Manhattan Holistic Chamber of Commerce President Michele Risa

Trapeze…fun or fear?

Flying High!

Flying High!

Though usually my birthday celebrations with my friend, Frank, are movie and dinner, this year I didn’t want to sit and celebrate like an adult, but play more like a kid.  It began with bowling, then deep, deep massage, and then…trapeze!

Flying trapeze has been on my list for a long time and having committed to putting more fun in my life, it was time.

So shortly after practicing on the ground, I was climbing up the ladder to the trapeze.  Along came lots of surprises.  First: the ladder suddenly felt more and more narrow as the ladder’s angle felt straighter and straighter UP.  With each step, I heard my mind say, “Are you crazy?”  But then another voice said, “Don’t listen.  I haven’t even begun.”

As I finally reached the platform (which now felt like the size of a postage stamp), I gripped tightly to a second ladder.  I was instructed to wrap my 10 toes over the edge, push my hips forward and grab the trapeze, as had been practiced below.  I tried not to listen to all the objections in my mind.  Next, at the sound of “Ready,” I went from straight legs to bent knees.  Finally I heard the instruction, “HIP” which meant to jump off the platform, two feet together.  My body wouldn’t move.  After a couple of more false starts, I figured out what to do- stop listening to my fears!

So I jumped…and was delighted to feel the bar hold me after what seemed like a free fall, albeit short one.  “WOW, I did it!” I said to myself, smiling.

But before I could relish that accomplishment for more than a few seconds, I was instructed to put my legs around the bar.  “OK, I can do this,”  I thought.  But then the word “Ready,” was sounded, followed by “HIP” which meant to let go of my hands and hang upside down.

Yes, you guessed it.  Old frozen returned.  “Trust, trust,” my mind said.  I let go of the bar and hung upside down.  Another smile crept onto my face, as I heard, “I did it! I did it!”Upside Down

Next, of course, was getting down.  Which meant letting go and falling into the net below.  I was in a dilemma- staying up there was getting tiring, but letting go was horrifying.  Thank goodness the instructor was encouraging and confident, or else I’d probably still be swinging.

Once on the ground, I felt like superman…having overcome obstacles, resistance, and doubt.

I felt GREAT…felt super confident…felt super proud of myself…

Until I was asked to do it all again!

Which I did…as each time got easier and easier…as my confidence grew stronger and stronger.

“Why do this?” you may ask.

Because for me, it’s all about moving beyond my limitations…EXPANDING what feels comfortable…or as my teacher, Yogi Bhajan suggested, “getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.”  Whenever I do, I feel limitless…enjoy more and more of what life offers…and feel “READY” to “HIP” my next goal and dreams.

A suggestion: When the next challenge comes along, turn off the old tapes and see it for what else it is offering…as an opportunity to have fun and overcome fears…or as they say in trapeze…to “Ready” & “Hip.”

Would love to hear your thoughts!

10 Responses to Trapeze…fun or fear?

  • Sounds good and why not? If that’s what you want, you did right to go for it. This summer I went dirt bike riding and water jet skiing for the first time. It was a lot of fun and made feel like a kid again.

    Some New Yorkers work too much and forget about enjoying themselves. One should make the most out of the recession and go back to the basics, good times and new experiences

  • Michele,
    This is a GREAT story! Thank you for the reminder of how important it is to play and have fun! Children do this all the time, no matter what activity they are doing. Last February, I had a very similar experience when I decided to have a go at downhill skiing for the first time. My fear was gently and lovingly met by another presence — that reassured me that all is well, I can do this, it’s really fun, don’t worry, etc. Lo and behold — it WAS very fun. A lot of the lessons I learned that day have carried thru in many ways this year, as I’ve stepped into a bigger game.

    Trapeze has been on my list for a few years. . . but I’ve been too afraid! Funny. 😉

  • Dear Walter,
    Sage advice…the basics, good times and new experiences! Wonderful.

    Well, with dirt bike riding and water jet skiing, it sounds like you’ve been walking your talk and having a great time. (Both sound great and will put them on my list.)

    Very happy to hear your voice…thanks for sharing.

    Wishing you continued joy and celebration,

  • Dear Julie,
    Yes…your downhill skiing experience sounds just like my gift from trapeze!
    (So you know you can Trapeze if you decide to.)

    Wishing you a fun-filled holiday,

  • This is awesome. I’m glad you have the courage to fight those fears :)
    Thank you for sharing

  • got your email and saw the subject, thought of le trapeze, the swing club, happy bday!

  • “Feel comfortable with uncomfortable”? wow… ok! YES, i can do it! Thanks for sharing the story.

  • I just re-read your post about your trapeze experience, and can relate to it, having done Tony Robbins’ Mastery program in August of 1992, including the 50′ power pole.

    We are capable of so much, and clearly can benefit from coaching, and encouragement. I think in terms of co-creating. As you said to me several months, we benefit from coming together in ‘community’, that the days of the ‘lone ranger’ are past.

    So, I say to all, let’s co-create peace, abundance, vibrant health for all.

  • Beautiful article. Everyone should push their boundaries of fear and challenge themselves. Doing this helps us grow in indirect ways.

  • Wow! You are indeed young at heart (and in mind, body and spirit) — an inspiration to all of us.

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