Tourist In My Town | You don’t have to run away to join the Circus

I must have driven past Circus Arts at the side of the M1 a thousand times, always thinking “I really must give that a go.” Then one sunny Sunday afternoon I finally got around to it. I was going to take a trapeze lesson. Not being the most coordinated of people I had little to no expectation in terms of results, but as the saying goes, you should try everything once apart from incest and folk dancing.

As Izzie, our friendly instructor for the afternoon, explained how everything worked and gave us a quick on-the-ground demonstration, the rest of the team prepared the trapeze. To start with we were going to swing off the platform, put our legs over the bar and swing upside down before letting go and landing in the springy net below. Wearing a safety harness and not being scared of heights, I was more excited than nervous, unlike some of my fellow learners. As I climbed to the top of the platform and had to reach out to the trapeze bar I did have a sudden moment of apprehension. I’m not sure if it was trusting the instructor not to let go of me or fear of the unknown. But I quickly put it aside, grabbed the bar and prepared for my first trapeze attempt.

The feeling of swinging through the air was amazing.  I was genuinely surprised when the instructor called out what to do from below and my body just sort of followed the instructions without thinking, and before I knew it I was swinging upside down by my legs, all uneasiness forgotten.

Exhilarated from my first attempt I joined Izzie and the rest of the class for our next lesson, the back flip. He made it sound simple, but I didn’t imagine it was going to be once you got up there. To my surprise once again my body just seemed to know what to do, I didn’t think too much about it I just followed the instructors’ calls and flipped, somewhat gracefully, off the trapeze.

For the last go of the day we were going to learn to be caught by the instructor while he swung on the opposing trapeze. This would involve good timing and coordination, neither of which I’m well known for. Again giving it a go I really surprised myself as I swing upside down by my legs arched back, stretched out my arms and managed to grab onto Izzie and let go with my legs at the same time flying through the air with nothing but another person (and a safety harness!) holding me up.  Watch the video.

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