Good morning. It’s a beautiful not-full-time Monday morning. I dropped 2 of the kids at school and took the 3rd to the orthodontist. Now I’m back at home wondering what I’m going to do with my morning. Of course, I am always feeling the pull that I could do some legal work to fill the time, but that’s too predictable and that’s not growth. I’m continuing to work on dismantling my need to be “productive” during any time period in which I don’t have any external demands.
Later today I’m heading to a trapeze class with my friend Maile. Flying trapeze is my absolute favorite activity and I completely dread going every time.
It didn’t use to be that way. For the first 12 months of learning to fly, I couldn’t wait to go to class. The mix of adrenaline, fear and excitement was intoxicating. In fact, I became obsessed. At my peak, I was going to 2-hour classes at least twice a week, sometimes 3 (which, was a whole lot considering my 3 children and then-full-time job as a lawyer). I was extremely competitive with myself and others and completely preoccupied with being “good” at trapeze (compared to whom!?!).
This competitive drive landed me in the hospital overnight when I ignored some pain in my lower back and ended up tearing a disk in my lower back during a mid-air somersault. I was out of trapeze for about 9 months. During that time the obsession waned and I took a really hard look at my competitive streak — both in and out of trapeze. I am no longer driven by the need to be good (better. the best.) at trapeze.
These days, I only go to class once or twice a month. I LOVE it when I’m there, but I’m also terrified (some people think this is called wisdom). I use all available safety devices and precautions, so it’s relatively safe, but I’m still scared. I’m pretty sure my body is still holding on to some trauma from the time I injured myself (In fact, I should really bring this up the next time I see Catalina).
When I’m not actually at a trapeze class, I often ask myself why I’m still doing it if I have such ambivalence . . . the answer is that nothing can compare to that feeling when I’m standing high up on the platform, holding the bar and preparing to jump into the air.
At that moment, I know that ANYTHING is possible.