April Fools: Don't Let Anyone Fool Ya, Trapeze Is Harder Than It Looks!

Photos by Heidi Ryder

Photos by Heidi Ryder

I thought April Fool’s day would be the perfect day to share the time me and my best friend (and The Happy Place co-founder), Kate, FOOLED ourselves into thinking we could tackle the trapeze as elegantly as Zendaya did in ‘The Greatest Showman’. I mean, we should have known those were some impossible shoes to fill, but she made it look so easy and magical!

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We started our class with our incredibly patient instructors giving us a quick rundown of the basic movements. Toes over platform, grab the bar with one hand, then the second, then a quick bend of the knee, a hop, and off you go! I thought to myself ‘ok, that seems easy enough!’.

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I quickly volunteered Kate to go first because I’m generous like that! Ha! And off she went!

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She climbed the ladder like a spider monkey, hit all of the moves from the tutorial...

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and soared through the sky, toes pointed and all!!!

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She did look insanely relieved to have made it through alive, but she made it look so easy I thought ‘I got this!’

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Then all eyes were on me. I’m not going to lie, I really wanted to run for the hills. But I ascended the ladder and went for it.

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I should have started this entire story by revealing my deep, deep fear of heights. I know I was strapped in and completely safe, but our brains are very powerful things and mine was running scared! The sweet instructor on the platform gave me some words of encouragement and got me into position. I choked back my tears and reached one hand for the bar and then the next. I was ready for to take flight!

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And off I went! The view was spectacular and what was probably a 20 second experience felt like a lifetime!

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I reminded my abdominal muscles they were still strong and capable of carrying me through and hooked my legs onto the bar.

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This was it! I reached ‘gracefully’ for my Zendaya floating towards Zac Efron moment and I felt a surge of pride fill my body. I did it!!! I don’t know that I nailed the exact movie moment because I don’t remember Zendaya’s nose running and there was definitely no drool coming out of her mouth. But I felt like a rockstar and was really proud!

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I was also really, really happy to be on the ground again. But I DID make a couple more attempts to work on some technical notes the instructors gave me. Each time thinking it would be less scary, but that wasn’t the case. I was properly terrified each trip but also insanely aware of how powerful our ability is to psych ourselves in or out of things. I pride myself in my ‘cup half full’ way of life, but I realized I rarely choose to push myself outside of my comfort zone.

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I may never be able to join Cirque du Soleil, but I feel pretty proud that I pushed myself to know the feeling of soaring through the air and relying on every muscle in my body as I tried something new. I also came away with a better understanding of how easy it is to limit yourself with our thoughts. It felt good to push through that and it has crossed my mind many times since then that sometimes we just need to take a leap of faith. 

This month at The Happy Place we are going to celebrate our ‘best selves’. Are we kicking bad habits? Navigating huge life changes? Trying to get more active? What does the idea of your best self look like??? I will be sharing some of the ways I am working on this. And getting out of my comfort zone is a huge part of this.

Now I’m off to find my next adventure! Wanna help me find it?? What should I try next? 

Xx,

Jo