In so many, many ways…and if you hadn’t figured that out by now, here’s confirmation:  I’m the big-haired one in the middle.

 

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You may be asking yourself what the heck a 37-year-old business consultant is doing climbing around on what appears to be a giant set of curtains.  

I’ll tell you:  having fun.  

This is what I do in my “spare time”.  Between running a business, traveling and speaking, being a mother, and significant other, I manage to squeeze in a little freak time.  (Shouldn’t we all?)  Not only is it an amazing physical workout, it’s also incredible mental exercise:  the ultimate Mind/Body experience.  If I don’t stay focused and wrap myself the right way…splat.   

When I tell people I’m an aerialist I get a lot of questions…

How did you get started?  I went on a Club Med vacation many years ago and one of the daily activities was the flying trapeze.  Yeah….about that…I was awful.  The guy pulling safety lines literally yelled at me to “just come down!” already.  Walk of shame back to my cabana, thank you.  We went back to a different Club Med the next year and I decided to give it another try.  Success, and I was hooked.  They even had me in their end of the week “show”.  I just found these pictures today from that trip (dated 1996):

Playa Blanca trazpeze.jpgThumbnail image for Playa Blanca Trapeze show.jpgI‘m front row, left.  And no, I don’t travel with a Smurf Unitard – it was one of theirs.  Which actually makes it worse than traveling with your own, because who knows how many people wore it before me….

Where do you do this?  Believe it or not, there are a few places in the Twin Cities to learn and practice the aerial arts.  I flew at a school that has a permanent big top for a while, and then found another studio that offered adult aerial classes.  If you live in the area, check out Xelias.  If not, here’s a great website to find something near you.  One of the women I met through these classes got her own flying trapeze rig two years ago, and I have a small (non-flying) rig in my backyard.  Every neighborhood has the crazy lady on the block.  That’s me.

Why do you do this?  I had a life changing epiphany while learning the flying trapeze:  This is something that literally scares the crap out of me and pushes me outside the bounds of my comfort zone, yet gives me a tremendous feeling of strength, confidence, and accomplishment.  Why can’t I apply this to every other aspect of my life and get similar results?  I’ve never been a very competitive person – until now.  I’m obsessed with pushing my boundaries physically, mentally and emotionally.  I’m taking leaps of faith in both my career and personal life on a daily basis.  Yes, there are times when the fear feels overwhelming, but I remind myself that if I can fly without safety lines, I can get through this too.

Are you like, a carnie?  No.  But even if I was, would that be so wrong?  And yes, these are all my real teeth…