SLOAN COLUMN: Bound and determined to DEFY old age
“So what do you want to do for your birthday?,” I asked Jules, my grandson who will turn 10 this month.
His answer was not unlike that of most any other young lad celebrating a decade of existence.
“I want to go to the trampoline park,” he said with great excitement.
An excellent choice, I thought. If trampoline parks had been around when his grandpa turned 10, chances are this would have been his choice as well.
There’s something really cool and thrilling about bouncing on canvas attached to springs. The higher you bounce the better. Flips and somersaults. For a 10-year-old, this is good stuff. It’s “lit,” as Jules would say.
I went to check out DEFY, a trampoline park on Second Loop Road that opened last August. The place is huge - 15,000 square feet of full-fledged hopping, and bouncing. Trampolines, large and small, are just about everywhere you step. There’s a giant foam pit filled with colorful foam and swinging ropes; a ninja warrior course; a dodgeball court; a slam dunk center; and an innovative slack line.
If you’re looking to get your bounce on, well look no further.
There was no doubt in my mind Jules would be in heaven once he pulled on the special grips socks required to be worn by all bouncers. Jules is in store for an hour-and a half of high-flying fun.
And then a thought crept into my mind.
“What about me?” Could I just sit idly by while Jules had all the fun?
This, dear friends, is where the gauntlet between mind and body was officially thrown down.
Let me explain. I just celebrated my 58th birthday. When the idea of bouncing around a trampoline park for an hour or so presented itself, my body responded in this way:
“Don’t even think about it. You are old. You have no business being out there with the kids. You’re being courted by AARP already, for goodness sakes. This will not end well. A twisted knee or ankle, maybe even a broken bone. You could break your hip, old man! There is a reason why you have to sign an incredibly long waiver that releases them from all liability. It’s so they don’t have to pay for your medical bills!!!!”
My mind, however, had other ideas.
“Are you kidding me? You’ve got this, dude.
You’re not in that bad a shape. Remember, you are one of the few, the proud. You are a hard-charging, lean, mean fighting machine who maneuvered his way through a Marine Corps obstacle course. Yeah, I know that was 40 years ago, but come on, man! You’ve still got it. Don’t pay any attention to what your body is saying. It’s nothing but a bunch of lies!”
After very little thought, I made reservations at DEFY, for two. I’m locked in and the challenge has been accepted. This Saturday I plan to prove the old man still has a little something left in the tank. This old dog is about to get off the porch.
I’ll give you an update on how things go next week – if I’m not in traction.