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08/20/2005: Interlude Segway (Back home, weeks after the Fundy trip)
I stood on the little glass platform high up in the tent and gripped the trapeze bar with my dusty rosined hands. It didn't seem quite so high when I looked up from below, nor even as I briskly climbed the tall aluminum ladder. (Speed equals confidence, nyet?)
I wore a safety harness on belay by an actual Wallenda below. I stood between two acrobat trainees (truly buff young adults, but my attention was elsewhere) who gave me instructions. The net seemed a long way down, with the floor a mere 6 feet below that. My heart pounded as one of the helpers got a good grip on the harness and told me to point my feet forward.
What?!
Step off of this nice, narrow, transparent, suspended-by-wires shelf?
Yep. I stepped.
Two gees at perigee, they say. I kept my arms straight out. Part of my mind was busy screaming, and another trying to reassure it. I managed to pump my legs and keep my toes pointed to help keep up the swing. I was told later that I looked quite natural. Hmm.
At about my sixth swing back, young Mr. Wallenda yelled up, "Get ready!"
I swung forward, and he said, "Drop"
Now, letting go from way up there isn't easy. I had no idea how well locked-on my hands were. My screaming mind yelled, "No! No!"
My rational mind said, "Okay". Unlike a few others in my group, I did release my grip on the first try, and fell.
I must have closed my eyes, because I don't remember seeing anything as I fell backwards.
"Where's the net?" I wondered.
"Now?" Not yet.
"Where," I wondered again, "Is that net?"
I felt it gently contact my feet and butt, then back. I bounced up gently. I was down. Trembling, but down.
I believe I managed to stand and walk on the net over to the edge, and to flip out of it (with assistance).
Now, I understood why most people were shaky for ten minutes or so after trying this for the first time.
It was fun.
A view up toward the trapeze platform with someone else taking a swing
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Dan prepares to leave the safety of the platform as seasoned acrobat looks on
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Dan swings from the trapeze.The tutu? Well, we all wore this on our turns as a sort of silly solidarity.
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Segway? Oh, yeah. I learned to ride one of these silly devices earlier this day. It was fun, too. But they cost twice as much as I just paid for my "new" 1992 car. For a vehicle practically limited to floors and smoothly paved paths.
A couple of our group riding Segway scooters in the Discovery Dome of the Saint Louis Science Center. Judy and Lois.
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"Look ma, no hands." With a little practice, this gizmo goes forward and backwards freehanded. But you need hands to turn.
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