15 12 2009

Challenge day 14 – Rush. When did you get your best rush of the year?

Ah, trampolines and Renaissance Festivals. Glass blowing and mead too.

Generally any day where I’m upside down is a good thing. Having had a trampoline as a kid (best birthday present EVER), I know my way around one of these buggers pretty well. Too bad all the kids now have to be stuck with not only them being ROUND, but also with those wras’lin’ lookin’ cage things around them. (WTF? Is this an outdoor playpen or what?)

What’s wrong with that, you ask? Well lemme enlighten you—

First, round trampolines have a smaller sweet spot, dead center of course, which is far less forgiving than the rectangle ones. I see it as perfectly ironic—one bad bounce on a round one, and it’s time for your superman impression launching across the garden. (And no, tilled earth is not a softer landing than regular earth, plus your mother is likely to fuss at you for squashing her plants, plus okra’s really itchy, trust me on this.)

Second, those cage things around the round trampolines these days scare the snot out of me. Ever caught a foot on the way up on a flip? And unless you’re about 7 years old, that little mosquito netting stuff ain’t gonna stop your superman impression after you miss dead center (see above). But then again, I guess they have to have the cages since the sweet spot is so tricky. Irony? Dunno, you tell me.

Age 7, summer, my older cousin took me to the park for a picnic lunch while the guys set up a rectangular trampoline in the backyard as a surprise birthday present one day earlier than my birthday. If it was over 60 degrees, I was ON it. And if it was under 60 degrees, I was calling time & temperature—Come to think of it, I still remember that phone number.

One safety feature I will concede to: pads on the springs. (Yes, mine had them.) If you’ve ever missed the edge and gone legs-first into the springs, scraping the skin off your legs the whole way until you run out of leg on the north end (boys aren’t the only ones that get racked you know), then you’ll absolutely refuse to jump on a tramp without ‘em. Pads on the springs that is. All things considered, my tramp was da bomb. Although the best ones are the indoor-only, Nissen, white canvas ones, where the canvas was woven (and stitched) like the top of an apple pie—they have the BEST bounce, and a long sweet spot perfect for backhandspring-back’s, over and over and over. That is until your little toe got stuck in one of the wee holes between the weave. (I was little for my age, thank GOD I finally outgrew that before I ran out of toes. But I think it explains my tiny pinky toe toenails.)

I haven’t seen a trampoline like that since the 80’s. Not in person anyway. Although in New Orleans off Veteran’s Blvd there used to be a trampoline place, where you could pay by the hour to come in and jump. They had some crappy numbers, but they did have a couple of good ones interspersed (for us connoisseurs of course). If you played it just right, you could bounce from one to another. Every now and then, we’d head out from Baton Rouge, for no other reason than to hit the trampoline place. Other people were going to Bourbon Street. Me? Yeah, eventually, but lemme get my jump on first.

I guess old gymnasts never die.

(Renaissance Fest 2009. Yeah, I’m the old lady in line with the kids. Every. Year. They only wish they could turn that many flips….)

By the way– dude in the pic is soooo bogarting the bounce. Stand on the frame dude. Yer killin’ me.




3 responses

15 12 2009

Love it! We had a trampoline growing up and it was the best thing ever. Of course, I was never brave enough to try flips or anything remotely dangerous. I still jump on my nephews trampoline every single time we go to their house. They have a round one, but no cage thing! yay!

16 12 2009

0212 ?

17 12 2009

a: 0212 indeed. I even tried it, but to no avail.

jen: how far away do the nephew’s live? I feel a gate-crashing urge coming on—

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