Trapeze!

If you're looking for a challenging indoor activity, Trapeze School New York offers classes in launching oneself into the air whilst holding on to a bar for dear life. The staff members are most excellent and the safety equipment perfectly fine, so you can release your fears and SOAR!

Activity: Trapeze class
Length: 2 hours
Instructors: 3

The class accommodates various levels of experience. First-time fliers get:
  1. A safety harness strapped so tight you can barely breathe 
  2. A safety lecture ("Obey the instructor" and "Land on your back or butt, not your feet")
  3. Instructions on how to swing your legs up over the bar, how to let go, and the proper form for "catch hands" -- four fingers together, thumbs apart
And you're up the ladder and off the ledge! Because doing is learning!

On the ledge, you get clicked into lines that are connected to a bar that the "lines" staff will move back and forth over the net, helping you swing. That person will yell commands at you, like:

"LEGS UP!" = swing your legs up and hook your knees over the bar 
"LET GO!" = swing from your knees, arch your back, and do "catch hands"
"HANDS ON!" = grab the bar again while looking at your knees
"LEGS DOWN!" = prep for falling
"HUP!!!" = release the bar and try to fall on your butt!

We got to practice these moves three times before we got to the good part: being caught by our very lean instructor, a bearded pocket acrobat. Behold, my final swings:

video


Some observations:
  • Climbing up the ladder is a workout on its own. One instructor told me that the minimum age you can do trapeze is whenever you can climb that 30-foot ladder.  
  • The bar is heavy!!!!
  • The "zero area" is when you're at the apex of your swing and have a moment of weightlessness. To conserve energy, this is the moment to move, e.g. to swing your legs. 
  • Flying on a trapeze takes no time at all but seems endless when you're up there. 
My buddy Special K provided much entertainment during her first run by grunting loudly with every effort. After we pointed it out to her, she vowed to be more elegant and went up the ladder muttering, "Don't grunt, don't grunt, don't grunt..."

Another member of our group was an equestrian so she was pretty athletic and nailed every move. Our final adventurer was on her fourth trapeze class and was hanging off her ankles instead of her knees, which requires perfect timing for letting go and being caught by the instructor.
At the end of class, we all compared our callouses, which weren't too bad since we powdered up for the final two runs. 
The next day, all our armpits hurt.
It took three days for my lats and abs to recover from the sore muscles wrought by this very exciting and taxing activity. I am very interested in doing this again, but alas, they close up shop in April. So if you're in Boston and feel acrobatic, try it out now!

TL;DR: I slayed at trapeze, see video above.

This post brought to you by spring showers!