In the world of flying trapeze, two words are crucial to taking action at the right time.
The words are:
At first they may come from the coach on the platform or the coach pulling the safety lines. Eventually, the directives come from the catcher in the other trapeze.
Hep means go.
If you’re on the platform, it means leap into the air. If you’re on the trapeze bar heading to the catcher, hep means let go of the bar. Hep is action.
As every new trapeze student learns on their first day,
Ready is not a question, it’s a directive.
Nobody is asking, “are you ready?”
Because in many cases, the answer would be “no.” Especially for first-timers.
You’re standing on a platform 25-feet in the air. You don’t know what’s going to happen after you leap into the void. Everything that is about to come is a mystery, the unknown.
It’s natural to feel fear.
Even if you think you’re ready, you might soon discover you’re never fully prepared for what is about to unfold.
Just like life, we may never feel ready.
And just like life, we must take action anyway.
“Ready” is a cue. A command. Ready tells you that the time for action is imminent.
My stand-up comedy teacher advised that after we get on stage, we should “take a beat” before starting our set.
Ready is the beat.
In yoga, every movement starts with the breath. Inhale before taking action.
Ready is the inhale.
Ready is the moment of void before creation.
Start before you’re ready is common advice given to procrastinators and perfectionists.
On the trapeze, on the comedy stage, and in life, starting before you feel ready is uncomfortable. It takes practice and repetition to make it more comfortable.
And…the truth is that if you’re there — on the ledge, on the stage, at the precipice — then you are ready.
In this sense, Ready is not just a directive, it’s an affirmation:
You’ve made it this far. You’ve got this. You are ready.
The only thing left to do is trust.