I grew up close to a park, so I spent a good amount of my childhood building my reign as queen of the playground. The swings had their appeal and the slide was fun but one of my favorite memories was hanging upside down on the parallel bars with my best friend. We’d sit on the bars and then flip upside down, swinging from our knees and letting the blood rush to our head, laughing as we saw who could hang on the longest.
Now as a 26-year-old, I think I’m obliged to let younger children have their turn on the bars, but a recent trip to I.FLY Trapeze took me back to those carefree days.
I.FLY Trapeze allows people the chance to live out their highflying trapeze dreams under the supervision and tutelage of trained professionals. Started by brothers Anthony and Marco Rosamilia, I.FLY teaches individuals and groups how to fly trapeze, both on a basic and more advanced level.
“There are so many activities that are indoors, and you’ve done them and know them. This is active, physical and outdoors,” said Anthony, a Long Island native. “People are always looking for something that’s fun and new and exciting.”
Fun, new and exciting is a pretty succinct description of an experience at I.FLY. But if you’re like me, doing flips and hanging upside down 20-feet above the ground can sound a little intimidating, especially if you have the upper body strength of an uncooked noodle. But according to Anthony, anyone willing to climb up the ladder can do trapeze.
“If you have a desire or show interest and say you want to try, that’s the first step,” said Anthony. “If you can climb that ladder, our team is here to make it happen.”
I took up Anthony’s challenge to see if I too, could become a trapeze master. I.FLY classes are small, with no more than 10 students in each workshop. The small classes allow each student to get focused attention from an instructor, who can be there to coach them through complicated flips, do a demonstration or, in my case, gently encourage me to keep going.
Acrophobes will be glad to know that safety is paramount at I.FLY. While advanced flyers can fly free of a harness, Anthony said beginner flyers are nestled into four points of safety—a safety belt, in safety lines, over a safety net and in the hands of watchful instructors.
Flyers as young as age four can get on the trapeze and the oldest person to take on the challenge at I.FLY was an 87-year-old WWII veteran. I.FLY is not only challenging physically, but mentally, as it requires a ton of focus and concentration. But the feeling of doing a flip and flying through the air beats any day at the gym. The upbeat instructors are there to guide you every step of the way and they don’t give up on you.
While I’m sure it would help, Anthony is right when he says you don’t need any prior athletic prowess to fly. All you need is a desire and the ability to take a leap of faith off the platform and into the air. But just a warning, trapeze can be mildly addicting, so you might just find yourself signing up for regular classes. Or just visiting your local playground.
I.FLY has locations at Eisenhower Park and Long Beach. Find out more at www.iflytrapeze.com.