I consider myself a truly tough chick. I've been known to jump out of airplanes with just a few days notice. I've traveled to destinations most people have never heard of, and somehow survived food poisoning in India. There was even that one incident where I was rushed to the ER for third-degree burn on my hand and I sat there laughing like a maniac only to be told that this was NOT a normal response to pain, Rosanne. When I agreed to find out what Trapeze School is like less than 24 hours before the lesson was happening, I thought I had this in the bag. I underestimated exactly how excruciatingly terrifying it would be to lean over a net, strapped only into a tiny harness, your entire life held together by a small woman behind you on the platform, staring the freaking Freedom Tower in the face, and reaching for a bar you would hold onto for dear life. Kids, this is nothing like schoolyard monkey bars. You will, however, end up with the same bruised knees.
Anyone who's tried trapeze before, or works for the circus, knows exactly what I'm talking about. For the rest of you, let me explain. Here's the emotional roller coaster you will board, with your life flashing before your eyes, the minute you agree to head to Trapeze School...
1. How'd you guys know I'd soooo be down for trapeze? This sounds freaking awesome and I'm a badass.
You'll still be a badass 24 hours later. Just a scared badass.
2. I never was that into the circus, but flight is most definitely the superpower I've always wanted.
3. All this ground training where I have to pop my hips out and stretch my arms in front of me totally makes me look like Rose from Titanic.
4. Rose, don't fall on your face. You're still on the freaking ground.
5. I'm going to look like a flying ballerina up there when I complete all these tricks. I'm going to try so hard to point my toes and stick the landing.
6. It wasn't until I took a second look at these nets and that platform that I realized I actually do have a ridiculous fear of heights.
7. I'm definitely not volunteering to go first, but somewhere in the middle of the pack seems safe enough. It's safest to know at least two of my friends will survive this first.
8. My turn. So I clip the orange carabiner to my right. Blue on the left. This trapeze stuff is so easy.
9. I'm only halfway up this ladder and I'm legitimately having a panic attack.
10. I made it onto the platform which means I've basically summited Everest. Win!
11. I know we practiced the whole hips out, stretching into thin air thing on the ground, but this is the most unnatural and terrifying thing I've ever done in my life. It's more like THIS Rose from Titanic.
12. I have never been more in tune with my shitty genetics. There is NO way I'm reaching that bar.
13. I am dangling over a platform with a death grip on the heaviest bar I've ever held in my life. Thank god all my applications for Real World/Road Rules Challenge got denied.
14. Please God let me black out now. WHY IS HE YELLING READY? I AM NOT READY.
15. WHY DID I EVER BELIEVE I COULD FLY?
(For the next 35-50 seconds you will black everything out. Your body will go into survival mode. You won't know how or why you listened to the guy calling commands from the ground. You will get your legs over the bar. You'll let you go and swing freely in the air and you'll somehow grab the bar again.)
16. I am letting go of this bar which means this is 5 seconds from being over. This is the same "coming to" feeling I experienced when I fainted and dropped to the floor that time...
17. Since I blacked out, I have no idea what happened. But there's video so my body really did just do all that stuff the instructor told me to.
18. On second thought, I look a lot less like a graceful ballerina up there and more like a flying squirrel.
19. The second attempt at this is going to be easier than the first.
20. Crippling ladder fear is a REAL THING and IT JUST SET IN. Remember?
21. Why does this get scarier EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I volunteer to do this?
22. Is this instructor super sexy? Or is this just a weird reaction to the fear pulsing through my body right now?
23. Holy shit. I'm still alive and I haven't even broken anything.
24. (For the next 24 hours) I can't wipe this smug look off my face because I punched fear in the face up on that platform. I didn't necessarily win, but, hey, at least I got up there.
25. Oh you guys want to learn flying trapeze too? It's the scariest thing I've ever done in my life but, yeah, I'm down.
And if you'd rather learn about trapeze by watching instead of listening to me, check this video out:
Images: m01229/Flickr; Rosanne Salvatore (3); Giphy (8)