Monday, May 24, 2010

A Flying Post

At midnight ET, when this post is set to publish, I will (presumably) be in the sky, flying to France. You know what was invented in France? The flying trapeze! Obviously, this calls for a trapezey post.

Warning! To those afraid of heights: this is a trapezey post!

(Hello. Those of you who've been reading this blog for a while know I get a little batty before trips, right?)

(Bat: another thing that flies! See, there's a THEME here.)

Okay, *ahem herm* let's get serious. The flying trapeze was invented in 1859 in Toulouse by a Frenchman named Jules Leotard. Guess what he wore? Instead of a net, in the beginning Leotard used a swimming pool. I bet a soaking wet leotard is clammy and cold.

And that's all the history you're getting, because I'm about to leave for France and I haven't packed yet and I DON'T HAVE TIME.

So, I've got two videos for you today. The first is a little local news piece about my trapeze school. I can't seem to embed it, but the link for the video is here. It's 4 minutes long with a 15 second cheese commercial at the front, and basically, it's about someone's first trapeze lesson. What this video does a decent job of, IMO, is demonstrating how the teaching is done at TSNY Beantown, and how okay it is if you bumble during your lesson. When you're up there doing something that's a little confusing and a little scary, a calm voice telling you what to do and acting like nothing is wrong goes a long way. (Unfortunately, some of the vocal instructions are cut out of the video, which is a shame, I think. There's a lot you're not seeing or hearing.)

What the video doesn't do a good job of, IMO, is showing what the point of the lesson is. It kind of creates the impression that the idea is to go up there, swing a little, flip around here and there, and then jump off. IOW, you don't get to see a catch attempt taking place. The catch is the point of the lesson. (I explained more about this in an earlier post, if you're interested.) So if/after you watch that video (here's the link again), I recommend you watch the one below. It's a collection of random moments at my trapeze school, and it might be a little confusing if you've never seen or done this, but at 1:03 there's a series of slo-mo catches that show what it's all about.

(I also love the series of take-offs at 0:35... and I get a rush from the jumping feet at 1:39! That, right there, is the scariest moment on the trapeze -- at least for a beginner like me who's wearing safety lines at all times and doing relatively simple tricks.)

And now I'd better go pack.

P.S. I'm in the middle of reading two middle grade fantasy series and recently finished, and thoroughly enjoyed, the second book of both: The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas (book 2 is called The Magic Thief: Lost), and The Kronos Chronicles by Marie Rutkoski (book 2 is called The Celestial Globe). Recommended.