life list NYC with Amber

Life List: Fly Through the Air with the Greatest of Ease… on a Trapeze – Check!

New York Trapeze School | Pier 16 (South Street Seaport), New York, NY 10036 | Manhattan

Well… maybe not with the “greatest of ease”.

I started off pretty positive…

… however, if you read the last post where I jumped off of something high into the air, it will not surprise you that I got to the top of the ladder at trapeze class and shook my head.

“I am not going to jump off of this.” I said to the instructor, looking down. “I’m terribly sorry, but it’s back down the ladder for me.”

She blinked at me a few times from under her hoodie; later I found out she was briefly accessing if I was one of the scared people that needed the kind-and-gentle approach or a tough-love kick in the rear. She went warm and reasonable with me, which ended up working.

“What are you afraid of? It’s safe!”

“It’s high.”

“It’s supposed to be high.” she said, somehow managing to avoid a “Duh!” tone of voice. “That’s the point. Don’t worry, you’re totally safe. We have celebrities and little kids that come here. No one gets hurt.”

The ladder already had someone else on it waiting, and I was all strapped in, and really, the only way off the platform was through the air. So I smushed the tears off my face with my sleeve’s edge and jumped, while doing an epic ugly-cry that turned into a belly laugh, because, after two seconds, it got really fun to be swinging around up there.

You can’t tell from these photos if this is the most awesome thing that ever happened to me or the worst, right? Neither can I. I think, though that jumping off of things that are high is not my jam. But in retrospect, it was cool, I felt victorious, and, after the four staff members on the ground all shouted up at me to open my eyes, I was able to get an amazing view of Brooklyn, the FDR, and the river between them.

Thank you to the crew at the Trapeze School of New York at Pier 16, especially Dana who picked all the right words to get me to leap, and to my sweet friend Lara Ruth for setting this up and snapping shots with my camera. Now go do this!

first photo by James Stress


  1. Heather

    26 September 2012 at 9:07 am

    you are inspiring me to face my fears. and live my life. and chase my dreams. and create beautiful things.


  2. Kizz

    26 September 2012 at 10:00 am

    This is exactly how I picture it! It’s also why I can’t decide if I want to do it or not. I’d like to get over the crying part and have the fun part because then I’d probably want to do it again.

    So glad you did this. Hurray for the Life List!

  3. Smedette

    26 September 2012 at 10:40 am

    This is so awesome, Amber!

  4. Irita

    26 September 2012 at 10:54 am

    Oh, Amber. So fantastic! I want to be you when I grow up.

  5. Lara

    26 September 2012 at 11:58 am

    I’m so incredibly proud of you lady – you did it!! Was wonderful to watch you turnaround and conquer your fears even more with attempt #2. So glad I was able to be there to experience this with you! Xo

  6. Elly

    26 September 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Good on you, hey! I did it recently too (it was on my list) and what I found is that I had this bizarre moment when pure instinct kicked in, despite all reason and determination. We had to swing out (I found it easier to think of as just jumping up a little bit on the ‘hup’. It’s the jumping action that gets you going, and if you don’t think about the swing out it becomes just a tiny jump up instead of off something), put our legs above the bar, and then we were meant to let go with our hands and dangle. I couldn’t let go on the first swing, something in my body just kicked in and decided that it wasn’t a good idea and I shouldn’t do it. It was really bizarre, because I was so determined! I’ve never had my body completely override my mind like that before.

    Still, I’m glad that you belly laughed. I did too 🙂

  7. tapps

    26 September 2012 at 12:38 pm

    you’re amazing, my friend

  8. Cindy

    26 September 2012 at 1:37 pm

    This is somewhere on my list too. I’m so glad you did this. I like how you’ve been doing things lately that remind you that you can fly.

  9. Kris

    26 September 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Awesome! Though, someone needs to do this in a ball gown. ;-P

  10. Daffodil Campbell

    27 September 2012 at 12:26 am

    Lucy and Max want to do this. Plan accordingly, cool auntie Amber.

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