TRY THIS: Feel the wind beneath your feet at Sky Zone

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My fit friends insist exercise can be fun—uplifting, even. But after searching in vain for that “runner’s high” everyone keeps talking about, I’ve begun to suspect it’s more myth than reality.

I have slogged my way through almost three dozen 5K races in the past two years and haven’t felt anything other than relief when crossing the finish line (and mild soreness the next day).

I’ve spent hours at the gym and found pleasure only when I lucked into a front-row parking spot.

ae-apb-skyrobics02-15col.jpg Try your jumping skills at the indoor trampoline park. (IBJ Photo/ Aaron P. Bernstein)

I rode my bicycle for miles through the Hamilton County countryside, and my clearest thought was about the birds of prey I noticed perched on treetops along my route: Would they wait for me to die before swooping down to pick my bones clean?

Then my quest took me to Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park overlooking Interstate 69 in Fishers. (The national franchise also has a location in Plainfield.) The draw: Skyrobics, an hour-long exercise class conducted on trampolines.

A child of the ’70s, I grew up in the bounce-house era, before backyard trampolines dotted suburban neighborhoods and inflatable playgrounds filled strip

malls. We called them moon walks, and they were the highlight of every fair and festival of my youth. I would have gladly traded all my toys—and my younger brother—for year-round access to the fun.try-this-factbox.gif
So I figured if anything could take the “work” out of working out, it would be a trampoline. I was mostly right.
First off, Sky Zone doesn’t just have one big trampoline, or even several of them. Rather, its patent-protected walled playing courts are a network of dozens of individual trampolines with padded connections. Brave the youthful masses during open jump time, and you’ll also find a foam pit, basketball hoops and probably a pickup game of dodgeball or two.

Skyrobics attracts a more mature (and mostly female) audience. A rotating cast of instructors leads the classes, offering variety for even regular attendees. They also were very patient with newbies like me, encouraging us to follow along at our own pace.

That was good news for me, since I was gasping for breath before the end of the 10-minute warm-up. Turns out jumping—even on a trampoline—is harder than it looks for an out-of-shape adult.

Still, I couldn’t help but grin as I bounced, my anxiety melting away with every millimeter of air beneath my feet. Eventually, I worked up the courage to try more than a simple jump, doing knee lifts or butt kicks on the way up, for example.
Others in the class were more advanced, jumping higher and with significantly more control, but I only had to sit out one activity: a series of trampoline-to-trampoline jumps that I just didn’t have the altitude to do without tripping over the padding in between.

Thanks to frequent water breaks and occasional pauses for non-jumping exercises like push-ups and planks, I made it through the hour sweat-soaked but otherwise unscathed. It was challenging, yes, but also exhilarating. I don’t think I ever stopped smiling—a first for me during an exercise session and enough of a myth-buster to make me want to try it again.

I also learned a lesson that will carry me through future Skyrobics classes and so much more: Success isn’t measured by how high you jump, but by how well you land.•


Have a seemingly fun activity you’d like an IBJ writer to try? Email lharry@ibj.com.


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  1. Great article and post scripts by Mike L (Great addition to IBJ BTW). Bobby's stubborn as a mule, and doubt if he ever comes back to IU. But the love he would receive would be enormous. Hope he shows some time, but not counting on it.

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  4. Jim, your "misleading" numbers comment is spot on. This is the spin these posers are putting on it. News flash, fans: these guys lie. They are not publicly traded so no one holds them accountable for anything they say. The TV numbers are so miniscule to begin with any "increase" produces double digit "growth" numbers. It's ridiculous to think that anything these guys have done has awakened the marketplace. What have they done? Consolidate the season so they run more races on consecutive weekends? And this creates "momentum." Is that the same momentum you enjoy when you don't race between August and March? Keep in mind that you are running teams who barely make ends meet ragged over the summer to accomplish this brilliant strategy of avoiding the NFL while you run your season finale at midnight on the East Coast. But I should not obfuscate my own point: any "ratings increase" is exactly what Jim points to - the increased availability of NBC Sports in households. Look fans, I love the sport to but these posers are running it off a cliff. Miles wants to declare victory and then run for Mayor. I could go on and on but bottom line for God's sake don't believe a word they say. Note to Anthony - try doing just a little research instead of reporting what these pretenders say and then offering an "opinion" no more informed than the average fan.

  5. If he's finally planning to do the right thing and resign, why not do it before the election? Waiting until after means what - s special election at tax payer expense? Appointment (by whom?) thus robbing the voters of their chance to choose? Does he accrue some additional financial advantage to waiting, like extra pension payments? What's in it for him? That's the question that needs to be asked.