Today is going to be a high flying episode of Fire & Earth! If you didn’t know, Kathy is actually a trapeze artist, and today we will be discussing the life lessons that can be learned through trapeze.

Whether it’s trapeze or something else, there is always a lot to learn about life and yourself when you do something that scares the shit out of you!

So take a listen to our episode and then get out there and do some living!

Listen in at:


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Kathy Gruver: hey everybody, welcome to another episode of the fire and earth podcast i’m your co host Kathy grover.

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Jason Mefford: And i’m Jason medford, I just wanted to put a little.

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Kathy Gruver: whoo good.

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Jason Mefford: Okay well hey we’re gonna we’re gonna talk about a little loop or floating through the air a little bit because Kathy does something that is pretty pretty amazing in trapeze.

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Jason Mefford: So today we wanted to talk a little bit more about trapeze and how.

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Jason Mefford: trapeze is actually a parallel to life right so Kathy take her away because you know that this is there’s lots of things in life.

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Jason Mefford: That are parallels of life yeah right, and so we should be learning from everything we’re doing and everything we’re observing so let’s talk about trapeze, which is one of the things that you love and.

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Jason Mefford: And what are some of the things from that that we we learn and can take from to make a better life for herself.

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Kathy Gruver: yeah first of all, this is a question, everybody asks how the hell, did you get into flying trapeze that’s a great question, thank you for asking Jason so how I got into.

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Kathy Gruver: I got you were stolen from the by the circus when you were a little child and I ran away the circus enjoy yeah.

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Kathy Gruver: yeah exactly.

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Kathy Gruver: No i’m an adventure junkie and I love trying new things I love saying yes to things my motto in high school was go for it that’s what my license plate on my car says now is go for it actually says go 40 for it, which seems to confuse people but it says go for it basically.

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Kathy Gruver: And so, nine years ago my God How is that possible nine years ago I was doing a massage on the client.

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Kathy Gruver: She said, you know I checked out your website you’re so busy you’re writing you’re speaking you’re doing all this stuff do you time for fun.

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Kathy Gruver: I said oh my God yeah I saw him in spokane and rappelling of zip lining and parasailing paragliding and so on the shark swimming with dolphins, I read through this list.

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Kathy Gruver: She goes good Lord with left on your bucket list, and this is sort of the first thing.

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Kathy Gruver: I said I don’t believe in the bucket list I said, because to me a bucket list is the stuff that you write down and you shove, it in a drawer and you never go back to it until your terminal or you’re at and you realize oh crap I guess i’m not getting to albuquerque.

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Kathy Gruver: Go for those things that you want to do if there’s something that you want to do, and you can do it with the time and the money that you have available to you.

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Kathy Gruver: Why are you not doing that thing, and so, when I told her that story, she said well what, what do you want to try that you’ve not done yet, and I said, you know i’ve always wanted to try flying trapeze.

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Kathy Gruver: And as the words came out of my mouth, I went oh shit I guess I gotta go do that thing.

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Kathy Gruver: So she’s changing your clothes i’m literally googling at that point where I can go do flying trapeze and the closest place, I found was Santa Monica so two hour drive from Santa Barbara.

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Kathy Gruver: And I signed up and I went home that night, and I said to my husband ex husband, I said hey.

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Kathy Gruver: i’m going to take an only child weekend i’m gonna go to Santa Monica i’m going to do trapeze i’m going to spend the night down there and just sort of have a weekend away like absolutely.

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Kathy Gruver: I thought it would be a one time thing I thought it would be just check it off the list and I realized, it was the most exciting invigorating.

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Kathy Gruver: Connected saying that I could possibly do and so over the so many years of doing it i’ve realized.

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Kathy Gruver: it’s not only the best exercise ever it gives you family around the world, because we are so connected with other trapeze artists so that’s been an amazing thing.

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Kathy Gruver: And it’s not only a mindfulness practice it’s also that parallel for life so it’s just it’s been such a huge part of my journey and such a huge enlightenment experience for me.

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Jason Mefford: Well, as you talked about that there was there was a new phrase that I heard this week that the ties into what you’re kind of saying there is is it’s are you marking time.

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Jason Mefford: Or are you living.

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Jason Mefford: And, and that hit me hard, because you know I mean again the older we get and there’s there’s different times and seasons in our life.

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Jason Mefford: In general right but, but are we marking time we’re just here we’re hanging around until we die, you know, making a mark each time we go around the sun.

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Jason Mefford: Or are we actually getting out there and living and so again that example that you just said, have you know a lot of people talk about bucket lists, but you’re right most people write down the list, they throw it in the drawer they never get back to it.

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Jason Mefford: yeah so.

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Jason Mefford: You know don’t wait in and I learned this I learned this from my mother Okay, she she worked hard, she you know her whole life was serving people working hard.

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Jason Mefford: always have this plan she’d always dreamed you know of traveling the world of doing all these things she was an only child as well, so she spent a lot of her time in books.

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Jason Mefford: bar and you know we we.

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Jason Mefford: There were two magazines in my house that we subscribe to readers digest for my dad and.

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Jason Mefford: National Geographic for my mom, so I would sit and watch the you know read through the national geographics as well, and also dream of these places to go and see.

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Jason Mefford: And so my mom you know again she you know we didn’t have a lot of money we didn’t really travel, you know, because we were just trying to put food on the table right.

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Jason Mefford: And so, she went and went through her whole life finally retired and now was going to be the time that her and my dad were actually going to go travel yeah three bouts of cancer later and dead.

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Jason Mefford: So, you know that taught me fairly early that don’t wait until the end your life yeah do the things you want to do, because we don’t know if we have tomorrow.

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Jason Mefford: Right, so you know again to that point it’s not on your bucket list, but you, you took action you know, so I call that like riding the ball.

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Kathy Gruver: yeah.

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Jason Mefford: You know if you get if you get an opportunity to write a bowl.

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Jason Mefford: Read the fucking ball.

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Jason Mefford: thing right.

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Kathy Gruver: I completely agree with that yeah.

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Jason Mefford: Well, and so, and this is, this is where that’s a perfect example of what you said, with trapeze so okay so let’s let’s talk about.

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Jason Mefford: You know, again how How can this be a parallel for life.

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Kathy Gruver: yeah so For those of you who are not familiar with what trapeze looks like because i’ve had people think, I mean tight rope i’ve had people like I mean trampoline, no, no, you climb a really tall ladder.

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Kathy Gruver: And you stand on a very little platform and they hand you this bar that’s really heavy it’s actually.

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Kathy Gruver: Surprisingly, heavy it can wait 10 pounds like wait, what else and it starts to pull you out over the net.

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Kathy Gruver: And you’re looking down and it looks really far down understanding that the net has you know holes in it that’s what a net is so you’re seeing all the way to the ground is kind of an optical illusion.

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Kathy Gruver: And you’re holding on to that bar and you get your second hand on you jump off that platform you soar through the air, the very first trick is you put your knees up on the bar like you would at the jungle gym.

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Kathy Gruver: You let your hands go and, at the end of the class you reach for that catcher they connect you with catch hands you swing with them for a while and then they drop you gently in the net.

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Kathy Gruver: And I started to realize the more I was doing this again one it’s a mindfulness practice because if you’re not present if you’re not listening, the one muscle that you have to bring.

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Kathy Gruver: is listening, for, and your core helps do but, listening, is the most important one, if you’re thinking about something else if you’re jumping ahead to the catch when you’re trying to get off the platform.

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Kathy Gruver: everything gets screwed up so it’s about being present and listening in that moment that’s one of the most important things with trapeze.

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Kathy Gruver: And the few times that I have jumped ahead to another thing or I was rushed or I was stressed, or I wasn’t paying attention i’ve gotten horribly hurt.

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Kathy Gruver: it’s the very least you miss your trick at the very most, end up stitches broken fingers punched in the eye.

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Kathy Gruver: Having said that your first your first having said that your first class is very safe, I was doing very hard stuff so do not discourage yourself from going it’s a it’s a fun thing and very safe.

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Kathy Gruver: But you climb that ladder I think we’ve all had that thing where it’s like we have something that we have to do and it scares us and we don’t think we can do it.

