Thursday, December 22, 2011

He flies through the air with the greatest of ease

Last Christmas, I was at a bit of a loss as to what to get Jason. He loves tech-y stuff, but whenever I go that route, I always get the wrong thing. He's gracious in receiving it of course, but then he inevitably returns it for the "right" thing. He has a 3 foot high pile of T-shirts and a lot of clothes, so I didn't want to give him more clothes either.

Then I remembered that a friend passing through Sydney had taken a class at Sydney Trapeze School. I checked, and you could buy a voucher for a single, 2 hour class that would teach you the basics of trapezing. (Let's just say that's a word.) As I've mentioned before, Jason was a springboard and platform diver for about 10 years.(Click the link to see some great photos!) And even though he doesn't dive anymore, he still has a love for heights, doing flips, and all-around general craziness. Here's the story I always tell to illustrate this: Once when we were still dating, he told me that when he saw a skyscraper, he'd daydream about how many flips he'd be able to do off the top before he blacked out and fell to his death. Yeah. Should that have been a red flag? Opposites attract, I guess.

So, obviously, a voucher to the Sydney Trapeze School was a no-brainer! And he was excited when he opened the envelope on Christmas morning last year. But you know how it is. The year got busy, the weekends filled up, we traveled--life ensued. Finally, last week I reminded him that the voucher was only good for a year and that it's now or never. So, he got online and booked a spot for that coming Saturday. We decided to make it a family affair--it's not everyday your husband/dad swings on the trapeze. Unless you're a Wallenda.

The school is on the complete other end of the city from our house--it took us over an hour to get there, with traffic. With Grace asking every 45 seconds where we were going. But once we got there, Jason dove right in. There were about 5-6 others in his class, and the instructors had them up there pretty quickly, with very little preamble.

And away he went! It looked like fun. I mean, for him. I was quite happy on the ground, even though he was cabled in and there was a huge net underneath.

Look at his expression! Loving it. So, the instructors have everyone practice going up, swinging from their hands, and then pulling their knees up and hooking over the bar. Then, you unhook your knees and swing till they tell you to drop. Jase did this 3 times maybe? Then the male instructor came over and explained to the group how to swing from their knees and then let him catch them from another trapeze bar. As he grabbed their hands they were to let go of the bar with their knees and swing to victory. I eyed the instructor with doubt. He was strong, but lean. Jason is not a small guy. In fact, Jason wandered over and mentioned that he was on the upper end of what the instructor could catch! Hmmm. Good thing for those cables, right?

Okay, so then the instructor goes over to the other side of the net, and grabs hold of this thick rope that's suspended from the ceiling. He then proceeds to climb up the rope, hand over hand, his legs held outward in a perfect split. All the way up to the second trapeze bar, where he lets go of the rope and climbs on. It was amazing, watching him just climb up that rope like it was nothing. I'm going to let you in on a well-known but seldom discussed fact. When you see a display like that, you can't help but develop a small, temporary crush on whoever is doing it. Look--it's like, a law of nature or something. I didn't write the law, okay? Yet like all other humans on this planet, I am subject to its dictates. So there it is.

Most of the students weren't able to get the timing right on the catch part. I can imagine it would be pretty nerve-wracking up there. Even if your mind knows you're hooked in and there's a net underneath you, your body doesn't always respond to that. The first go, Jason didn't hear the instructor's command at the right time, so he missed the cue. But the second time, he got it! Duh, of course. (I have a secret belief that he can pretty much do anything. Except spell, which is why I'm here.)

Here's my first attempt to embed a video. This column is too narrow on the blog to show the whole width of the picture, but it gives you a good idea.

Yay! (Did you catch Ava calling me "Mum"? Such a little Aussie.) By then, our 2 hours were up and the class was over. He had a great time, but I could tell he really wanted to get up there again and try multiple flips off the bar. I asked him if he'd wanna give it another go, take another class--but he said no. It's just too far away from our house, and it would get pricy. Ah, the realities of life settling in as you return to earth. But it was fun while it lasted!


  1. It is totally amazing! It does seem like the timing would be hard, but he is a natural! That is such an awesome gift. I mean, you know I'm giving Matt the same thing I did last year, but I might ask him if he would like this more.

    Go Jason! And Ava does sound like a little Aussie.

  2. That's the coolest gift! Perfect for Jason who is willing to try just about anything. It does look fun! Good gift idea, Amy! And by the way, the kids are developing Australian accents, I think.

  3. Well, if you ask any Aussie, ava still sounds very American. But Americans think she sounds more Australian. It's Nate that has more of the twang. These kids are in some kind of linguistic no-man's land!

  4. How great for your husband! Congratulations to you for choosing such a fun gift.

    Your voice is so sweet! (I sound like Marge's sisters) Thank you for posting that.

  5. Thanks, Elle! This year, I mostly gave him "normal" gifts, but sometimes I get inspired. :) lol about Aunts Patty and Selma!