Sunday, May 18, 2003

Trapeze rocks. See below after the obligatory practice recap.

Today, a time to be humbled once again. Class with the big kids. Nadi Shodana--second series class. I'm far from being skilled at the first series, but it's been a while since I was the least accomplished person in a practice. In this class, I'm not even close. Everybody there today could bend. Even so, there's some things I can do that some of the others couldn't. Strangely, I can do yoga nidrasana without too much problem, but I can't do dwi pada sirsasana, tittibhasana B or even supta kurmasana.

I've gotten pretty familiar with the first half of the series, Ardha Nadi Shodana, since that's what we cover in the Intro to second class that I make it to once every month or so. I also do up to kapotasana when I can get to mysore practice. But, not doing the sequence with any regularity, I am unrefined, to put it gently. Energetically, the second half of the series puts the first half to shame. I guess if you do those postures day in and day out, like anything else you get efficient at it and don't get as worn out. I, however, get my butt handed to me. I think I was able to do ujjayi breathing in maybe a couple of postures. Each time I do the class though, I feel less and less like a spaz. All is coming. Slowly. I think the entire sequence is do-able, with the exception of karandavasana. That one will be the real gatekeeper.

I was an easy foil for Tim today. When we did pincha mayurasana, he said, "25 breaths." Everybody kind of chuckled but he didn't give any reassuring reply, so up we went. After 5 breaths, no call to exit. By ten, I was starting to shake, so I figured, there's no way I gonna make a full 25 count and I exited. Upon hearing my landing, Tim, who had likely been waiting for some wimp like me to bail out, called out his displeasure then said, "23..., 24..., 25, come down." Sneaky, veeery sneaky.

My wife and I traded off the kids today. I went to the 8:00 2nd series while she did the morning wake up routine, took the kids who slept over home, etc. I took the baton after my class was done while she did the 1st series class at 10:00. We then made our way to the trapeze place. Kids are kinda weird. You tell them, "Hey, guess what? I found this really new, different fun thing you'll probably love. We get to go on a trapeze, just like at the circus!" The replies? "Can't my friend come over instead?", "I don't want to do it. No. I'm not taking off the dress and putting on shorts.", and my favorite: "Why?". "Just get in the ****ing car!", I gently replied.

Of course, the trapeze was a big hit. There was an initial little bit of nervousness climbing up that skinny ladder to get to the platform up there, but nobody chickened out. Like most things in life, there's more to swinging correctly than you would guess by just looking. My first time off, the guy is yelling, "Forwards, Backwards, Forwards!", meaning swing my legs all the way to the front, then the back, etc. By the time it dawned on me that I was the one he was yelling at, I had already done two full pendulum swings. Then, after figuring out what it was I was supposed to do, it took me a full swing just to do one of those leg swings. You're supposed to do all three of the front/back/front sequence in the time it takes the swing to go from one end to the other. We all caught on gradually over our subsequent attempts. After a couple of the confidence building swings, they allowed us to try some more challenging things, like making a back flip on the dismount drop or hanging upside down by your legs and making a transfer to another guy an a separate swing. The two older kids were too spooked to try the hanging upside down thing but they both did real good with the back flips. My son got a double flip on his last try. My youngest did try the hanging upside down thing, but she chickened out just as she almost got her legs hooked over the bar, so she spent the rest of her attempts just swinging and making the drop. It is a very safe set up they have, though I'm sure there's plenty of ways to get hurt. When I tried the back flip thing, I went around about a half a turn too far and landed in the net on my neck. It didn't hurt, but the guy had this concerned look when I got up, like it should have hurt. The entire swinging area is netted in, including a trampoline-like catch net under you to fall onto. They also have you in a harness with a guy rope that the guide can tension to slow or stop your drop when you let go. The biggest injury I got was stepping on a sticker walking around the area barefooted. It was a bit expensive, 45 dollars, but we were doing it for two hours straight. I think we more than got our money's worth. So, of course, all of my "I don't want to" children now want to go every day. That ain't likely gonna happen, but we'll try to do it some more. I can't be having my son do a better dismount than me, just ain't right.

After all that, I had had enough for the day. I was sunburned and a bit worn out from the day's exertions. The kids still had to go to a soccer kick-around/skills clinic, so I bailed out, took a shower and got ready for work. Ah, work. A less than perfect finish to a really nice day.