Hey Besties! A few weeks back I wrote a post about “Being a Kid Again” and it listed a couple cool activities that would reacquaint you with your inner child. The flying trapeze was one of those activities. This past weekend, my friends and I decided to try it at the New York Trapeze School in DC at the Navy Yard. When we first arrived I was so excited, despite signing the waiver that basically said “IF YOU DIE, IT’S NOT OUR FAULT BECAUSE WE WARNED YOU”, I was still super pumped! Then our instructor started to run down the million things we have to do when we are "all the way up" in the air, the things we shouldn’t do, be aware of our form, remember how to land so we don’t break anything and don’t walk under the nets. Honestly by the end of the tutorial my head was spinning. Then our instructor says, “Don’t worry if you forget everything I said, just follow instructions as we go along”. What?! As we go along? Just go with the flow huh?
That’s when I realized that this was going to be an extremely unique experience. But it wasn’t until our class concluded that a light bulb went off! Every technique or critique we were given was a concept that could be applied to life. In a way, the flying trapeze was a kind of therapy that provided life’s lessons.
Lesson 1: Learn To Trust - While on the platform, an instructor is there to do a couple things: make sure you are harnessed properly and to hold you so you don’t fall before its time to leap. When you are on the platform you have to put your feet on the very edge, push your hips forward and grab the bar. The bar is very heavy and can easily pull you off the platform. You have to trust that the instructor is holding you, although you can’t see him and you don’t feel him, trust he has you. You have people in your life that have your best interest at heart, trust them.
Lesson 2: Stop Thinking So Much – All the instructors reminded me that I shouldn’t think about or try to anticipate anything because I will get nervous, freeze up and hesitate. When all this happens you lose the fluidity of the “trick”. For me, when it comes to life, I tend to over think, and try to make everything run perfectly. As a result, I end up stressing myself out and missing out on a beautiful experience in that moment. No good!
Lesson 3: Trust the Process – Every time I went on the platform we added a new move to the “trick”. There was a reason for every move. Another instructor had us practicing “little kicks” mid –air. I kept wondering, “Why little kicks and not big kicks”? It’s because this trick is like a ballet, very delicate, when your moves are delicate your routine will be smooth, effortless and you float much better and then your FLIP in mid-air is much easier. Like life, there is a reason for every experience you have and you just have to let it run its course. The lesson will be revealed to you!
Lesson 4: Let Go! – I couldn’t control what moves the instructor below was going to call out, I just had to listen and respond. So when I “let go" of all my thoughts and just listened to the instructor below, I wasn’t nervous, I didn’t try to anticipate anything, I just went with the flow and my "trick” was perfection! And so much fun! In therapy, that is what I am working on. Letting go and let the chips fall where they may. I have found that the only thing I can control is me, when I let go, life tends to work itself out, ALL THE TIME!
Lesson 5: It Will All Come Together! – The big finish! “The catch”! The thought of someone on the other side catching me shocked me and I put more pressure on myself to get it right the first time. As a result, I failed twice! So the third and final attempt, I had to shake it off and pull it together. Keep in mind the lessons that all the instructors have given me. Learn to trust, stop thinking so much, trust the process, and let go! Do you know what happened next? I completed a “catch”!!!!! YAY! In life, we are going to fail, probably more often than we succeed but it’s imperative that you shake it off and make things happens! Shake that ISH off!
At the end of the day it’s all about enjoying life! You are supposed to laugh at yourself, challenge yourself, push yourself beyond your comfort zone and not let failure hinder your growth. So who wants to try high flying trapeze? If you are in “the Chi” check out, TSNY Chicago , 3158 Lakefront Trail, Chicago, IL 60657. They have other locations, so check in a city near you!
Enjoy the Journey,