Saturday, November 22, 2008

The daring mom on the flying trapeze

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When I was offered the chance to try the flying trapeze at Club Med Punta Cana, I couldn't say no.

Back pain be damned! It's the first opportunity I've had to try this in my 40 years, if the next chance doesn't come until I'm 80, it will surely be too late.

As I climbed up halfway up the narrow wobbly metal ladder, I realized I'm maybe a wee bit scared of heights.

My heart was pounding by the time I made it up about 30 (50?) feet to the platform. I took a moment to assess the situation. It was like being nine months pregnant and facing the reality that there's just no painless way for the baby to come out.

Climbing back down the ladder was not an option.

And yet.

Looking down from the launch platform and reaching out to grab the trapeze bar (while a hunky assistant held my safety belt from behind and an athletic young woman on the ground held ropes that would keep me from falling) swinging my way down didn't seem like an option either.

My heart pounded faster. Breathe. Inhale. Exhale. I reminded myself.

I took in a gulp of air and listened for my hunky helper to call out the commands.


That was my cue to jump.

Only my feet were stuck to the board.

Deep breath. Eyes focus. Courage in its sticking place.

I jumped and start swinging through the air. Very fast. And very high up.

Holy sh*t!

I completed my arc and then started swinging back to the platform, which was even more terrifying.

I held onto the bar for dear life. My choices at that moment were limited.

Before climbing, I notified the support staff of my back problems and told them I wouldn't be attempting any fancy knee hangs and things. So there was nothing for me to do but grasp that bar with white knuckles and swing back and forth, back and forth.

"How you doing Kim? Are you ready to come down?" The ground crew asked.

"Uh-huh," I whimpered.

I'd seen how gently the ground crew lowered the other swingers. I knew beyond a doubt that they would control my landing. I knew I had nothing to fear but fear itself.

"Okay," the crew called. "I'll count to three and then you let go."


Nothing. My hands were superglued to the trapeze bar. I could not release my grip. As much as I wanted to get off, as much as I knew how safe the dismount was, I was stuck.

But only for another swing or two.

I eventually released my hands and landed gently on the safety net.

I did it!

Only, I did it with such fear that I wanted to go again. I didn't want to end the experience on such a wimpy note, so after settling my nerves, I climbed up the wobbly ladder once again.

And you know what? That second time was just as scary as the first, only I jumped off the platform without hesitation and had an easier time letting go of the bar for my final descent.

This flying trapeze thing? It's not for me.

But this mama did it. Twice. Chalk this up to a supposedly fun thing I'll never do again.


Sprite's Keeper said...

You go! Looks like fun from my VERY SAFE spot on the ground.

Amy Nathan said...

Good for you. I wouldn't do it. At least you have a new career to "fall" back on!

Marketing Mommy said...

I'm so jealous! It looks like so much fun! And not just because you're wearing shorts and palm trees are visible in the shot.

kristina said...

Kudos. What an experience. Sounds like fun ... of course I say that, and I would have been petrified.

jodifur said...

good for you. I never got on when I was at sandpiper.

Naomi said...

You are a WAY better sport than I am. For sure.

molly said...

oh my goodness! my favorite part was the dismount...1, 2, 3 go! "I can't!" You are much braver than me, Kim!! Way to go! :)

laughingatchaos said...

You rock! Something I think I'll add to my 40 before 40 list. Good for you!

WkSocMom said...

I'm impressed. Sounds like a ropes course I did. Never knew I had such a fear of heights until that terrible experience.

Betsy said...

Cool. Not exactly the backyard swingset, I gather. What's next? Skydiving?

Amber Page Writes said...

You're braver than me...good job!

Luann Abrams said...

I am mostly jealous of your atmosphere. Sunshine and palm trees! I was just under a big tent freezing!
Good for you for going again despite being scared. That is so hard!