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Flying

April 23, 2011 Leave a comment

This week I took my first trapeze classes.  My first, on Tuesday morning, was one of the most fun, invigorating, exciting, awesome things I’ve ever done.  My second, this morning, mostly felt frustrating.  I’ve spent a lot of the day trying to figure out the difference.

Some of it was the composition of the class.  Tuesday’s class had a mixture of beginning and intermediate flyers, almost all with very outgoing personalities.  I knew everyone’s name before class even began and we took a group picture afterwards.  It felt warm, inclusive, and incredibly supportive.  Today’s class was perfectly fine, but everyone but me came with someone else, and most of them stuck primarily with their friends, so it was far less social.  I’m not sure whether we actually got fewer turns today than on Tuesday, but it definitely felt like we did.  I certainly felt like I spent a lot more time sitting today than I did in the first class.  I think that’s in part because I was less likely to be chatting with other people, and in part because having mostly newish flyers (and two teachers-in-training) meant the entire class moved a little more slowly.  And it was cold today, so I was freezing in between turns.

Also, because they were training two new teachers, the instructors were constantly rotating around.  It felt like someone new was calling commands every time I flew, and while they are all pretty similar, their slight stylistic differences threw off my timing as I processed what they were saying.

Furthermore, I came in vibrating with tension and adrenaline, although I’m not sure why.  I think, in fact, that I was more nervous before my first flight today than in my first class.  And it showed.  My first flight today was worse than anything I did in my first class, and although I knew it was because I was tense, it threw off my confidence for the rest of class.  I didn’t really calm down until one of the more perceptive instructors was up on the board with me.  Instead of having me get ready to take off, she looked me and said, “okay, breathe.  Again.  Again.  Better?”  It was better, and I really appreciated that she could see what I needed.

Finally, I think I’m feeling frustrated overall with the class because the last flight – in which I tried my new trick and was caught (i.e., I swung out to an instructor on the second trapeze and he caught me mid-air) – felt great and looked great, but the instructors all said I went too soon and didn’t wait for their cue.  They were really nice about it, but also adamant that I wait for their call next time, since that’s the only way to stay safe as you progress to harder tricks.  The thing is, I thought I did wait for their call, and when I watch the video, it looks to me like I did, but since I trust they know this stuff better than I do, I must not have.  I feel frustrated that I can’t even identify how to do better next time.  I suppose if trapeze is something I’m going to do a lot I’ll need to get better at shaking off some frustrating flights and just focus on figuring it out next time.  I think I’ll bring the video to my next class and ask an instructor to show me what I’m missing.  And until then, I’ll focus on how good some of the flights felt and on how much I did right, instead of the few things I got wrong.

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