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Live Your Dreams on the Flying Trapeze

Sex and the City fans will surely know the episode when Carrie attempts the flying trapeze. Ever since I saw Carrie struggle with doing a catch, I’d always been inspired to step outside my comfort zone and try the trapeze one day. This past July, my dream of flying through the air with the greatest of ease became a reality.

“I could never! I have the most terrible fear of heights!” – Charlotte

“Well, I do not…you’ve seen my shoes.” – Carrie

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I’ve never been scared of heights. I enjoy roller coasters and I love an incredible view atop the highest skyscrapers. And not unlike Carrie Bradshaw, I live for my high heels. So I’m not quite sure what came over me when it was my turn to jump off the platform at TSNY Los Angeles.

The Trapeze School New York made its debut in the Big Apple in the summer of 2002. Shortly after, HBO featured the school in the popular Sex and the City episode “The Catch,” and the thrill-seeking phenomenon was born. It was only natural that the trend would hit the west coast, with TSNY Los Angeles opening an oceanfront facility on the Santa Monica Pier in 2008. With the beautiful Pacific Ocean on one side and the lively amusements of the pier all around, this is truly the perfect location.

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After a brief 15-minute training session on land, it was time for my first flight. All around me were kids and teens looking cool as cucumbers as they awaited their turn. I knew I had to hold it together, but deep inside my heart was racing. Although I did gymnastics as a kid, I was terrified of getting up on the rig and jumping off. The sounds of kids screaming on nearby rollercoasters rang in my ear, only making me more nervous. My heart was pounding out of my chest as I climbed the metal ladder. My hands started to sweat while my breath quickened. When I reached the top and looked at the world below, I knew there was no turning back. With the guidance of a TSNY instructor, I put both hands on the heavy trapeze bar. In between long, deep breaths to calm my nerves, I anxiously listened to the instructor as she held on to my harness. My body was positioned with my weight forward to grasp the bar and my toes over the edge of the platform. All I could think was if she let go of the harness, I’d fall. I was told to listen to her exact cues. When she says “Ready,” I’m to bend my knees, and when she says “Hep,” I’m supposed to jump forward with my two feet together and swing through the air.

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With the word “Ready” echoing in my ear, my mind suddenly went blank. When she said “Hep,” I completely froze. I shook my head apprehensively while the instructor said, “Why don’t we try that again. Take a deep breath, you’re going to do great.”

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Before I know it, I’m holding on to the bar with all might and flying through the air faster than I’d imagined. When I reach the end of my first swing, I feel the sensation of free falling as I fly back towards the platform. I unconsciously let out a huge scream, as I lift my legs through the bar to perform a knee hang. Success. Now I’m to let go of my hands and extend my arms to simulate a catch. Success, again. Everyone around me cheers as I release from the bar and fall to the net below. My body is already sore and I’m out of breath…but I’m addicted. I want to fly again and again, and perfect my form with every swing.

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After several practice flights that day, we end the class by attempting to do a catch. Only a few of us have received high enough praise from the instructors to try this release move; as I’m one of the four, I already feel a sense of accomplishment. But the challenge was before me, and I was more determined than ever to perfect this move.

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As I climbed the ladder for my final flight, I realized that all my fears from the start of class had disappeared. Once I learned to let go, I had the most fun that I’ve had in a long time. As it turns out, flying on the trapeze was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. Not only did I conquer my fears, but I lived one of my greatest dreams, and I had a hell of a time doing it!

Do you think I was able to complete the catch? Watch this video to find out!

“When you’re young, your whole life is about the pursuit of fun. Then, you grow up and learn to be cautious. You could break a bone or a heart. You look before you leap and sometimes you don’t leap at all because there’s not always someone there to catch you. And in life, there’s no safety net. When did it stop being fun and start being scary?” – Carrie Bradshaw

**Thanks to Blake Brody In-Studio Footwear for the best shoes for the flying trapeze! Not only are these adorable and comfortable flats great for barre and pilates, but they were perfect for my circus adventure with TSNY Los Angeles.  They provided incredible support and protected my feet from the safety net!

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