“Just when you think you’ve defined yourself or that life has defined you – there’s always another chapter . . . another challenge.”
Dwyane Johnson, actor, as Spensor Strasmore in “Ballers.
When I mentioned to a friend that I wanted to try the trapeze she looked at me and asked “Why?” My response was “Why not?” She reminded me that I was 68. So, I responded “If not now, when?”
For this adventure at the Circus Arts Conservatory in Sarasota, Florida, I had four people making sure that I was safe. There was a net below me and lines attached to me that made sure that I did not just fall but was guided into the net below. Sure, that first step was a bit hard – a leap of faith where I assured myself that I could to this and I did.
There are other times in life when the net has not been so literal, but I have had friends, family or my own beliefs and inner strength to be my safety net. Who is your safety net – whether literally or figuratively.
Who is there to make sure that when you fall you land safely and, trust me, we all fall at one point or another. It doesn’t matter if that safety net is a person or a place. When I was young sometimes my safety net was my closet. It’s where I would go to hide and reclaim myself after people or circumstances made me feel less than who I thought I was.
So yes, I climbed the 26-step ladder over and over again and I took the leap off the platform. I felt that I accomplished much more than just a trapeze swing. I proved to myself that I could do it and the next time – it will be that much easier.
It’s not a matter of if we fall, for we all do, but how far we fall and how we pick ourselves up. There is no shame in reaching out for help or having a safety net because even if you do – that first step may still be terrifying. You have to have the desire to do it and the confidence that even if you are not successful the first time you will keep trying.
Sometimes the safety net is within us and sometimes we need to look around outside of ourselves to find it. Sometimes we need to answer the question – for whom are we a safety net in order to help them fly?