I’ve taken trapeze for seven weeks and in each class I find a new challenge. Pretty much everything I do in that class is a risk to my safety: I’m high in the air, with no harness, attempting to contort my body around a very thin bar and a tough set of ropes. Injuries are bound to happen.
We’ve done a trick for a few weeks now called Around-The-World. From standing, you wrap your foot around one of the ropes, grab on to that rope with both hands, then lift your other foot off the bar and allow your body to circle around the rope, ending by sitting on the bar. I’ve done the trick successfully several times, so I didn’t have any fear as I went into it.
As I began to circle around the rope, I felt like something was wrong, but at that point I could do nothing about it. I circled, hit the bar, and kept circling, falling all the way down to the ground. I stood up and casually said, “Well that hurt.” My classmates stood stunned; everyone was quiet as we all processed how close I came to being seriously hurt. Thankfully I was on the short bar, the one five feet in the air. If I were on the ten footer, my injuries would have been more severe I’m sure, but luckily I just had some serious rope burn on the side of my finger. It burned like hell through the next morning.
My teacher got up on the bar and demonstrated what I did wrong. It was so tiny that she had to think about it for a second to figure out what had happened. The foot that wraps around the rope needs to point directly down, straight at the ground. I had lifted mine up slightly, pointing it at the wall.
Apparently doing trapeze is really specific, so specific that the smallest of errors can have huge consequences. Is the universe trying to tell me something? Maybe. But maybe not. Maybe learning trapeze is just really freaking hard.