Defying Gravity for Real!

I've discovered that I can do almost anything when I let go of me.

A few weeks ago, my sister and I had an opportunity to attend the Fly School Circus Arts "Daringly High" flying trapeze class. Located at the University of the Arts parking lot across from the Kimmel Center, Mary Kelly Rayel and her team coaches a class of 10 with enough encouragement and positive reinforcement that in two hours, you have some knowledge of basic moves and will even perform a trick or two.

I attempted to practice on the ground within the group, but the public Broad Street venue (crowds formed and watched, mouths open in amazement as we swung in the air) and the whispers from my mind that I COULDN'T attempt a trick a mere three feet off of the ground was offputting. As I watched the others in class go up and perform, I couldn't help but be amazed at the children in the class. The kids were eager to perform, one little boy demanding he be allowed to perform the "catch" even when the trainers said he wasn't ready.

Spurred on by Mary Kelly, I did climb the ladder. With a prayer and covetous look at the church next to me, I jumped off the platform and swung. I didn't attempt the trick, but I did feel pride that I actually leaped. It was exhilarating to let go off myself for a bit and do something I only dreamed of as a kid. Truthfully, it was fun and I may attempt it again before the group leaves. The Teen, watching from below, shouted encouragement as I swallowed fear. Once I was back on the ground, she asked if we could return the following week so she could try.

Yes I climbed that ladder and "flew!"

Children are amazing. Despite the fear of the unknown, they still clamor to take part. Children have this resilience, this way of approaching life with reckless abandon, giving their all and then 10 percent more if asked.

When do we become so conscious of ourselves, waiting for permission, allowing others to dictate the whens and whys of our lives that we miss so much of our lives?

Watching the children fly around the air, their faces red from the wind and exertion, I decided that I'm going to be "kid-like" in the next month. No, I'm not planning to eat cookies for dinner, watch obscene amounts of junk TV and drag my feet to go to places I don't want to go — I do that already. I'm going to be like a kid and keep this mantra each time doubt creeps into my life:

Act as if it's impossible to fail.

Does this mean that I will be back on the trapeze? Probably. Although heights and I are not things that get along, it was fun slipping out of my comfort zone. This also means I'll be open to doing things I normally wouldn't. I'll also be okay with falling and laughing at myself.

The Fly School Circus Arts are part of PiFA 2013. They'll be performing through April 27th. There are two shows on April 25 and 26th. Visit the PIFA website for additional information about the Philly classes.   

Raya Fagg is a mom of two from Upper Darby, PA. This post is adapted from her blog And Starring As Herself…MRSRFKJ. 

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