I’m flying high on the trapeze!

flying-trapeze

I got to experience the flying trapeze at Club Med, Phuket – it was a natural calling, being attracted to all things with an adrenaline factor in it. It’s one of those things that looks easy but it’s actually quite hard. I was at the flying trapeze almost every single day, aching in muscles I didn’t even know I had, wanting to perfect my technique and be a flyer.

flying trapeze training

The Circus GOs (Gentle Officers) are really big on safety so they see if you can actually do it – hang on a trapeze and then pull your legs up to hang upside down on a slightly raised training trapeze – before they let you go up the real thing.

the real trapeze

This is the real thing.

It’s high but they have a safety net and lots of contraptions to ensure that you don’t fall. This here is my first attempt – a 3:30 minute video where I managed to hook myself on the flying trapeze – it’s very long and rather funny, so I’m posting it up, but the rest of the painful journey is on the SixthSeal.com Facebook page.

trapeze club med

You have to let go and trust that the trapeze will hold you (and your hands and legs won’t fail you) while you hook your legs over the bar and then back into the holding position. There is actually an “audition” of sorts – they won’t let you be a flyer unless you can pull it off perfectly within the stipulated time-frame.

I also managed to do a back flip landing where you swing your legs in and out until you achieve the inertia required to rotate a full 360 degrees in mid-air backwards before landing on the net.

flying trapeze knee hang

…but here’s what I got my certificate for – being a flyer. It’s all about timing, doing things when it’s asked of you without hesitation. I was one of the two that made it (the other girl who managed it was not an amateur) so it actually looks easier and has a higher drop-out rate than you imagine. You need to be interested and dedicated.

I only managed it on my second try, I nearly reached the catcher’s hands on the first try but nearly isn’t good enough.

chalk

Basically, what you do is use chalk to powder yourself up to your elbows (this is to ensure a better grip for the catcher) and hang upside down on the bar on your knees. When you look backward and see the catcher, he/she grips you and you let go of the bar. There’s an element of trust in it as well, which I have in spades – I always trust that there will be no rocks under the sea when I go cliff diving – and the fear of heights, which is why a lot of people don’t get past the basic hook, but I managed to do it.

My entire body was sore every single day and I had cuts and abrasions all over by the time I achieved this but it was all worth it.

kelly

A big thank you to Kelly, Kelsey, Kory, Phil, Hsein Ming, Dennis – all my Circus GO instructors in the Phuket village of Club Med – for being so patient with me. :)

I was so ecstatic that I was on a pure adrenaline high for several hours. It was liberating. Watching the video again made me feel that I can do whatever I want to if I set my mind to it. It was the highlight of my trip. :D

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34 thoughts on “I’m flying high on the trapeze!

    • Hey, you know, I used to be scared of heights as a kid. I’ll always think some invisible force will push me off if I stand close to the ledge of a tall building.

      Strangely, that fear of heights went away as I grew older. The arachnophobia never did quite go away though. Haha.

      It’ll be fine, there’s a safety net underneath and a spotter to help smooth your landing, if it comes to that. :)

    • Thanks Joanna! :D

      Yeah, that last video made up for all the aches in the muscles I didn’t know I had. Heh. I really went at it every single day except for the last day just to do that. It looks easy but it’s not really as easy as it looks.

      It’s not as hard as it sounds though – just need a bit of practice and timing – listen, trust, hold on when you have to and let go when you’re asked to.

      You can try it at Club Med, Phuket. I totally vouch for the instructors, the Circus GOs are awesome! :)

  1. looks easy. looks…

    i bet when it comes to me and my clumsy self plus super wet palms…it’ll be sheer impossible to do it. though i am quite tempted to try and see whether I drive the Gentle Officers up the wall…or tree…

    • No worries, they have chalk for that – I use it on my palms to get a better grip too and it’s easier for the catcher to grip the flyer’s arms when it’s dusted with chalk.

      The trick is in the timing – to be able to knee hang and reach back to the catcher and letting go of the bar once the grip is firm.

      Heh! I think it would take a lot to do that, the GOs are very patient and understanding. :)

    • Your sister would *love* this. The flying fox is basically a roller-coaster, there’s nothing to do but to hold on once you’re on it.

      The trapeze on the other hand…

      There’s lots of tricks and stunts that you can do on a trapeze – it requires skill and agility and strength (which was why I woke up every single day aching all over). I wish I had spent more time there, I would have loved to try out new stuff, the flying trapeze is awesome. :D

      I’m sure your sister would love being on the flying trapeze. It’s exhilarating and rewarding at the same time.

    • It just took me two days/sessions.

      It’s not as easy as it looks but not as hard as it looks too. You should try it.

      Go Club Med Phuket! :D

  2. Absolutely right, what you said. I wouldn’t be able to do it because of the heights involved. Yikes! >_<
    Well done mate. It suits you! When are you gonna run away and join the circus? ;)

    • Heh! Thanks Sue! :)

      Well, I used to be scared of heights as a kid but it kinda just went away. Now, I’m not scared of high places anymore. ;)

      I’m sure you can do it if you want to Sue. :D

      Hmm…circus…tempting.

    • Thanks bro! :)

      The leg gripping part isn’t the hard part, it’s the exhaustion for me, climbing up and down and repeating it again. :)

      My timing was right the first time but I didn’t bend far back enough so I missed the catcher.

      Got it right the second time. :D

    • Heh! Cheers Adam!

      I managed to do it on the second try but all the things (back flip, knee hang etc) were in preparation for that – it’s all about timing – getting it right.

      Thanks mate! :D

    • Thanks bro! :)

      Yeah, I worked hard for that last video.

      Yup, the flying trapeze is included in the Club Med prize – food, drinks (including alcohol) etc are all in the all-inclusive concept and they have really friendly GOs from all over the world.

      The price depends on the season, let me write about it bro. :)

    • Yeah you should, it’s super fun! :)

      I highly recommend the Club Med in Phuket, awesome mix of people and great Circus GOs to get you going. Cheerful and encouraging staff. :D

  3. eh… me again. I dont want to do this man. Remember I went into your Christchurch high school just after the quake and stole your ‘permanent record’? I dont want to release it to the public to see, but i will be forced to if you do not post the 2nd part of your Georgia trip. I waited so long already and the itch is getting worse….. so please lah ok?

    PS Dayum, Kelly so damn toned *HOWLS*

    • Haha! Well, I doubt that really happened mate. Refresh my memory bro, I was in Riccarton High School in Christchurch.

      I’m writing the Europe adventures, it’s just that I have so much to write I can’t churn it out and have it the quality I want my travel posts to be.

      No worries bro, I’ll get the Georgia ones done first. :D

    • Yup, I was there for 5 days and 4 nights. It was awesome – went on the flying trapeze, snorkeling etc.

      I loved the food and uber friendly GOs and nightly shows too.

      I’ve seen a lot of places emulate Club Med but nothing can beat the real thing. :D

  4. I did my flying trapeze at Club Med Cherating in July 2010. I managed the knee hang on the second fly. It was such a thrill to let go of my hands on the command of ‘hands up’ and to soar through the air hanging upside down from the knees. Truly an experience of a lifetime.
    It was a great achievement as i was then 57 years old and a female with a slight fear of height! In fact i was put through half an hour of practice only before going up and doing the real thing!!
    Unfortunately, there was no video recording of my one in a lifetime experience on the flying trapeze!
    Watching your video clips brought back memory of my bravery and excitement of success of flying through the warm afternoon air 25 feet above the ground!
    Thank you for the videos.

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