Some people might think of D.C. as a political circus. But what about an actual circus? Where government workers, lawyers and military members fly through the air performing flips and tricks? Yep. You’ll find that too.

Shawna Karlson has been working to master the craft of flying trapeze for years.

“I remember as a kid going to see the circus, but I never would have thought of it at all,” Karlson said about picking up flying trapeze as a hobby.

She turned to the Trapeze School New York and Washington D.C. after tearing her ACL in 2011; an injury that prevented her from continuing to take gymnastics classes. Today, flying trapeze is her go-to sport.

“When I tell people, they kinda give me a second look like, ‘You do flying trapeze?’ And I’m like, “Yeah, it’s so much fun and it’s so safe and it’s so… just a thrill. Kind of a rush.”

Karlson’s day job at NOAA couldn’t be more opposite from her hobby.

She’s also a wife and mom to two young children. And this year, she hits a milestone that’s giving her an extra push in trapeze class.

“I turn 40 this year, so I need to be, well not need to be, but want to be in the best shape I can be in,” Karlson said.

Laura Wooster, one of the flying trapeze instructors, said there are trapeze schools across the country. They offer other classes too like silks, trampoline, acrobatics and lyra.

If you’re interested in running away to the circus too, start with the company’s website: