Photo: I was being strapped up with the harness
I think I’m afraid of heights. This was my thought while
dangling on the edge of a small platform almost three floors up. My hands are
clammy and I’ve been rubbing my hands with powder for at least three times
already to keep my hands dry and warm. In seconds, the said hands are once
again sweaty and numb. The guy in front of me screams while swinging away from
the small comfort of the platform. In no time, I hear the thump and I’m up.
Before this assignment, I already planned on signing up for
a class with Flying Trapeze Philippines. I saw a story about it online a few
months back, at that time I was stressed and needed an outlet, an activity
where a full-grown woman (with a job and TIN number to prove it) can scream
without being judged. The plan was aborted several times before TheFortCity.com
emailed me saying that there’s a story waiting for me. I wanted to do it. But
standing on the edge of the platform come assignment day, I knew that I should
have begged off.
There’s a petite girl behind me waiting for her turn. And
while the facilitator was strapping me with harnesses, I asked her if she
screamed during her first time. I could tell that she was holding back an eye
roll before letting out a clear no. “Well you’re gonna hear one from me now.” I
I was arguing with the facilitator when it was time to
clutch the stick and squat at the edge. I told him repeatedly to not let me go,
not to push me, and just please wait while I calm my heart down.
By the time I got my feet off the edge, I wasn’t really even
sure if I jumped or I simply fell. All I know was that I was holding on to the
bar for dear life and that my stomach is flipping. Every cell in my body was
tingling after the first swing. I distinctly remember someone screaming
instructions on my left, telling me to swing faster or I think it was to raise
my knees, but I really can’t remember.
I heard them tell me to let go. “What? Now?” Yes, they
screamed back. I then raised my legs in sitting position, as instructed, hoped
(if anything goes wrong) for a quick and painless way to go, before letting go
of the bar.
I think I bounced twice or thrice. But when I opened my
eyes, I slowly crawled back to the area where we’re supposed to flip and come
down. I didn’t know if I should line up once again or give my heart a minute to
calm down, good thing that one of the instructors took us to the sidelines to
brief us on a new trick, hanging on the bar using our knees.
Photo: a instructor teaches new flyers how to catch the bar of the swing while holding onto the side pole
I told him that I really can’t carry my weight using my
knees. I’m too heavy. I’m not ready. These excuses were dismissed after a
guy-obviously far heavier than me-was able to do it. I had nothing left.
Photo: The guy on the platform was also doing his first flight
I think once is enough. I tell myself when I was once again
powdering my hands while waiting for my turn on the platform. But before I
could tell this to the instructor beside me, he was attaching the harnesses to
I managed to swing using my knees on my fifth try. And once again on my
sixth. When I started the class, it was still bright and sunny, but by my sixth
fall, the sky has turned to night.
I told the instructor that I’ve had enough. But not because
I didn’t like the experience, I told my instructor, but because I think I’ve
done my best for that day. I was able to swing and hang using my knees. I was
able to flip off the net without help. And there’s this cliché feeling of
lightheadedness after letting go of something. I don’t know if it’s the bar or
of the stress. But the flying trapeze definitely helped.