Learning to Stay Grounded While Flying on a Trapeze (And Meeting Lara of Lärabar!)
Being a New York City contributor for Fit Bottomed Girls has its advantages, like getting to attend really fun events like the one hosted by Lärabar at the Trapeze School of New York (TSNY), which was the same school featured on an episode of Sex and the City.
When I got the invitation (celebrating Lärabar’s newest product—the Uber bar, more on that later) I quickly thought: “Sure, why not? How bad can it be?” Completely forgetting my thought-to-be dormant acrophobia (fear of heights). I had assumed it had abated over the years living in a city filled with skyscrapers. Riding in elevators and across bridges used to terrify me—now I love them. Parties on rooftops would fill me with dread, and now I can hang out there and enjoy myself like a normal person.
Then I showed up to the South Street Seaport one very chilly Friday afternoon to take my first trapeze lesson at TSNY. This is where I unwittingly came face to face with my two biggest nemeses—ladders and ledges. Both make my head spin under normal circumstances, but if you see the photo above—the ladder was very steep and led me to a little platform 50 feet in the air. Fifty feet, people!
Every single rung on that ladder was incredibly scary (by the way—we all wore socks, which raised my fear-of-slipping anxiety as well) and my mind went into a zone where I didn’t focus on anything except climbing every single one of them. When I got to the top, my very kind instructor grabbed my safety harness as I (reluctantly) gripped my toes over the ledge and pushed my hips forward.
“Stick your right hand out—you’re ready!” he called out as I grabbed for the trapeze bar, which turned out to weigh 20 pounds. (Think about that—wouldn’t you think it would be much lighter than that?) “Now grab it with your left hand,” yelled the other instructor from the ground, and I just stood there and froze. Right there on the platform, my mind went blank and all I wanted to do was run away and hide under a blanket for a few days (or the rest of my life). My whole body was gripped in fear—and all I knew for certain was that I DID NOT want to go out on that trapeze.
But then a funny thing happened—the cold, clinical part of my brain kicked in and said, “You are not climbing back down that ladder, so you better just will yourself through the next 30 seconds.” And I did just that. Not with grace or ease (there was a little whimpering involved), but I did it. I flew in the air, swung my legs, and then let go into the ropes below. Within seconds, I was back on the ground, tearing off the harness as if it were on fire. But I freaking did it!
As I stood around cheering on my co-swingers (none of whom seemed to possess an ounce of anxiety), a nice woman came over to congratulate me. “Lots of people turned down the opportunity today, so you should be proud of yourself for getting up there. Oh, by the way—I am Lara.” Yup—it was Lara Merriken of Lärabar.
As we chit-chatted about Lärabar, she told me about her newest creation—the Uber bar. The Uber bar is made with whole fruits and nuts and comes in four yummy flavors: Bananas Foster, Cherry Cobbler, Apple Turnover and (my personal favorite) the Roasted Nut Roll, which is sweet and salty. All are gluten-free, non-GMO and kosher to boot. They’re also FBG-approved.
Anyhoo, enough about me and let’s talk about you. Have you ever faced down a fear or phobia? What is your mantra for getting through scary situations? I want to learn from you! —Margo