Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Check Your Equipment

I wrote this blog two weeks ago but hesitated posting it.  Until today when I read a piece on the Huffington Post by a mom blogger stating that she posts things that are part of her story and this is part of my story.

I questioned posting this because it wasn't just my experience, but it is my experience as well as others.  Regardless, here is the post I wrote.
I can't sleep right now and I am pretty sure it's because I am a bit horrified by something that happened today.

All in all, I had a great day and a wonderful weekend. I straightened out my storage unit, donated some items, found shoes for two cosplays at the thrift store, got to see several of my favorite people, and had a amazing aerial workout.

I went to class. I did some forward and backward hip circles, my backbends (not as good as my first one), worked on some spins and I got to witness my friend over come some deep fears. I am so proud of her. Beyond proud. I knew she could do it. I was also told I was having a mom moment (over something else) which made me very happy.

So what's so horrifying?

We learned a very valuable lesson today "always check your equipment."

It's not that we don't check our equipment. We just don't do a thorough check with each use. Always take the time to check for changes, rips and tears.

One of the trapezes we work with has had an odd issue with the ropes being of different lengths. Both trapezes have this issue but this one has become drastic where the other has not changed. There was a good foot difference between the two so we did a lot of work twisting to get it straight. In the last few weeks it's gotten worse.

I am not normally on that trapeze. Today I took a look at the "long side" and saw ripped leather in the socks. It just looked very wrong to me. We started checking it out and by squeezing the socks on each side there was and unmistakable difference between the two. The short side was full with rope. The long side felt empty.

When we took the apparatuses down we toyed with it a bit more. The socks shouldn't bend out easily. The long side pretty much folded over. The short side it took some effort.

Upon further inspection, we opened the sock a little more, we found that the rope was just about separated from the bar. In fact, we were able to pull the rope ends right out. The company has been contacted and we are all very sure the trapeze will be fixed or replaced.

My point in posting this is to share our lesson. Always check your equipment and if something seems wrong please investigate.  Even if it's just a gut feeling.  Sometimes we can sense danger without cause for alarm.  This piece very well could have failed and caused serious injury.  Fortunately, this is not the case.

Just as info, both trapezes are from the same company, purchased at the same time, used in the same manner, and used in the same frequency.

Check your equipment.  Don't play around with your safety.

Since writing this the trapeze has been sent for repair.  We had a class this past weekend and I was very much doing equipment checks.  While one trapeze is off to the circus hospital, we played on lyra in addition to the trapeze.