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Flying Through The Air With A Mediocre Amount Of Ease
Hello from the highway.
I’m headed back to NYC on the lovely Hamptons Jitney right now. It’s this nice little bus where they bring you snacks and bottled water.
You may be thinking, “Oh hey, cool, Ali, did you enjoy a nice day on the beach out in the Hamptons? Or perhaps you went out there to check out the course for your upcoming Hamptons Marathon?”
Well you can ask those questions.
But the answer to both is, “No! That is not what I was doing today!”
I didn’t get out of bed today until 11:30 am.
No really, it was fantastic. I guess my body was tired after yesterday’s 13-miler, which I chased with a leisurely trapeze class.
More on that later. I’m going to keep you intrigued. Because I know, you’re probably wondering if I survived the class. (I did, obviously, since I’m writing on a bus right now. Don’t be crazy.)
Alright, you want to know about the trapeze class now? Fine. I will tell you.
So you may recall that I recently shared with the world via Fitness that I have been dying to take a trapeze class for a few years now.
A certain friend took note of that little dream of mine and made it a reality.
Last night, I hopped into a harness, climbed up a huge ladder, and jumped off a tiny platform into the air.
It. Was. Awesome.
The class was at Trapeze School New York at Pier 40, which overlooks the Hudson River and has amazing views of the city. Oh that’s right, the class is outdoors, on a rooftop. The class started at 8 pm, so the nighttime views were especially impressive.
It was raining when we arrived so there was some fear the class would get canceled. But it didn’t. So that’s good news.
I was asked to sign a waiver, which I didn’t bother reading. If I had to guess, it said, “Your family will not sue us if you die.” My nice friend read it and he signed it, too, so I assume there was nothing too crazy in there.
With my life signed away, it was trapeze time.
There were five people in last night’s class, which was the perfect amount. Maximum flying time for Ali! Three of the people had flown before, so it was just my handsome buddy and me as the first-timers.
A lovely young man named Dylan strapped some heavy harnesses around our waists. I told him to make sure mine was really tight, and he did. Uncomfortably tight. But I felt safer that way.
We had a short lesson with Dylan during which he taught us the commands we’d need to listen to while we were in the air. We learned all the basics on the ground. Safety: check!
And then off we went.
I was up first.
I don’t know how that happened. No one else freakin’ volunteered, so up the ladder I went.
The rickety death ladder, as I liked to call it in my head.
The only time I got nervous during the class was each time I had to climb up that damn ladder. You get to the top of the ladder and step onto a little platform, where a nice girl named Chelsea is waiting for you.
The next part is a little scary, too.
You’re told to stand on the edge of the platform “with 10 toes off the edge.” Chelsea holds onto your harness from behind and says, “Don’t worry, I’ve got you.” Great, thanks, Chels. Appreciate it.
You reach out with your right hand to grab the bar of the trapeze. It weighs 10 pounds and feels like it weighs 100.
Then you bend your knees, lean as far forward as you can and grab the bar with your left hand.
Chelsea is still holding on, because she’s super nice like that.
Then Chelsea says “Ready!” and “That’s not a question, it’s a command.”
You’re not supposed to respond. You’re just supposed to be ready to jump for your life.
Then she says “Hep!” which is a word that has no meaning. When “Hep!” happens, you jump off the platform.
Then life is good, because you’re flying.
The first time I went I had no idea what was going to happen. I honestly thought I would jump and fall to the ground. I don’t have a ton of upper body strength and thought I may not be able to hold my weight.
I did fine though. In fact, I did kind of awesome.
The first two times I went I did the basic pass: swing, legs up onto the bar, let arms go, hang upside down, bring hands back up, drop legs, fall onto net.
I was hooked immediately. It was so fun!
Next we got to learn a trick: a backflip dismount.
All that you do to make the backflip is happen is do a little kicky thing with your legs, then the flip happens. I swear, it’s that easy.
Last: a catch!
I was super nervous about going for this one because my life was actually in someone else’s chalky hands.
But Dylan was nice and I trusted him, even though he joked with me that it was his first day on the job.
Oh Dylan. You’re hilarious.
To make the catch happen, you just let go of the bar, reach out with “catch hands” (not to be confused with jazz hands, my favorite) and let Dylan take you with him.
I liked the catch.
All in all, the class was a blast. By the end, I was in some pain. My hands felt like they immediately developed calluses and I was getting some seriously painful charley horses in my calf muscles. Worth it? Oh hell yes.
Flying is awesome. I was surprised at how natural some of the moves felt. You really just have to be able to listen to the commands you’re given and appreciate the weightlessness you’ll feel while you’re in the air. Trust the instructors and you’ll be fine.
Other noteworthy things in my life that are not as exciting as trapeze-ing:
- I ate dinner last night at Commerce. It’s downtown and I had an awesome meal. You should go and get the broccoli side dish. Also, the bread basket comes out hot and there are soft pretzels in it. It will change your life, or at least please your stomach for a while.
- I had two glasses of wine before the trapeze class. I recommend doing that.
- I went for a run around 12:15 pm today. I did 3 miles and I hated them. It was too hot out and I just wanted to be flying, not running. But whatever. I got them done.
- Before I left for my run I told my nice friend that I “want to go outlet shopping.” And then he was like “OK, done” and booked two tickets on the Hamptons Jitney, which took us directly to the Tanger Outlets in Riverhead.
- I bought some work clothes at Banana Republic. I prefer buying running clothes.
- I met my nice friend’s mom and she is lovely. She was really nice to me.
This week is going to be crazy but I’m pretty pumped about it. Highlights include a delightful event happening at JackRabbit Sports which I hope to see lots of you at, followed by a weekend excursion away from NYC.
I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend!