Tuesday, October 31, 2006

You Want Me To Step Off What?

“I don’t feel well.” “I hurt my shoulder at the gym.” “I got stuck in traffic.” “I had to work late.” These were excuses I had running through my head last Friday as I schemed to get out of trapeze class. As I drove downtown in the pouring rain, the “reasoning” got lamer with each passing kilometer.

The idea of flying through the air with the greatest of ease was appealing - about 25 years ago. But as I pulled up outside the Toronto Academy of Circus Arts the fun factor faded and was quickly replaced with the fear factor.

The Boyfriend and Cell Phone Boy had both gone several weeks before along with Dolly and her two friends. They had all survived so I convinced myself that I would too. It must be safe or they would have gone out of business and I was sure there would be plenty of instruction.

“You climb the ladder, step onto the platform, grab the bar with one hand, Laura will hold your belt as you reach out with the other. You bunny hop off the edge and swing out. As you swing back, tuck your knees into your chest and hook your legs over the bar. Swinging forward, let go with your hands and arch your back. Reverse, and let go falling on your butt into the net. Who is first?” That, no joke, were the instructions, safety tips and all, that we got.

“I don’t about first, but you can put my name last.” I said. So I watched as the circus hopefuls climbed the ladder and did their dances in the sky. I started to get cold feet, quite literally – that concrete floor was freezing on my bare feet! – but when my name was called I stepped onto the aluminum tower of death and climbed. I dared not looked down on my ascent as I don’t do really well on extension ladders.

Once safely on the platform I said to Laura, “now that I am here, you are never going to get me off.” She laughed and said “There hasn’t been a man yet that I couldn’t get off.” I was shocked but at least she got a laugh out of me and took my mind off the bar; for about half a second anyway.

Quick as a tick, she had me locked into place and told me to reach out with my right hand and grab the bar. My left hand was still securely (read white knuckles) wrapped around the platform structure as I reached out. “Now, hips out, shoulders back and reach out with your left.” As she stuck her hand around the belt she added “don’t worry, I’ve got you.”

Now I know that the belt around my naturally petit Scarlett O’Hara sized waist made it look even smaller and that my 6’1” frame showcases my muscular 185 lb weight in a deceptively slender manner, but the girl weighs like 10 lbs! ‘You’ve got me?’ I thought. Just add “and I won’t let go” and we’ve got the makings of a Jack and Rose tête-à-tête from Titanic.

I promised not to scream. A girl who had gone beforehand had squealed like a cat getting dragged through a pool of dogs and I was embarrassed for her. I did however, let out, what I thought was, a very manly grunt. The Boyfriend and Cell Phone Boy concede that it started manly, but rapidly increased in pitch as my body swung out. And up.

Within seconds, orders were barked from below: “Now tuck your knees.” “Hook your legs over the bar.” “Release your hands.” “Grab the bar again.” “Kick out your legs and let go.” I don’t know how I did it, but I did all of those things.

Safely in the net I took a moment to compose myself. I thought back to my “do one thing everyday that scares you” rule and put a mental tick beside it for the day. I did it two more times - with a flip at the end even – and by the third time actually enjoyed it.

I may get to that sky diving yet!


Blogger With Love, Fat Girl said...

Well then. I'll bet you and Lancey look super sexy flying gracefully through the air.

But then, you already do that every night, no? Guffaw...

6:52 AM  
Blogger Callooh said...

this is the same guy who trained with the swat team??

1:14 PM  
Blogger Robert Mitchell L.L. said...

yes...but the SWAT team took a lot more care....these crazy people were like, "good then, off you go"...plus I had hot SWAT guys to give me mouth-to-mouth if I fell...this was a girl....yuck!

5:05 PM  
Blogger Lance Morrison said...

Good thing you did the SWAT thing when we were seperated... otherwise I would be really jelous right now... and you are innocently sleeping so I really would have the upper hand.

Hmmmmm... which of MY friend would help me move a body?

10:35 PM  

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