Trapeze Lessons

I have been taking trapeze lessons for almost a year now. Aside from it being a satisfyingly bizarre spare-time activity, it is a good way to build strength, flexibility, and coordination without having to endure the gym. But the best part is that slowly, I am learning to do things that I used to think were impossible. My coach is sanguine about this. She says, “humans were not meant to do this. We resist at every stage. But you can learn to do impossible things.”

Today, I suspended myself completely upside down, ten feet up in the air, above the trapeze bar. It felt easy.

I would like to apply my coach’s teaching method — the rigourous, methodical repetition of incrementally more difficult tasks — to my professional life. I’m beginning to analyse the data I’m using for the thesis, while planning and conducting more new more data collection. Why? Partly to make up for data lost due to technical mishaps and plain stupidity, but also because I am learning a lot about methodology by listening, reading, and writing down what I have already done. In new research situations I can then modify my approach, building on the last movement.

I rushed through the end of my workout today. Nothing looked good, and I almost lost my balance. Coach shook her head: “We have to do things slowly when we are in a hurry.”

I feel in a hurry to finish this thesis, to embark on the next adventure. But it’s clear that I have to learn, up in the ropes and down here, to do things more slowly.