As an adventure/travel blogger, I’ve been able to do so many amazing and unique activities. From skydiving to swimming with great white sharks, the last five years of my life have been one hell of a ride. People assume because I love adventure that I don’t get nervous. They also assume that I’m capable of extreme sports and activities just because I’m willing to try them but that’s not always the case. On Saturday, I took a trapeze lesson with SwingIt Trapeze in Anaheim and I was both nervous and newbie but I had an amazing time giving it a try. Regardless of my ability, when I give something my all, I’m always happy with the results.
I booked the two-hour SwingIt Trapeze beginner lesson and a friend, Brenda, joined me for an afternoon of adventure. As we drove up to Anaheim, Brenda told me how scared she was to get on the platform. She’s afraid of heights and this was a big leap for her. I worried that she wouldn’t enjoy herself and even questioned inviting her. She’s so laid-back though that I figured even if she hated the experience, we’d still have fun together.
When we arrived, the lead SwingIt Trapeze instructor was calming and reassuring. We were given instructions on a training bar before heading up to steps to the actual platform. Brenda is extremely physically fit and she dominated on the practice bar. I knew if she could get over her fear of heights, she’d be awesome at trapeze. While I don’t have a fear of heights and I love jumping off of anything and everything I can, I worried about my physical fitness. Getting my legs over the bar would be a challenge but I’d worry about that when the time came.
There were five people in our group and Brenda was up first. She climbed the steps and walked onto the platform. Once she was hooked in, she had to put her toes over the edge and reach for the bar. I could see that she was stalling and I held my breath in anticipation. This was the hardest part. She yelled down, “I can’t do it. I’m going to come down.” I wasn’t sure if I should encourage her or say it was fine to come down but I chose gentle encouragement.
She took the leap. We weren’t expected to try any stunts on the first jump. The instructor asked her to swing her legs back and forth three times before leaning back and landing on the net.
When Brenda put her feet on the ground, she was shacking so badly I thought we were going to go home before I even had a chance but not only did she want to stay, but she was excited to get back up there. I tried to keep my grin to a minimum but I couldn’t help but feel proud. I don’t think she would have booked this experience on her own and now she was loving it.
I climbed the stairs with ease when it was my turn and when I put my feet on the edge, I could feel my heart racing. I wasn’t going to back out; those adrenaline-filled moments are what I love most. It’s never that I’m unafraid. I’m afraid but I love the fear. Is that bizarre? I don’t want the kind of fear where I’m worried about my family or my life, but the good fear before a great adventure is indescribable.
I focused on the trainer’s voice and did exactly what she asked. I, too, was shaking when I finished my turn but I could have run back up the steps and gone a dozen times because I was so full of adrenaline. I loved it! I wanted more and more and more.
On the second and third turn, we practiced back flips off of the bar. My hands were already starting to hurt but I pushed through it because it was worth it and it would be worth hours or even days of pain. I felt accomplished and capable.
It was time for more instruction. We were going to try and hang upside down from the bar and we needed to understand the timing before we tried it for ourselves.
Brenda nailed it on the first try. She seemed confident and made it look easy. I could do this… right? But I didn’t get the timing on the first attempt and my hands slipped off the bar on the second attempt. By the third attempt, I was tired and my hands were hurting. I gave it everything I had. I focused. I jumped. I waited and listened for the instructor’s voice. I pulled with all of my energy and effort, but I didn’t get it. And I was ok with that. It wasn’t about being the best; it was about trying something new and trying my best. I was happy.
Not only did Brenda hang upside down, but she managed to do a hand grab where she hung upside down from the bar and reached for the hands of one of the trainers. He grabbed her and she let go of the bar with her legs to swing from his hands. I was yelling and clapping with excitement. What an accomplishment on the first lesson. She continues to impress me. I always try to surround myself with positive people who push their limits and Brenda is a great example of that drive and passion.
We had so much fun together that we’re already planning our next high flying adventure in California with Skull Canyon Zipline. We can only hope for equally fantastic instruction and support that we received from SwingIt trapeze.
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