What I learn about letting go from being a trapeze artist

I was young, maybe 16 or 17.

We were on a family trip to Whistler in British Columbia and there was a carnival going on. One booth offered to give kids an experience at being a trapeze artist. Somehow my parents agreed to let my sisters and I do this.

One by one, my sisters and I climbed up the really long ladder to the platform. We were given instructions on how trapeze artists hold arms to be the most safe and secure.

We start on the platform and we watch a few people ahead of us: there is one significant time when we needed to let go of one bar and catch the hands of another trapeze artist.

I held onto the first bar with my hands my feet firmly planted on the platform. And then I looked down. Naturally there is a net, but still, we’re hundreds of feet in the air.

On command, I push off the edge of the platform and now I’m swaying through the air scrambling to get my legs over the bar so I can swing upside down.

Back and forth I go, once.

And then I lean backward and upward, arms outreaching, waiting for the arms of the my partner to appear in my sight. (See photo above).

As we clasp arms — and this is crucial — I have to let go of the bar with my knees and trust my partner, who (unlike the photo) is also swinging through the air on his own trapeze bar.

And so. I let go. Because to hold on would be harmful.

Photo Resource: paolodafloresta.wordpress.com