Saturday, May 18, 2013

Heels Off!

"A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work."

Recently, while learning my second trick at Trapeze School, I have come to realize something about myself. I have wanted to do this for a really long time. 

I remember the first time I went to the Circus at Utah Valley University (UVSC at the time). I was like 7 years old, and I was with my little sister and the neighbor girl across the street who had invited us to go along. Circus outings were a rare occasion in the valley, let alone in my family. My mom was thrilled that another parent was willing to cart her two youngest children around for the day. We went to the Mckay Events Center, parked, and as we walked up to the building we could see the elephants hanging out in the truck loading dock eating some hay. I was beyond amazed at the fact that there were just some random elephants chillin  outside in good old Orem Utah. We took our seats in the gym which was of course transformed into the Ringling brothers circus, we had excellent seats, and I gazed awestruck at the opening scene of the show.


I remember there was a family of trapeze artists, flying through the air, catching each other by their legs, swinging back and forth, and over each other. The youngest son flipped like 6 times before he caught his dad on the other side of the rig. So amazing. I not only experienced new and wild things that day, rode an elephant, and ate popcorn until my stomach burst, but I witnessed something that has stuck with me since then. I never really realized why I always remembered that circus day so much. I am a true believer that if you remember something, especially something so long ago, and so vividly, that its because you are meant to remember it.

Fast forward to last week and I am learning my newest trick. Well, the second trick that you learn at TSNY.

One of the things that I really like about this school, is that they take pictures of you while you are practicing. 

That way you can have a keepsake, or refer to them for future form corrections.
For example:

Also, the staff is really fun.
Everyone wants you to get better so that you can hang out with them on staff only fly classes. I can't wait until I am good enough to join Shawn here:

Until then I will keep on Practicing.

And practicing... 

and practicing.. 

Here is the trick that I learned last week.


Basically you put your heels on the bar, then flip backward in a backflip type motion towards the catcher. It seemed really complicated at first, but once I had practiced it a few times, I realized how much easier and quicker it was to learn than the Knee Hang trick.

This Trick is hard to master, the timing has to be just right, or you will miss the catcher.

But once you get it right, It looks pretty awesome!

This is a few days later after I had it down perfectly:

This week I started learning what is called "The Straddle". Its crazy hard for me, and I think it will take me a few times to get right.

Here is a preview:

Wish me luck!

Flying Trapeze Adventures

“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you're going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.” 

Recently I attended Natalia's IFW (Intensive Flying Workshop) show at the TSNY Gym. All of the students  gathered to show off their talents and hard work that they had put in over the last couple of months. Some of the tricks were awesome, some of them were pretty scary, but as a whole the event was really fun to watch.
Each show has a theme, and this time the group chose "Color Wheel".

Basically everyone wears a color, and plays a song associated with that color while they are performing their tricks. Natalia Chose gold, and appropriately chose Kanye's "Gold Digger" as her song. She was actually really worried that she wouldn't look as good or perform as well as the other flyers because she was considered the newbie. Um, you can definitely tell that this lady has experience in acrobatics.

There was a girl that decided to go all out and dye her hair pink, and use the pink panther theme song while she performed her tricks. She painted her face and wore a tail. Other then Natalia, she was my favorite.

Natalia and the kiddos.

Here is a summary video of the entire evening:

Jules Léotard.

Did you know that Jules Léotard invented the Trapeze? I had no idea until a month ago. They of course appropriately named all tight fitting spandex outfits after him. The first Trapeze was created over a swimming pool, which is clever in terms of safety and quite frankly I would love to fly through the air over water. Water and the Trapeze, two of my absolute favorite things in this world.

I have had a lot of people ask me what the heck has been going on, since I have been posting so many videos and pictures of me learning to fly, that I thought I would just do the usual and blog about it.

I work for an awesome, exercise addicted, type A, powerhouse of a mom. She is always looking for adventure, is A self proclaimed thrill seeker, Former Gymnast, competitive college diver for Stanford, and who knows what else. She has been doing flips and dives practically since birth, and has traveled to almost every continent on this planet, which gives her a vast cultural education, and imagination for adventure. If there was any person in the world that could motivate me to eat healthy and try new things, its her.

So of course, being who she is, and having a bucket list to try almost every form of exercise imaginable, I wasn't surprised when she came home one day and told me about her newest adventure.

The Flying Trapeze.

Natalia at the time had this goal to lose all of the baby weight she gained while having kids, which is all of 20 lbs. Her being a five foot four frame and already a physically fit person however, proved it to be harder to lose then she liked. She got bored of the usual 2 hour weight/sprint training and Pilates routine and wanted to branch out. She had tried silks already, and was excited to try the trapeze.

Of course, She became addicted.
The first thing she told me, was that it was way harder then it looks. Its a total body workout, and uses your core more than anything. She then showed me her raw, blister filled hands, and I knew right then it must be pretty hardcore. Two weeks later, she signed me up for her morning class. I was terrified. Here I am, 50lbs over weight, although I had already lost 25, I was hesitant to try anything as extreme as this, in fear that my body, my back, and my soul just wasn't strong enough.

I of course went anyway, and loved every second of it.

Natalia was right. Trapeze is HARD. I have so much respect for Circus performers, even though I already hold them pretty high, I mean, they do crazy amazing things!

The first time you attend a trapeze class, they show you the first trick. Its called the Knee Hang trick. Not only do you practice the trick again and again, but you learn how to do a backflip off of the bar, and the two hour long class has you actually catching the trick at the end. Its incredible.

Learning the basics of the Knee Hang, and my first catch attempt. I sadly didn't get a video of the second attempt which was successful.

Anytime you have to chalk your hands and arms up you know you are in for some serious work.

tight clothing and Long socks are the usual attire. I still need to get a legitimate Léo. Man I love that guy.

The school is called Trapeze School of New York, or TSNY. Since its in Chicago its called the TSNY in Chicago. The staff is amazing and fun, and I look forward to the class every week. You can take individual classes for about $60 bucks a class, or you can join an Intensive Flying Workshop which lasts a couple of months, is a lot cheeper, and at the end of it, there is a show that the school puts on as a way to show off what everyone has learned. Most of the time, those who become addicted end up training to be a teacher, so they can fly for free and save a crap load of money. Hopefully I will get to that point. Although once I inevitably move back to Utah there will be no more trapeze. So I am soaking it up while I can! The school also has other locations in DC, NY of course, and LA. I think there are a couple more but I'm not sure.

Hopefully I will be Flying through the air on a Trapeze forever, but who knows. Meanwhile if anyone wants to come with me, I strongly encourage it! Its a blast, and you burn some serious calories. The School has this saying that says, "Forget fear. worry about the addiction." True statement.