On Sunday, Tori took me to Trapeze High where she works so I could try flying trapeze for the first time. We drove to the outdoor rig in Escondido for the noon class where it was very hot and sunny.
Our first ground lesson was learning the proper terminology and techniques for the take-off position and the correct swinging pose. It was a tall ladder up to the platform, but I felt excited at the top. They hooked up my safety lines as I chalked my hands and I was ready. My first swing went perfect. I was able to keep my banana pose while looking up at the bar and I felt hardly any weight on my arms. The first fall into the net was a little scary, a yelp escaping my lips as I released the bar and dropped. The net was softer than what I expected and I was relieved that my tender right shoulder didn't hurt from the swing.
The second trick we learned on the ground was the knee hang with a back flip dismount into the net. I was pretty nervous about the back flip and my first attempt was kind of a disaster. I hooked my knees okay, but instead of releasing my hands to hang down, I took my knees back off the bar. I still had enough momentum so I was able re-hook my knees and hang down on the second swing, but then I botched the leg-kicks needed for the back flip and I landed belly first into the net. After that, I was more nervous on my second attempt, but it went much, much better. I pulled off all the maneuvers in the correct order and it felt great. My only mishap was catching the safety line in the crotch as I slid off the net. Ha! My third attempt was the best.
Our last lesson of the day was for the knee hang grab. On the first swing, we were instructed to get into the knee hang and stretch out for the catcher as we swung out on the second swing. I was happy that I was able to connect on my first try and stay in the proper pose underneath the catcher. On the dismount, I kicked my legs a little too hard and instead of landing on my back, I flipped over and hit the net with my face. Barely felt it. I was able to land correctly on my second grab, the sixth and final swing of the day for me. The Sunday catcher, Chris, pulled a muscle climbing the rig to retrieve a loose safety line afterwards so I was able to watch Tori shimmy up the rope to the catch bar and finish the class. I missed her catching me by one turn.
I felt great at the end of the experience, my hands and shoulder survived unscathed and I only felt a little soreness behind my knees from the hangs. Today though, I am very sore, but it's a good muscle soreness.
The video of me doing the knee hang grab and landing on my face in the net.