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Holy crap…she’s blogging on a SATURDAY – GAH!!!  Hey everyone, well yowza it’s been a few weeks since my last post…and the time felt like NOW to do one, so here I am!

Ever have a weekend with nothing going on and yet you still feel exhausted when Monday rolls around and it’s time to go back to work?  And on the flip side…a weekend so jam-packed just reading the schedule makes you feel tired…but afterwards you feel so REFRESHED and INVIGORATED??   Last weekend was one of those weekends.  My head spun at the thought of all we were going to pack into one day. A Sunday.  But afterwards I felt like a new woman and 10 years younger!

So what happened?  Well, my coach in the Lean Eating for Women program I started last July came up to Seattle to see her Seattle-area clients!  She and I Skype occasionally (she lives in the Lake Tahoe area), and she sends us videos every week with encouragement for us and some info on what’s coming up in the week ahead.  And we all belong to a private Facebook group. So I felt like I already ‘knew’ D beforehand…and I was so excited to finally see her in person!

We had a huge lineup of activities planned, from eating out to various fitness-related stuff (of course!) and people would just show up to what they wanted to do depending on their weekend schedules.  Friday night we toasted the weekend ahead with dinner at Matt’s in the Market in Seattle.

SeaScallopsTalk about an iconic location…Matt’s is right at the main entrance to the Pike Place Market, up a couple of flights of stairs. Your visit to Seattle isn’t complete without a walk through the bustling market – people, food, art, music, shopping…it’s all there!  And Matt’s is kitty corner from the famous City Fish Company, where the guys throw the fish back and forth to each other while they’re working.

Check out my dinner…YUM…that is a glorious meal of sea scallops with peas, pea puree, Thumbelina carrots and ham hock.  Absolutely outstanding!!  We then walked the Pike Hill Climb and had dessert at some cool place that starts with an “A” and for the life of me I can’t remember it.  Funny.

Some of the group met up Saturday morning for a bike ride from downtown Seattle where D was staying out to Discovery Park. I didn’t have a bike and didn’t really feel like renting one…plus I decided I really needed to just rest and do some food prep for the week ahead.  Ahhh, a perfect choice!

Because then there was Sunday.  Sunday April 27.  A day I faced two of my fears head on:  my fear of ladders and my fear of heights.  I haven’t really done any posts about fear because I try to keep things light and somewhat humorous in here, but ladders and heights do give me the willies.  Hell, I don’t even like getting up on a step stool in my kitchen!

So what did I do to face these fears?  See for yourself!!

Yes, I climbed up a 28′ ladder, jumped off a platform and swung on a trapeze!!!  Holy crap!

One of the women in our Seattle group suggested doing a trapeze class together – and when I heard about it I had the same rush and whoosh feeling as when I was asked if I wanted to try learning to play hockey years ago.  I KNEW I was going to do it, despite feeling freaked out!

We met up Sunday morning at SANCA Seattle, the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts.  Who knew there even was such a place?  Along with the huge circus tent where we had the trapeze class, there was another building where they teach tumbling for kids and adults and other circus-type stuff.  I was fascinated beyond belief!  And the instructors were incredible.  So happy and cheery…and they know their shit.  We did some warm up exercises together and they talked through the whole process from climbing the ladder to dismounting off the safety net we would land on.  I was getting so nervous that I was having a hard time remembering everything they were saying, but I figured they’d repeat it anyway when it was our turn to jump and swing!

Safety of course is paramount through all of this.  From the time you step on the first ladder rung to your dismount off the safety net and back on the ground you have safety lines attached to you.  You put on a belt cinched very tight which has several large rings to hook your lines on.  Once you get to the top of the ladder onto the platform, an instructor is up there to switch out your lines to the ones for your jump and swing.

