Returned to the Bar!

After more than 4 months away from the flying trapeze, I was somewhat apprehensive about flying again. What if I had to start from scratch again, and slowly rebuild my swing, turnaround swing, and my paltry bag of tricks? As it were, I hadn’t made much progress last year, and the prospect of another disappointing season made me weary.

But the session turned out better than I expected. 🙂 I worked on the swing and turnaround swing for most of the class, and I felt strong and good. Did a couple of layouts – broke a little too early on the first attempt, and pushed down too hard on the release the second. But still decent all things considered…

Then it was catch time. Brian clearly had more confidence in me than I had myself. You’ll get that return bar tonight, he promised. The first catch was practice – I gave him a good, solid push off his arms before I turned, and got a lot of air. But my legs somehow ended in front of me again, and would surely have smacked the return bar had Birgit thrown it.

Then the second attempt. This was it – last chance for the evening. I pushed all thoughts of the return bar out of my mind, and focused on the mechanics of the trick.

Lista! I yelled out, above the din of the gymnasium, where gymnasts were bounding off mats to the right of our trapeze net, and basketballers were shooting hoops on the other.

Brian started swinging on his catch trap. As he moved into his catch lock, he called out, Ready…hup! I leapt off the platform in a “seven” position, with my hips thrust out and feet pointed out in front of me. As we passed the bottom arc of the swing, I swept my legs back behind me to force out at the apex.

As I arced back towards the platform again, I swung my right leg up and above me, to the front of the trapeze bar. Thus suspended upside down by my hands, I arched my back to get my legs into a split.

The trapeze pendulumed forward again, and I waited until I saw Brian’s outstretched hands and heard his call, hup!, when I released the bar. Our hands founds arms, and grasped on tightly. As commanded, I kept my body stiff and straight till we swung into the top of the swing apron-side of the net, then hollowed out and kicked back hard to up the backwards swing momentum.

We were now swinging back towards the platform. I thrust my hips out into the “seven” position, making sure my legs stayed in front of me, and pushed forcefully off Brian’s arms. And turned.

And my open palms smacked neatly into the return bar that Birgit had thrown out to me! I was so stunned, my mouth was open in a silent cry until the others burst out cheering that I found my own voice. Couldn’t believe I had the bar in my grasp – I hadn’t even seen it flying toward me! 🙂

Yippee! After having tried for sooooo many months, it felt so surreal!

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