What if humans could fly? It’s the question that plagued humankind for hundreds of thousands of years until the invention of the hot air balloon. It’s the question answered in the legend of Icarus (his father became the first acrophobic). It’s the question that led to the invention of the airplane – and subsequently budget airlines, to the story of Superman – who with his Krypton-inherited leg muscles had the power to leap over tall buildings in a single bound.
Andrew and I took the day off on Monday, and in a Superman-inspired moment that morning, I suggested that we go to a trampoline park.
I’ve never been to one and I thought that jumping on trampolines would be a fun date. Who knows, maybe I would also find my inner superhero who had not manifested due to lack of opportunity.
There were a few indoor trampoline parks to choose from, but I picked one that had just opened, Bounce. Since it’s new, I figured the place would be the cleanest and least crowded. Plus, they had a grand opening discount.
After we arrived, they made us wear bright blue socks with yellow sticky bits on the bottom and sign an electronic waiver form. The former to ensure that we don’t slip and fall face-first, the latter to ensure that we don’t sue if we slip and fall face-first.
A cheerful young man gave us a short safety briefing, which included reminders such as “Don’t land on your face”, and then we proceeded to step on one of the dozens of trampolines in the area. On the first jump I made on the trampoline, I thought, “Well this is fun. And easy.” At around my fiftieth jump, I thought, “Well this is FUN. AND HARD.”
The park had an area with a huge airbag where I did
flips flops with terrible form. The climb out of the airbag pit was as much of a workout as the jumping itself. There was also a free-jump area with vaults and platforms. Andrew hopped from the shortest one to the tallest with minimal effort like a James Bond villain, while I buckled my knees and opted to keep my trajectory mostly vertical.
The place was very Instagram-friendly, with inspirational quotes on the walls, like “Free Yourself” and “The Harder You Fall, The Higher You Bounce”. The bright decals all around made it look like a perfect place for an all-night rave that kept you going on and on and on. Before I knew it, I had acquired trampoline legs – on solid ground, my brain still expected the floor to be bouncy and the earth’s gravity felt stronger than it actually was. It was a very surreal, disappointing feeling like I was coming down from a high, a trampoline rave high.
I had a great time and it was an absolutely great idea for a date. By the end of the 45-minute session, I had learned a few things: That I was more scared of heights than I thought I was; that between the two of us Andrew would make the better gymnast (I would make the more elegant one); and as with any experience that’s a good mix of fun and terrifying, I wanted more of it.
Postscript: According to this article, trampolining is a great whole-body exercise. I can attest to it, as three days later, my whole body aches and walking down stairs is torture. I still want more of trampolining, though.