A few weeks ago a friend offered me a spot at one of the Trapeze classes that you see as you drive up or down the West Side Highway. She knows I have ben on a quest to try new things and thought it had my name written al over it. Truth be told, I had no desire to actually do it but felt compelled to do so.
Let me start by say I do not love heights. I am not completely paralyzed by them but they are an issue for me. That said, I can force myself to ride a roller coaster. I have done several Spartan races where I climbed over the big 8 foot wall on my own. I usually can face that fear and overcome it. So, I decided to take the plunge so to speak.
It was NOT FOR ME! YIKES!
So, the trapeze is set up on top of a building. Heights on top of heights. There is a huge scary ladder. Oh and the weather was strange. At one point it was windy and lightening so they almost cancelled. Then it was back on. That would have all been fine if I wasn’t already freaked out but the false stop and start didn’t help matters.
Looking at the ladder gave me a lot of anxiety. It was so steep. However, I thought if I can just get to the top I will be fine. In my mind I really did not want to do it but I am not a quitter. So, I bribed myself mentally — just do it once and if it’s terrible you don’t have to go again.
I practiced on the ground a bit and then suddenly it was my turn. Climbing the ladder was horrifying to me. I went slowly with a lot of encouraging words from the absolutely awesome staff. I can’t begin to say how nice they were. I was truly petrified and they kept me calm and focused.
I made it to the platform and was rally shaken but I thought ok that’s the hard part. Boy was I wrong. What I didn’t take into account was that before you hold onto the bar and swing you have to hang your body off the platform held by the harness and the amazing young man who is there to help you.
I have thought a lot about this moment. In my mind I totally trusted him. However, my instincts would not let me do it. Usually when I am in these scary heights situations I have some level of control. Somehow, I couldn’t relinquish my control/fear because it just didn’t feel like the outcome was in my hands. That feeling of leaning all the way forward was just too scary.
I tried for a few minutes but I literally felt my hands shaking. Lucky I did not throw up. On top of that I knew others were waiting their turn so I started to think, “You have to move one way or another”. Ultimately, I just didn’t do it. I made the decision to climb back down.
Climbing down the huge ladder I had not one ounce of fear. The height was the same and yet it was no problem. The pressure was off. I knew in my heart I just didn’t want it bad enough to push myself into that seriously uncomfortable place.
And…that’s the thing about fear. It isn’t really rational. It’s not real. I had a harness on so I am guessing I would not have fallen to my death. Fear is the feeling we get when we don’t have control. The feeling of the unknown is scary.
So, I share this with you today for a few reasons. First, I like to let people know I am not perfect or good at everything – I’m just a person putting myself out there and trying. That’s all anyone can do and if I can inspire anyone to do the same I will feel like I have done my job.
Secondly, maybe you love heights and adventure. If so, this activity is so for you. The instructors are awesome and so encouraging. By the end of the first session you will be doing basic tricks and will definitely be soaring!! The truth is, even if you are feeling scared the chances of you completing the class are excellent. They are top notch at what they do and so encouraging!
Here is the scoop on trying it out:
Love and Light