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Kathy Gruver: And we have to climb that ladder and it’s shaky and halfway through you’re exhausted, and you start to question oh my God, can I actually do this.

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Kathy Gruver: And then you get up on this platform, and someone gives you something that you’re not expecting you’re handed this bar and it’s heavy.

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Kathy Gruver: And surprising and you’re like oh I don’t think I can do this, and at some point, you have to jump you have to just say to hell with it and you jump off that platform.

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Kathy Gruver: And you soar and you have to remember that, no matter what happens there’s a net there was always a net there to catch you.

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Kathy Gruver: And there’s always a catcher there for you to there’s always somebody that you can rely on so there’s the safety measures automatically in place someone’s holding your belt.

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Kathy Gruver: They can gently place you down in the net it’s just to me it’s like that’s just so many things you know we have to do this thing it’s scary at some point you just have to say what the hell and do it.

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Kathy Gruver: And there’s always a safety measure in place there’s always in that there’s always somebody there to support you.

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Kathy Gruver: And so, every time I fly I think about that I think about what is hard in my life that i’ve been able to jump off that platform and do, knowing that I have the support, knowing that that safety net is always there.

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Jason Mefford: Well it’s interesting because, like you said you know as you as you, you know yeah if we if we just use that as a metaphor for life right we’re we’re we’re climbing up the ladder.

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Jason Mefford: But how much of the time, do we freak ourselves out and we say, oh no I don’t know if I can do this I don’t know if I can do this and i’m sure you’ve seen P you’ve done this enough you’ve seen people.

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Kathy Gruver: yeah.

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Jason Mefford: They get part of the way up the ladder and they decide not going to do this and i’m going to go down.

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Jason Mefford: or they get all the way to the top of the ladder and they’re standing on the platform and they look down and they have that oh shit moment right because.

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Jason Mefford: You know i’m guessing you’re you’re up 50 to 100 feet.

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Kathy Gruver: Oh God no 2525 to.

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Jason Mefford: 2530 years old.

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Jason Mefford: Okay, so it’s not as high as I was thinking, but still 25 to 30 feet, is a lot for people yeah, especially if you’re if you’re afraid of heights.

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Jason Mefford: And like you said, the optical illusion of looking down, and I think this is this is great.

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Jason Mefford: Because there’s a scene from indiana Jones, if you remember, there was at one point where they get to the edge of the cliff and they look down.

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Jason Mefford: there’s this huge chasm between them and the next area over there right and and they can’t see anything they think Okay, this is it we’re dead right and then realize that no, there is a path that goes over it just happens to be camouflaged.

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Jason Mefford: Look exactly.

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Jason Mefford: Like the area down below, and so it was having that face to put forward.

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Jason Mefford: Ever foot and actually realized that there is something there, just like in in trapeze the Net is there, you might not see it right, because those those strings are pretty small.

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Jason Mefford: Compared to the holes in them.

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Jason Mefford: yep but there always is a net there and again Okay, you might get a broken bone you might you know poke yourself in the eye I don’t.

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Jason Mefford: Know right but there’s going to be a nap there you’re not going to die.

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Jason Mefford: Doing trapeze right because there’s all the safety equipment they like you said they’ve got you hooked up.

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Jason Mefford: And it’s that way in life so much of the time to we’re not gonna die there’s a safety net there’s people around us, you know to be able to help us if we get in over our head and again every time that i’ve done.

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Jason Mefford: Something that scared the shit out of me okay i’ve got a picture back over there of me going scuba diving and the Red Sea.

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Jason Mefford: The fear of drowning.

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Jason Mefford: Okay, and and I don’t swim that well, but I was there and again it was the Fuck it i’m going to do it.

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Jason Mefford: Now, because you know, one of my one of my friends that lived there he’s a top scuba diver instructor, and so I trusted him right, I was scared but I trusted him.

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Jason Mefford: And the first time I tried to go in London so good right, I was getting knocked around.

