When I first attacked the hobby year, I created a list of activities I could tackle. That list included everything from pole dancing to surfing-and from hip-hop dance to glass making. And while I did hit all of those things–what excited me a lot through the year was when I found hobbies that weren’t on my list–hobbies that I didn’t even know existed in and around New York City until I really started digging. These hobbies included samurai sword fighting and Jedi light saber training.
Most recently, I was introduced to another little known New York gem: Wall Running & Bungee. I have to admit–I didn’t come across this one on my own. A new friend of mine, Lauren, messaged me on Facebook asking me if I’d be up for trying this great class that involved running on walls and dancing in a bungee at a place called The Muse Brooklyn. She attached a video to the message in hopes of piquing my interest, but I didn’t even need to watch the video to know that I’d be in –it sounded awesome without the help of the video. Shortly after Lauren’s initial message, we set a date (May 1), signed up for the class, and patiently waited for our lesson to roll around.
On May 1, I showed up to the studio and watched as people stealthily climbed to the ceiling in a silks class, and I oooooed and awwwwed as others somersaulted in an acrobatics class. I have to admit, I was a little nervous for the class. The only form of acrobatics that I had really given a shot to during the hobby year was trapeze. Usually anything that involves flipping and spinning is an invitation for disaster for me, but I took a moment to mentally get my energy level up and pursue the evening with an optimistic frame of mind. I didn’t want to get to the wall and have to build up my confidence then.
Soon enough, it was time for class to begin. Our teacher, Angela, introduced herself with a bright smile on her face and gave us the option of trying wall running or bungee first. Whichever we chose, we knew we’d have a little bit more time to dedicate to it. We opted for the wall running–because let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to spend a little more time feeling like they are Spiderman?
While Lauren and I were newbies to the class, the third woman in our class–was not. She’d been practicing wall running for a good amount of time and she was ready to jump right into a choreography she was working on for an upcoming show. I observed as she moved gracefully back and forth on the wall–like a horizontal ballerina.
“Wow,” I exclaimed. “That’s incredible.”
Before I knew it, she was starting to spin and flip.
I laughed with awe. “Are you kidding me? How freaking cool.”
“You’ll be doing that too,” Angela turned to me and said.
My confidence level was growing, but I still wasn’t sure I would be flipping. Even still, I smiled and nodded along. I appreciated her positivity.
Not before long, it was my turn to give the basics a shot. I climbed up onto the stool, and then stepped off of it. Then I rotated from my vertical initial position to a horizontal position with my feet placed on the wall and my back parallel to the ground. Slowly, I began to bounce to and from the wall. “I got this,” I thought to myself, and then I progressively got into a better rhythm. After a few minutes, Angela asked me to give the “wall running” a shot. I turned to my right, relaxed my shoulders, and felt gravity begin to pull me down. I giggled. “This is hard, but I can do it.”
I began moving–not nearly as gracefully as the woman who’d been coming for lessons for weeks, but I was certainly moving. I felt like I was performing a scene straight out of the Matrix. As I began to feel my muscles fatigue a bit, I took a break and let my other two classmates take their second turns.
But before I knew it, it was my turn again–and this time, I was going to get to attempt to flip.
“You ready?” Angela asked.
“I think so,” I responded.
“You can do this,” She told me.
And then I gave it my best shot, pushing off my right foot, extending my left leg, and spinning through the air. As I landed, slightly ungracefully, I started to laugh with excitement. “Oh my goodness…I did it….I just flipped through the air.”
Angela laughed along and said, “Good–now give it another shot.” And so I did–and then I did again–and then one more time. I began to feel muscles in my body that I didn’t know existed. I began to understand parts of my body that I didn’t know existed. I tested out the power in my push off foot–sometimes giving myself a little bit too much of an oomph. Not only did I feel like I was training to be in an action-packed movie, I felt like I was really beginning to understand my body–and the capabilities of my body.
After a few more flips, I returned to the stool and de-harnessed myself. “So cool,” I thought–”so cool.”
And class wasn’t even over yet….We still had harness bungee to jump into–and man did we jump into it. Angela had each of us bounce, turn, and flip within the bungee.
“I feel like Peter Pan,” I yelled!
I added, “Just think happy thoughts.”
All I needed was Tinker Bell to be throwing fairy dust all around me.
As I took my final bounce, de-clipped myself from the bungee, and climbed down the ladder, I couldn’t help but smile. And while I’m not sure that I’m ready to try out for the next Fuerza Bruta cast–or star in a Matrix remake–I do know that having the opportunity to feel like I had the capabilities of a superhero was pretty damn awesome, and I can DEFINITELY see myself going back to The Muse Brooklyn very, very soon.
The Muse Brooklyn
32D South 1st Street