“Who wants to go first!” yelled an almost too enthusiastic instructor. We looked around the group, each one of us simultaneously thinking ‘don’t make eye-contact with him – he won’t pick you’.
During my time in New York last summer, I was persuaded – be it a little bribed – to take a trapeze lesson at the New York Trapeze School. The next thing I knew, there I was, 25 feet up in the air with just a girl half my size holding me up. “Don’t forget to smile at the camera before you jump!” she exclaimed. “Kind of trying hard not to fall over the edge right now,” I mumbled under my breath, but turned to the side anyway; capturing what can only be described as a face of pure panic and one only a mother could love.
This wasn’t my typical Sunday afternoon activity. I’m British, I shouldn’t be attempting to be the next Carrie Bradshaw, I should have been down the local, pint in hand and watching England lose in the Euros.
From the platform I could see my brother-in-law below, holding three different camera phones towards me as he also FaceTimed my mum. “Isn’t technology amazing?” the girl behind me enthused as she clipped me into the safety harness. Sure, I thought, as I shuffled over the edge, now the other side of the world can see me fall flat on my face.
“Ready. Hep!” And then I was gone. Swinging through the air attached to a bar whilst a rather impatient instructor yelled commands from the ground. “Knees up! Arms off! Arms up! Legs off! Back flip!” Gees, talk about a drill sergeant.
Admittedly, whilst in the air you do get a fantastic view of downtown. Of course it tends to look a little different when upside-down, 25 feet in the air and neck bent backwards – but you get the idea.
After landing less than gracefully, and doing the crawl-walk-bounce combination off the net, I was back on the ground, complete with jelly legs, blistered hands and one thought – pub anyone?