Monday, November 19, 2012

Age is not a Trampoline

Want to feel old?

Visit a trampoline park.

Last night, I was surprised and delighted (surpriselighted) to find myself on an adventure to Zero Gravity Trampoline Park. A trampoline park is an indoor warehouse space outfitted with millions (OK, twenties) of small trampolines attached to make a floor that you can run and bounce on.

It was really exciting.

Don't tell my mom. My mom is very anti-trampoline. She worked as a pediatric physical therapist and saw lots children paralysed from improper trampoline activity.

So I had her voice in my head the whole 60 (90) minutes of jumping fun. I also quickly found out that she was right and trampolines are deathtraps. Especially for adults.

Trampoline parks are designed for small, flexible 50 pound bodies to flit from one bounce pad to another with the grace of that stupid plastic bag on the wind in American Beauty. You put at adult out there and the whole world changes into American Psycho (minus Christian Bale). Adults are hard, rigid and heavy; they turn each trampoline pad into a cocked slingshot, ready to splat their old bodies across the nearest cement object. In addition to the increased stress on each trampoline, each jump area is surrounded by padded pipes where the trampolines are connected and because an adult takes up more space than a six year old, adults are that much closer to these thinly padded pipes. These padded pipes will kill you if you land on them, trip over them or get your feet trapped under; all of these things I managed to do. But even with this inevitable broken ankle looming in my near future, I couldn't help myself from jumping. ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS JUMP. All of my childhood deprivation of trampolines was let out now. My mom couldn't stop me here. I was in Mounds View, Minnesota, no one knows where that is! I am free! Free to bounce off the walls (yes, the walls are trampolines.) I am king of the tramp! Bouncing! Bouncing! Get out of my way, kid! This is my bounce area. Only one person per trampoline, kid! Oh yeah? I can run too. Watch! Oof, it is hard to run on trampolines. My legs are longer, kid, someday you'll see. Running! Running! Running! Tripping! Running! Falling? Wait, what is this liquid on my head? Am I bleeding? Don't tell my mom? Oh, it's just sweat, pouring from every pore of my body. How am I so sweaty? And out of breath? I've only been here for five minutes. Is that a side ache? No? OK, just checking. I better stop for a moment.

Wow, I didn't know I had muscles there. Why are my hips so sore? So much sweat. Oof, that's my back.

What's that? A FOAM PIT I CAN TRAMPOLINE INTO! Here I go, jumping into the pit of foam cubes! Flop. Ha, ha, ha! So fun. Let's do it again. Wait, I can't move. I am just sinking deeper into the foam cubes. How are those kids running on top of them like Legolas? Slow down, I can hardly move. I am a grown-up! Foam cubes can't keep me down! Why is this like quicksand? I feel like Poseidon emerging from the ocean, if the ocean was made of pudding and Poseidon was non-buoyant 32-year old Midwesterner.

I  tried to flail my legs free from the cubes as air assaults of flying children flew all around me. My legs were acting like there ware attached to different bodies. And each of those bodies did not want to work together to exit the foam pit. I wriggled and wraggled (new word, take that Shakespeare). The cubes sucked me in harder, like that woven finger trap from grade school. The cubes will not keep me down. I just needed to keep my head up, I couldn't let it go beneath the cubes, no one knows what is down there. Swim the cubes, Heather! Swim them like you have never sum cubes before. Umm? Self, I never have swum cubes before. Heather, just do it. My sweat was beginning to lubricate the cubes so I could pass by them easily. Finally, this adult body is working for me. There's the edge of the pit! Now, just to heft myself out. Come on triceps, don't fail me now.........OK, how about I do a combination of life/belly roll out. Yes!  That's what I call the upward squeeze! I belly flopped to the side of the tramp and pulled my betraying body from the foam cubes, if I ever was in possession of gracefulness this was not the moment that it was exhibited. I had conquered the foam pit, it wasn't pretty but it was conquered. Trampoline park, you can't keep me down. Age is just a number!

Hey? What are you doing? One person on the tramp at a time. Don't get so close! Hey!

Who pushed me back in the foam cubes?

I will rise again! (In about twenty minutes)


Larissa T. said...

That looks like so much fun! "surpriselighted" love it! :)

Purple Dreamer said...

That looks like SO much fun! I wonder if there are any trampoline parks near me.... I admire your bravery in jumping in (pun intended) and hope to follow in your footsteps! (as a trampoline deprived child that I was!)