In acro, there are various levels of trust. When you are just calibrating (or meeting!) someone, there is the initial physical trust of flying/basing/spotting. As that connection broadens and more poses are explored, that sense of certainty and assurance will become more profound. Over time, this belief in each other can lead to a deep and meaningful connection - some might even say spiritual - with your partner.
Everyone who does acro knows that there will be a sense of trust with anyone you work with - base, flyer or spotter. As a flyer, I have to trust my base:
1) not to put me in any precarious situation
2) trust that his/her vantage point is solid and that
3) he/she will make a choice to continue or not to continue depending on how they are feeling in that moment.
Certain moves in acro aren't achievable unless the flyer trusts the base enough to 'lock out' and not lose body awareness when moves are happening (think elevators, pops, whips, any washing machine, counterbalances or balances in general).
Trust is earned in acro. When I began acro, everything was very exciting and fun; I became a little reckless. It wasn't until I had a few bad falls that I realized that it was dangerous to work on a move with someone who maybe wasn't ready for it at that point. From then on, I would trust people enough to fly with them, but was always preparing myself for a fall, looking for my exit strategy and not losing myself in the moment as a yogic consciousness would dictate.
I remember precisely the point when I started to really trust Greg. We were jamming together on Parliament Hill. He was showing me a new entry into reverse star. I accidentally tipped too far over and started to fall towards his head. I believe most bases would react, reasonably, by protecting their head with their arms. Instead, Greg caught me with hands and safely tipped me over feet first onto the grass. Phew.
It was at that moment I realized that I had never had a bad fall with Greg. He always placed the safety emphasis on the flyer. In fact, to this day, there are many times when I want to try something but he will insist on waiting until we are in a safer situation. He always has my back - literally and figuratively!
I feel incredibly lucky to play in a loving and caring community here in Ottawa. I have plenty of acro friends who I trust to base, fly and most importantly - spot. As a community, I believe this trust within each other has allowed us to grow and learn exponentially. I am more willing to try things because I trust that Greg will catch me, and, should something go very wrong, I have a fabulous group of friends who are phenomenal and encouraging spotters.
One further point - when you are working with someone you trust 100%, it is an incredibly liberating feeling. Things which are insurmountable by yourself are suddenly accessible with a partner. I cannot hold a free handstand. With Greg, I can fly hand to handstand and hold it. He trusts that I will trust HIM; this partnership creates stronger poses and keeps our consciousness in the moment.
Here's hoping that everyone can find someone they can trust 100% in acro!
Keep smiling. :)