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Jason Mefford: My flippers we’re we’re we’re slipping on the ma you know the the Moss on the rocks and I I kept getting knocked around from the waves and I just couldn’t do it and I started freaking out right and he looked at me and he could see.

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Jason Mefford: As like let’s just go sit down for a few minutes, so we went and sat down for a few minutes, and you know came back or you’re ready to go now okay well let’s go in this other side instead right.

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Jason Mefford: And so I went in and again the whole time i’m sitting there kind of freaking out a little bit.

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Jason Mefford: But again it’s like I know my friend has my back he knows exactly what’s what’s going on all I have to do is be he’s he’s gonna adjust everything on me that I need to.

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Kathy Gruver: yeah.

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Jason Mefford: And I went down, for I don’t know five minutes wasn’t very long, but it was amazing and that feeling of euphoria when I came out with a water and it’s like I did something that scared the shit out of me.

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Jason Mefford: And I did it anyway.

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Jason Mefford: That feeling of joy and elation is like.

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Jason Mefford: Nothing else that you can experience right, and so, if you want to feel those things it comes after we do the hard work after we do those things that scare us.

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Jason Mefford: Right i’m sure it was the same way with you, the first time, you did trapeze i’m guessing you were probably a little scared or were you like, no let’s go wow.

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Kathy Gruver: yeah I was pretty much the no let’s go.

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Kathy Gruver: But just because to me, you know because I looked at it rationally and went i’m roped in.

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Kathy Gruver: And if you do math I don’t do math but you figure you’re hanging from the bar and i’m five eight so add another one foot and a half of arms, so when you’re hanging from the bar the lowest point your feet are only about four feet from the net.

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Kathy Gruver: So this is, this is the idea of um 25 feet up yeah but you’re only four feet, where you drop gently into the net.

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Kathy Gruver: So it’s like it’s perception to it’s this perception of dangerous as perception of fear and so often, you know in stress is simply a per per.

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Kathy Gruver: section of things it’s our perspective, which we can always shift, so you can think i’m 25 feet up or you can think i’m four feet from the net.

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Kathy Gruver: I want to explain it to people that way they go oh that’s not a scary you know even on the ladder, we have ladder lines, so that if you would happen to fall off i’ve never seen anyone fall flat or if you happen to fall off the ladder it catches you.

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Kathy Gruver: So that you don’t go tumbling down the ladder, there are there are things in place to keep us safe.

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Kathy Gruver: And allow you to have the best experience you possibly can, and I think that’s how life is to now it’s like and how often do we get to just sore.

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Kathy Gruver: You know, we achieve those things, and then we soar through the air and the best part is this catcher when you connect with that person.

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Kathy Gruver: And you know you’re safe and you swing out and you get this feeling of it’s truly this feeling of flying and then they just blew up they.

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Kathy Gruver: Do drop you gently down back into the Net and it’s just the most it’s the most awesome feeling ever, and it was at that moment, when I did that catch and I swung out with a catcher that I went off shit i’m coming back to do this again.

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Jason Mefford: Well, because then, then you get it you feel that adrenaline you.

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Jason Mefford: joy of.

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Jason Mefford: of actually doing it, you know and i’ve seen from you know some of your Facebook posts and everything I don’t I don’t know what these things are that you’re saying, but it’s like i’m going to do a BA BA BA BA BA BA you know or I just did a blah blah blah blah blah and i’m like yeah.

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Jason Mefford: I don’t know but i’m gonna like that, because i’m sure, whatever it was was a big deal I don’t know what it was, but it’s it’s a big deal for you to.

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Jason Mefford: write and again there’s people around us that are cheering there’s not there’s there’s not just people they’re there to catch.

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Jason Mefford: You but there’s people that are there to cheer you on to.

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Jason Mefford: right because I mean who doesn’t love it when somebody does something that’s hard.

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Jason Mefford: And they do it.

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Jason Mefford: it’s great I mean how many how many movies, are based on that.

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Kathy Gruver: Of course.

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Jason Mefford: Right and it’s so there’s always people there to.

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Jason Mefford: That are cheering you on.

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Kathy Gruver: I love it, you said it’s I kind of forget about that part of it, you know we I was there a couple maybe two weekends ago and there was a gentleman having his 50th birthday, it was a surprise, his wife partner, whatever she was brought in.

