Yesterday was a spectacular day in Haines City, Florida. Not only was it a beautiful, brisk and clear day, spent in the company of incredible, kind people. But we were also engaged in the most wonderful of pastimes: The Flying Trapeze.
Think of what would be your most fantastical playground – a place where you are surrounded by the most inspiring people and fun activities you could possibly imagine. What would your “ultimate playground” look like?
As an active and acrobatic guy, I am always seeking to acquire new skills and new mentors. 2012 was the year I fell in love with the flying trapeze and became a friend and student of the legendary artist, Tony Steele. Expect to hear much more about Tony from me in the weeks and months ahead.
Today, the second to last day of the year, I reached a gigantic milestone in my progress by successfully completing my first flipping trick to the catcher: The backward layout. What a feeling!
Trapeze is one of the most fun… No, that is a gross understatement. It is one of the most addicting things I’ve ever done. This may, in fact, be my mid-life crisis, which (fortunately) is totally cool with my wife.
The trick begins standing thirty five feet in the air on a board just ten inches wide. My catcher, John Zimmerman, is the owner of the trapeze rig. John’s company, Stunt Dynamics, routinely stages spectacular stunts for movies (many of which you have certainly seen) involving high falls, people set on fire, car stunts, and anything else a director can imagine. John calls the timing for my jump, so that we will be in sync at just the right moment. We missed the first one by inches, then nailed it on the second attempt. On a side note, John is 62 years young, making the combined age of our trick an impressive 106!
My goal for 2013 is to complete a double somersault to a catch. I believe it is completely doable, and I can already imagine it happening!
For me, trapeze epitomizes one of my principle beliefs: You must let go to get a grip. It would be much easier to stand on the ground and be a spectator. But life is not a spectator sport. And the beauty and intensity of the trapeze beautifully parallels the uncertainty of life, change, and growth. You have to be “on it” or “in it” to feel the rush of excitement and the potential energy of the incredible possibilities.
This is not a sport without risks. But, truthfully, with the spotting belts and safety ropes it is more of a psychological barrier that must be overcome. And isn’t that the case with most of our challenges? The biggest impediment to achieving anything is a rigid, inflexible mind. We limit our potential with narrow conceptions about what is, should be, or could be possible.
I believe that the key to living a full, exciting, and joy-filled existence is to learn to thrive in these uncomfortable and uncertain moments. Embrace them, even though the scope of what you may be doing is beyond what you’ve previously experienced.
Letting go of a trapeze bar, or even the act of stepping off the board to swing, is at first, intimidating, but ultimately, immensely liberating! That is how it is with most of our “uncertainties.” Once we let them go, or stop defending them, we open ourselves up to all kinds of new possibilities. At the end of 2012, what is it that you might need to let go of? Perhaps you might:
When the challenge you are facing is beyond your current grasp, how do you bring it within your reach? Here are five keys to help you move (or swing) more gracefully through the process of change.
Celebrate your successes along the way (I caught the layout!), but don’t get complacent. It’s time to keep working, keep learning, and keep letting go … to get a grip on the next accomplishment!
Here’s to a New Year of thrilling possibilities and show-stopping successes!