And that platform up there is not very big.  I’m sure the “holy fuck” look on my face when I got off the ladder an onto the platform was epic.  The guy up there looked about 18 and was kind of short. And I’m thinking “YOU’RE going to help me do this??”  But the guy was great…and strong with Popeye forearms!  He stood behind me while I stood with my toes hanging over the edge of the platform.  I was gripping a short ladder like structure with my left hand and LEANING FORWARD with my hips forward.  This is what you do while they pull the trapeze bar to you with a giant hook.  Believe me, this is THE most unnatural and counterintuitive way to stand ever!!  GAH!!

They tell you ahead of time that “the bar’s going to feel heavy,” when they pull it to you and you grab it with your right hand.  And ummmm, hello, that was the understatement of the century!  That fucker is HEA-VY!  But the guy behind me held me in place.  My heart was pounding.  I probably forgot to breathe too.  Then I grabbed the bar with my left hand and waited for the command to jump from the other instructor on the ground.

“READY….HEP!!”  We learned that ‘hep’ is circus talk for ‘go.’  Why don’t they say “go”??  Well, in the tent with the acoustics and everything, ‘go’ can sound like ‘no,’ which is not a good thing.  With this kind of activity there is no room for ambiguity!  Well, there was a few seconds delay after my ‘hep’ before I got the courage to take my feet off the bar.  I had this weird sensation that if I did that I would drop straight down and hit my head on the platform!  Strange!  Well, there is no way that could happen because the bar is so heavy it pulls you away from the platform very quickly.

What a rush!!!  Oh my GOD…it was both frightening and exhilarating at the same time!  I DID IT!!  In fact, I got 4 jumps in during our session (there were 7 of us, including two kids, and they had the order written on a chalkboard so we each got an equal amount of turns).  In the exercise I did you’re supposed to bring your legs up and swing by your knees, get back up and then do the backflip dismount.  But I’ll try that again next time.

Yes, I said “next time!!!”

After that we changed our clothes and headed up to Whole Foods in downtown Seattle to grab lunch.  We figured that was easiest so we could just grab whatever we wanted and eat it in the store.  Then we walked a few blocks to the Chihuly Garden and Glass  exhibit at the Seattle Center!  Long gone is the old Fun Forest amusement park (anyone else have great memories of that place as a kid?)…now it’s Chihuly.  Beautiful glass sculpture and wonderfully unique installations of glass art outside intermingled with real plants.

Meanwhile, D wanted to know if anyone wanted massages.  She had found a cheap place on Yelp where it was something like $25 for a 45-minute foot massage.  What?  That sounds almost criminal.  Well, we decided to go for it so she made reservations for us.

Here’s where it gets interesting and funny.  D says “well, can we walk there too?”  After learning that this massage place was in the International District I laughed and said nope…that’s clear at the other end of town!  So, we drove! Hey, why not give D a mini tour of Seattle neighborhoods meanwhile, right?

We headed into the Pacific Rim Center, a sparsely filled out indoor mall with a rather strange vibe and energy to it.  Maybe it’s because I was somewhere I’d never been before…in my hometown.  Maybe it was because D and the rest of us were the only 4 Caucasian people in the massage place.  And maybe it was the weirdness of walking into a sea of massage chairs just out in the open.  And the silence.  Everyone was fully-clothed (whew)…but was this one of those “happy ending” places??  Yikes.

Ever have a foot massage that starts with your scalp? Nope, me neither…until that afternoon.  And the guy doing my massage was about my Dad’s age I’m guessing.  Just an overall very odd experience.  I had my clothes on with a towel draped over me so it wasn’t feeling creepy, but still was weird.  And this massage…holy crap I still have bruises a week later around my knees and on my forearms and thighs!  I don’t remember it hurting too much (would have said something) so I was shocked that I am still looking like a domestic violence victim or bondage lover even a week later!

We finished off the evening with dinner at Purple in downtown Seattle.  Great, relaxing food and a huge wine selection too.  We laughed as we reminisced about the day – such a random mix of stuff we did…IN ONE DAY!  And I laughed too thinking that WOW, of everything we did that Sunday, going to Purple was the ONLY thing I’d ever done before!

There’s so much more to my hometown, Seattle, that I’ve yet to explore and discover.  And how cool it took a visitor from out-of-town to make it all happen.  Bliss.