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.

This is me. I am flying.

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.

This is me before class. I am really excited and not at all terrified.

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.

That's not a bad view to see while you're flying.

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.

There I go, up the ladder of death

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.

Chelsea says "I've got you" and I believe her

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.

The bar is heavy.

Then you bend your knees, lean as far forward as you can and grab the bar with your left hand.

I'm holding the bar. I'm ready to jump. Chelsea, let me jump now. LET GO OF ME.

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.

Knees up!

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.

This is me and Dylan. We are best friends.

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.

Did I crop someone out of this photo? Why yes, yes I did. Mwahaha.

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!



0 Responses

  1. How very SATC! Super cool. I don’t think I could ever do it though! And you need to clone your “special friend” and send one my way, because between the homemade pasta and the big surprises he seems like something I need in my life.

  2. Wow, you owe me so much g-chatting it’s disgusting. Or awesome. Or disgustingly awesome. Can’t wait. xoxox your sweaty friend who loves your handsome friend.

  3. Wow, I am impressed. I’ve always thought that looked fun, but I think I’d be too scared! By the way, this is my first comment. I love your blog! I just started my own blog after debating whether or not to do it for a looonnng time. I finally decided to take the plunge. I hope you have a great start to your week!

  4. That looks like so much fun and you did amazingly! I went to watch a friend once and I am not sure she even made it to hanging upside down. Definitely not to flips and catches!

    I have got to sign up for a session. Let me know if you want to do it again!

  5. ahahahaha, i love all the elusive reference to your special friend. I KNOW YOUR SECRET. but i promise not to tell as long as you keep running with me 🙂

    your trapeze class looks super fun! but my arms feel like jell-o just thinking about how sore i would be the next day. but still super fun!! if you want to take another class and are looking for a buddy, let me know!

  6. That looks like so much fun! Now, go to Chelsea Piers and take gymnastics classes — I used to do it all the time my sr yr of college and 1st yr of medical school. And, then I got into running…

    See ya Thursday, unless I see you am CP-ers for am sweat squad beforehand!

  7. Haha! Ali, you can turn the world on with your smile. I am pretty sure you’re the new Mary Tyler more. I have been wanting to check out commerce and broccoli and I are pretty close. 4 miles almost killed me on thursday, it seems like it has gotten cooler but way more humid!

  8. I AM SO JEALOUS!! seriously, I want to do that, it looks so fun!! Your nice friend sure is great. So exciting you met his mom! I want to hear all about it (on Wednesday??).

    I hope you got a video of the trapeze too!

  9. Oh my gosh, I could never! I’m glad you had fun and got to cross something off your list but I could never! I have this insane fear of falling and would probably die. Sounds like fun though!

  10. i have pictures of me flying on trapeze wearing basically the same outfit. true story. except i was not intoxicated, but i’m sure i would’ve been a bit less nervous had I been. next time. siiigh.

    1. I wasn’t THAT intoxicated! Just a little vino to calm the nerves. Hehe. And that’s the same outfit I was wearing when I met you at the Ki Power Vinyasa class! Twins!

  11. My friend does that trapeze regularly and loves it! So fun, I HAVE to do this!! Of course you did great. I was in Riverhead earlier this week to go to Splish Splash (greatest water park on Earth). Your nice friend is so good to you — really amazing!!!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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