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Kathy Gruver: As a surprise now i’ve seen this multiple times, where the woman’s in like huge shorts and little sandals and her hair and makeup done.

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Kathy Gruver: And they run the drop is just like what you know.

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Kathy Gruver: You might want to warn people before you surprise them, but this guy was great with his 50th birthday, she got him a flying trapeze something shirt.

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Kathy Gruver: And then said we’re going to do this thing and he’s like oh my God, this is awesome.

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Kathy Gruver: He couldn’t get his knees up he couldn’t do that he didn’t have the flexibility to get as nice through his hands, so we do something called hoc style where you put your hands in the middle and you bring your legs up and around.

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Kathy Gruver: And he kind of got that and he kept talking the lines and the sock came off and but we were rooting for him, we were cheering for him, it was so fun to watch and he finally.

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Kathy Gruver: got his catch he got his legs up he released his hands the catcher got them.

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Kathy Gruver: People in the down on the ground started screaming for him, we were screaming happy birthday.

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Kathy Gruver: And I mean it was the most exciting thing to watch and sometimes I actually like sit there and tear up because I remember what that’s like that first time.

00:17:10.500 –> 00:17:20.820
Kathy Gruver: To have that exuberant of I did it I did that thing you know and you’re right it’s so supportive and everybody’s cheering and screaming and you could hear on some of my videos people are just like screaming for me.

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Kathy Gruver: And everybody else that’s that’s doing that thing, especially the coolest thing is what is either a kid or an adult it’s like I am fucking terrified.

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Kathy Gruver: And you see how scared they are they’re so afraid to hold on to the bar they’re so afraid to jump off the platform and by the end they’re doing the you know the backflip off the bar and they’re getting their catch.

00:17:39.930 –> 00:17:46.500
Kathy Gruver: it’s this this progression and maybe you get up two steps, the first time halfway up the ladder, the second time.

00:17:46.920 –> 00:17:58.650
Kathy Gruver: all the way up a lot, you know, maybe you never get to do the knee hang but you jumped off a frickin platform, good for you let’s celebrate where you are let’s celebrate all those little achievements along the way, because that’s a huge thing to.

00:17:59.430 –> 00:18:09.330
Jason Mefford: know because it is it’s those percent it’s that perception again right that a lot of times you know, like that, as you’re sitting there talking it’s like I don’t know if I could get my visa.

00:18:11.670 –> 00:18:18.270
Jason Mefford: Right well if I did it if I don’t get my knees up there if I if I don’t if I don’t do it.

00:18:19.980 –> 00:18:33.510
Jason Mefford: If I have failure, no because, like you said, I still climb up that ladder, I still tried it right, I might not have done what I was expecting to do.

00:18:34.950 –> 00:18:43.680
Jason Mefford: But did I have fun uh huh did I learn something uh huh did I go beyond you know where I thought I could go.

00:18:43.740 –> 00:18:55.050
Jason Mefford: yeah yeah and so you’re right, you know rack those things up to I did it, I mean that’s that’s that’s how I felt like when I came came out of the water, it was like.

00:18:55.290 –> 00:19:07.110
Jason Mefford: I mean I just even even though again it wasn’t kind of what I had pictured in my mind, but it was I did it I did something that that actually really scared me.

00:19:08.310 –> 00:19:16.080
Jason Mefford: And I did it and I didn’t die, and I can do hard things right, I used to tell my kids you know you can do hard things.

00:19:16.500 –> 00:19:29.400
Jason Mefford: Well, as adults, we can do hard things to right and it’s in its celebrating all of this stuff and keeping things in perspective, you know and again even still like you said right you’ve you did, that the first time, but you keep going back why.

00:19:29.850 –> 00:19:33.450
Jason Mefford: Because you’re pushing yourself you’re trying to grow.

00:19:33.600 –> 00:19:41.970
Jason Mefford: As well right and so that’s another lesson in life is you know, again, am I ever gonna go scuba diving again.

00:19:43.020 –> 00:20:00.600
Jason Mefford: I don’t know that might that might be a once in a life for me Okay, but the things that I do enjoy do I try to get better at it do I try to learn do I try to grow absolutely because that’s our growth involvement is one of the main reasons we’re on this earth okay.

00:20:01.050 –> 00:20:03.330
Jason Mefford: So you going back.

00:20:03.900 –> 00:20:10.500
Jason Mefford: And practicing and doing your xyz hand twisty thing right yeah.

00:20:11.040 –> 00:20:22.860
Jason Mefford: it’s helping you to grow as well, improving your confidence in life and again it’s not we don’t just get this from trapeze right, as we said at the beginning, this is about a parallel to life so.

00:20:23.370 –> 00:20:31.740
Jason Mefford: You might have been thinking we’ve been talking about trapeze or scuba diving but we’re talking about life folks okay so go back and listen to it again.

00:20:32.040 –> 00:20:40.110
Jason Mefford: yeah if you thought we were talking about trapeze and scuba diving and listen to it again and apply it to your life.

00:20:40.200 –> 00:20:44.010
Jason Mefford: And how you know, are you marking time yeah.

00:20:44.130 –> 00:20:46.770
Jason Mefford: Are you living and growing in your life.

00:20:47.100 –> 00:20:57.930
Kathy Gruver: I love it and go for it, you know step outside of your comfort zone and maybe it’s not trapeze or scuba diving or racecar driving or zip line do something drive a different way to work.

00:20:58.530 –> 00:21:09.240
Kathy Gruver: You know figure out what you want to do think that that thing that scares you a little bit and just go try it just try it once just to say you did throw out the frickin bucket list and go live your life.

00:21:10.860 –> 00:21:13.500
Jason Mefford: Go for it go 4444 it.

00:21:16.920 –> 00:21:17.910
Kathy Gruver: can’t be that confusing.

00:21:18.600 –> 00:21:22.260
Kathy Gruver: Anyway, cool so you can find trapeze rigs.

00:21:22.530 –> 00:21:33.420
Kathy Gruver: In a lot of major cities there’s a website called which I think is hilarious where you can find trapeze REG so there’s some in La San Francisco New York Miami Chicago Miami.

00:21:33.870 –> 00:21:38.580
Kathy Gruver: la there’s a couple of here in Santa Barbara come up and fly with us Santa Barbara trapeze go shout out.

00:21:39.210 –> 00:21:39.720
Jason Mefford: shout out.

00:21:42.690 –> 00:21:45.600
Kathy Gruver: To Vegas San Diego there i’ve flown all over the world, so.

00:21:45.660 –> 00:21:51.480
Jason Mefford: Well, and it’s one of those things again to where if you’re not aware of it, but you want to do it, you don’t realize.

00:21:52.650 –> 00:21:57.390
Jason Mefford: How much it’s everywhere right so again, if this is something that you’re interested in.

00:21:57.810 –> 00:22:10.320
Jason Mefford: you’re gonna you’re going to find and again it might not be this it might be something else, but whatever it is just go do some Google searches you’re gonna find out there’s a whole community of people.

00:22:10.530 –> 00:22:14.340
Jason Mefford: yeah that want to do or love to do what you want to do.

00:22:15.000 –> 00:22:18.870
Jason Mefford: as well, and so you know you found that in trapeze as well.

00:22:19.170 –> 00:22:20.730
Kathy Gruver: Totally all over the world.

00:22:20.970 –> 00:22:22.680
Kathy Gruver: Now, because of this so yeah.

00:22:22.710 –> 00:22:23.160
Kathy Gruver: it’s awesome.

00:22:23.790 –> 00:22:34.530
Kathy Gruver: All right, go out everybody try something new stretch yourself go for it go for it, for it throw out the bucket list and live your life now don’t just work time i’m Kathy Gruber, I could reach a Kathy Griffin calm.

00:22:35.040 –> 00:22:48.300
Jason Mefford: i’m Jason effort, I can be reached at Jason method calm so go out have a great week try something new live a little bit more of this week than you did last week and we’ll catch you on the next episode of the fire and earth podcast see ya.

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