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Flying high with trapeze training

May 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to fly through the air on a trapeze? Well now you can take a swing at it, at the Santa Monica Pier at a new trapeze school. It's about more than just fun and fitness. It can also help you overcome certain fears."I'm kind of a thrill-seeker," says Kaitlyn Yates. "I like fun things so I thought it'd be fun."

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That fun thing is flying on a trapeze at the Trapeze School of New York on the Santa Monica pier.

"The reason people come to trapeze school, at least initially, is they see something they saw in the circus when they were young and they imagine what it might be like, and then here's an opportunity to give it a try," said Jonathan Conant.

Until classes fill, the school is offering a chance to take a swing at it for $10, but then it's on to harder skills like catches and flips, eventually putting on a real show.

"But some people do this as an exercise because it makes you very strong, it gets your body working all at the same time in a balanced way," said Conant.

School co-founder Jonathan Conant suggests those with shoulder problems shouldn't try trapeze. Otherwise, it's a stellar workout for upper body, lower body and core strength.

Not only can you get yourself into absolutely peak condition, Conant says you work through some serious fears.

"There are two types of people," says Conant. "Fear of heights people, who are afraid to fall, and people who are afraid to jump."

And once that's determined, it helps this experienced staff work with you to overcome the challenge.

"Some people just come up and down the ladder and that's what they're doing that day," says Conant. "It's not a matter of doing it or not doing it, it's a matter acclimating."

"Fear of heights is a natural thing, but if you just listen to the steps and go ahead and try it, you'll be glad you did," says Beth Feldman.

I am afraid and I tried it. And yes, I should have tried again, as 15-year veteran Beth Feldman says repetition is key to feeling secure.

"Not only physically do you get better, but the fear thing you learn how to control that a lot more, and you can actually use that as a life lesson," says Feldman.

From the stance to the swing, there's plenty of ground practice, then all kinds of support ropes and spotters to keep you safe. Outside of a few muscle pulls, Conant says they haven't had any serious injuries.

So if you can get past that gut-wrenching feeling you might find yourself saying... "Wow that was really scary! And I did something really scary!"

To contact the Trapeze School of New York - TSNY LOS ANGELES: www.trapezeschool.com

For another, trapeze school in Los Angeles, visit: Richie Gaona Flying Trapeze School

 

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