In which I discover my badassitude.

Disclaimer: Yes, it’s a long post. But you know what? Read it anyway. It’s worth it. I mean, come on — there are videos!

My little sister (whom my family affectionately calls “Yam”) likes my blog…except when I write about food. How can like a blog where you dislike at least half of the posts? Beats me.

So, Yam, today I will write about something that you will like, because you’re my sister and I love you…even if you dislike over half of my posts.

Today, I am going to write about something awesome. You’ll like it.

Yesterday, I discovered something new about myself. Ready for it?

I’m a complete and total badass!

I know! It came as a surprise to me, too! Minus willingly putting myself in the ghetto to have marbles thrown at my head and guns shot across the street, I don’t really have a badass bone in my body. I was always the daughter who was afraid to take risks, who stayed safe, who followed the rules (more or less). Did you ever see “Fluppy Dogs?” It was one of those awesome 80’s cartoons. There’s this bit where the kid, Jaime, is really scared to do something, and the fluppy dog leans over and says “Adventure, Jaime… Adventure!”

Suffice to say, this quickly became “Adventure, Jenni… Adventure!” and was used whenever I was afraid to do something… like jump off the high- (or even low-) dive, go white water rafting, go skiing on something other than the bunny slope… you get the picture. Suffice to say that that phrase got REALLY annoying.

Jump forward to me about 5 months ago. I was newly addicted to Groupon, and up popped a smashing deal for a flying trapeze lesson!

I’ve always wanted to try flying trapeze!

I’m terrified of heights!

“Adventure, Jenni… Adventure!”

I bought the damn Groupon and convinced my friend E*Beth to do it too.

Yesterday was the day of truth. We showed up to Emerald City Trapeze, and I was TERRIFIED. I pretended to hide it, but I was so shaky during “ground school” that it became evident to the teacher that I would be the girl who needed some extra help. During ground school, we warmed up, and then rehearsed what we were going to do:

We would scale a 24-foot rickety, wiggly ladder, and someone hoist our shaky-kneed selves onto a platform barely wider than my size 6.5 feet. Then, we would lean out into nothingness with only the strength of a 90-lb waif (albeit a buff one) keeping us from falling so we could grab a 15-lb bar. We would squat when we heard “ready” and jump when we heard “hep.”

Through all this, I shivered. What the HELL had I gotten myself in to?

But wait… there’s more! Once in the air, we would follow commands to 1) hook our legs onto the bar, 2) remove our hands from the bar (i.e. dangle from our legs), 3) put out hands back on the bar, and 4) get our legs back in hanging formation… all while swinging 24 feet above the ground.

Through this, I was like YEAH RIGHT. You’ll be lucky if I jump off the platform! In fact, that is my goal for this class: jump off the platform! I THINK I can do that!

Hold on a second… there’s more! To get off the bar, we would do a backflip. So easy, he says. Just follow commands to 1) kick your legs forward, 2) kick your legs back, 3) kick your legs forward, and 3) release the bar and tuck. We’d just naturally do a backflip. Easy as pie.

OH MY DEAR GOD, I’M GOING TO DIE! MY LIFE IS OVER! WHO ARE YOU, YOU CRAZY SADISTIC CIRCUS MAN!!!!!!!!

And oh, by the way? The goal is to get this routine down really well so that you can do The Catch.” What’s The Catch? When someone else, also on a trapeze, grabs your outstretched arms when you’re hanging by your legs, and suddenly you are hanging from THEM, not from bar.

Complete and utter shock. I will likely die today, or at least a) cry or b) pee my pants. This sucks.

I figured that, in order to survive, I should just follow directions. I mean, they knew what they were doing, right? RIGHT?

I went last, of course. Girl #1, the stoic one, climbed the ladder and only hesitated a bit before jumping. She didn’t attempt the trick, but hey! She lived! Girl #2, her friend, climbed the ladder, jumped, tried to hook her legs but didn’t… and hey! She lived too! E*Beth went up, jumped, did a backflip, and also lived. And then it was my turn.

They hooked me to “the ascender” and I climbed the wiggly ladder. Usually I don’t look down, but I figured I might as well try to acclimate myself. I hauled myself up on the tiny platform and clung to the safety bar like my life depended on it (which, um, it kind of did!). I quivered in terror as I let the tiny girl hold my weight. I took a deep breath, bent my knees on “ready,” and on “hep!”…

I jumped!!!

And I SCREAMED! Oh how I screamed! AUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!! All the sexy aerialists wearing panties over their tights looked at me, I just knew it. They saw my muffin top from the safety belt and sagging yoga pants and my screaming. Gah.

Then came the commands: “Hook your legs on the bar!”

AUUUGHHHH!!!  OK!!!!!!

“Hands off!”

HOLY SHIT I’M LOOKING AT THE GROUND!!!!!

“Hands on the bar!”

AAAABBBBBSSSS OF STEEEELLLLLL!!!!

“Feet off the bar”

DON’T MAKE ME TO THE BACKFLIP!!!!

“Ready for the backflip? Kick forward, kick back, kick forward, let go and tuck!”

AUGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

And then it was over! I had jumped off the platform! I did the whole trick!! I was alive!! And I was…

SO FUCKING HAPPY! What an insane, crazy adrenaline rush! I couldn’t wait to try again!

Through the course of the class, I did that trick a couple more times, and became the first in my class to get a cowbell, which meant I was ready for The Catch.

Did I do that damn Catch? Well, yes, I sure as hell did.

What’s that, Yam? You don’t believe me? You don’t think your stuck-in-the-mud, scaredy-pants older sister did this?

Here’s proof:

(most of) The trick:

And the catch!:

This is undoubtedly the coolest, more empowering thing I’ve ever done. If I can do this, I can do anything!

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12 thoughts on “In which I discover my badassitude.

  1. Ruth says:

    I love it! Awesome job, Jenni! And for the record, I love your food posts. But this one was awesome. I kind of want to do it now!

  2. E*beth says:

    And the awesomest part is that you were BY FAR the very best in the class. Oh, and the hottest. Muffin top is a lie.

  3. sandra says:

    omg Jenni that is amazing!! It looks so fun and you looked great doing it!! ❤

  4. Mary Ann says:

    OMG the is AMAZING! Good for you! Makes me want to do it 🙂

  5. Brenda says:

    You are so brave! And graceful, too. Nice job.

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