Fun and Learning

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 told her.

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 my sides.

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.


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