an option.
So I kept at it. Two days a week I make the trek out to the rig, don my black ballet slippers, wrap those homemade wraps around my wrists to protect my already blistered hands from ripping further, and climb up that ladder and jump off that platform over and over again. And one day…I did everything right.
I had been working on a turn around with a push away. That means you jump off the platform facing forward, when you get to the other side of the rig you turn around on the bar, so you’re facing the platform, extend your legs up and over the platform, then when you swing back to the other side, you do a back flip to the net. Eventually when I can swing a bit higher, instead of extending my legs over the platform, I’ll let go of the bar and land on the platform. That’s the whole point of the trick. There was a couple other girls working on the same trick, and Dave was having them just do a back drop to the net. But he specifically instructed me to do a back flip (aka push away). It’s not the first time he’s had me do the more complicated tricks. I think he sees my potential and passion, and wants to push me further. He knows I have it in me (at least, that’s what I tell myself, ha!).
So! I’ve been working on that trick for a few weeks, then finally something clicked and my turn around portion is much cleaner, I’m getting higher on the board each time, and my push aways are flawless. I’m getting yells from Dave like “pretty!” “That was in your top 3!” Then finally last night, “you know, you could do that out of lines”. Out of lines! Yes!
I have not done that trick out of lines yet. But just last week I did do my first trick out of safety lines. Knee hang with back flip to the net, then also to the catcher. Just out of the blue Chris said “Do a knee hang out of lines off the second riser, we’re going to catch that tonight.” Second riser?! Guys, I haven’t used the riser before, it’s always scared me. It bumps you up two-three feet higher than the platform. You use it so you get a higher swing, which was necessary if I’m going to a catcher without safety lines to boost me higher if needed. So I marched on up there and nailed it, complete with back flip, about six times. I was so proud of myself! Dave said it was beautiful and perfect. Unfortunately I don’t have a video of that to show you. But I do have a video of me doing splits out of lines for the first time last night! Complete with a little twist at the end so I land in the net on my back, not my face. (warning, grainy video ahead!)
I now hate safety lines. They hold me back. They get in my way, they slow me down. I used to never want to do tricks without lines, I needed their comfort. But now I just can’t wait to do tricks out of lines.
I still need to work on my form. I stretch every day, but progress has been slow! I’m working on being more flexible, keeping my toes pointed and my body tight. Legs straight as an arrow, never bending my knees. If you saw my very bent knees in the video, you’ll see why I need to improve on that.
When I left last night, Dave said I’m improving much faster than most people, and it’s been really fun to watch me. There have been a number of people that haven’t seen me fly in a few weeks, and they’re shocked at how much I’ve improved. So, maybe I really am meant to be a trapeze artist, just like I always knew in my heart! Or maybe I’ve just had a great couple weeks and I’ll continue to suck next week. Whatever it is, I’m not going to give up. I’ll be flying for a very long time.