SLOAN COLUMN: Bouncing excursion does not end in ER
No broken bones. Check.
No sprains. Check.
No twists, tears or ruptures. Check.
This old man’s trip to DEFY Trampoline Park with his grandkids was a rousing success from a medical standpoint. Aside from a few sore muscles, the 58-year-old frame came out no the worse for ware.
Determined to show my mind that my body is nowhere near ready for the nursing home, I joined grandkids Jules and Lexi in pulling on a colorful pair of grip socks. It was their first trip to DEFY, and, truth be told, I was excited as they were.
The place was far more crowded that I expected, making me immediately aware that my bouncing in such close quarters to tiny humans roughly one quarter of my size would be decidedly dangerous.
Any ideas of doing flips or somersaults were immediately squashed as I had no intention of doing any squashing of my own. This may very well have proven beneficial to my own well-being.
The birthday boy, 10-year-old Jules, was off and running. There was no keeping up with him. Four-year-old Lexi and I headed to the jumping pit. She took a few turns bouncing into a sea of foam cubes. Each time Poppy was there to meet her at the edge and pull her up.
Finally, it was my turn. Bounce one. Bounce two. On the third bounce I was catapulted into the air where I twisted left and then threw my arms wide open. Landing softly, I sank deep into the pit. Like a diver swimming toward the surface, I made my way through the foam cubes, tossing them aside with glee. No chance of injury here, I thought. This is fun!
Then I tried to move through the cubes toward the edge. I quickly realized getting out of the pit would be the challenge. Struggling at first, I finally found my footing. It took a little while but I finally made it to the edge and hoisted myself out. My energy was completely zapped, albeit for just a few moments.
We hit the rope climb, the zip line, the ninja course, and played dodgeball. Lots of fun and no injuries. I do think the sheer number of kids prevented me from attempting anything foolish, which I am prone to doing.
Jules and I even met in the middle of a narrow bridge crossing a foam pit and jousted with NERF-like pugil sticks. I did have a sudden boot camp flashback, but quickly returned to reality. Jules and I fell into the pit together.
We left after an hour and a half, all three of us sweaty and smiling. So did I DEFY old age? On this afternoon the answer was yes, absolutely. The body officially has bragging rights over the mind, at least for the time being.
But now the stakes get a little higher. No a lot higher. I bought myself a Christmas present this year, one that will allow me to check something off my bucket list I have been waiting to do for a long, long time. I purchased a gift certificate from Piedmont Skydiving. Sometime this spring I will make a tandem jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
Age is merely a number, folks. But them again, so is altitude.