On Sunday, for a dear friend's bachelorette party, we went to Trapeze Arts in Oakland for some crazy good fun.
We started off harmlessly enough - a long round of stretches on the ground. The instructors were very patient and moved us slowly but surely from one thing to another. They had us first practice hanging from our knees on a stationary trapeze, very close to the ground. Then, they had us practice our takeoffs, but on the ground. Takeoff posture is very important to ensuring a good launch.
Then, the platform. 40 feet in the air! This is where I got really nervous. I don't know if you remember having to jump from the high dive during swimming lessons as a kid, but that terror--it was exactly the same. Even with the net, and the safety ropes, and the assurance that Jake would let us down easy if we landed incorrectly (which I did--multiple times) instead of letting us "eat it" facedown on the net. We practiced swinging, bringing our legs up, hanging by our knees, arching our backs, and finally landing on our backs.
I sat out the second trick (simple backflip) - the first two runs really shook me up. But I did the last trick, the "catch," where Hans, this beefy guy who has probably been trapezing for decades, swung on another trapeze and caught us as we arched our backs and held our hands outstretched.
If you're looking for a thrill but haven't quite worked up the nerve to go bungee jumping, sky-diving, or base-jumping...trapezing may be a fun and ALMOST TOTALLY SAFE alternative for you.
Below, there's 1) a video of the bachelorette backflipping like a pro, 2) Jake showing us how flying trapeze is really done, and 3), me doing the catch, though you have to fast-forward to 0:51 because there is a lot of downtime at the beginning of the vid.