A couple of years ago I watched the rather overrated Happy-Go-Lucky in which the protagonist, Poppy, enjoys trampolining once a week and ever since then I have been on the lookout for a gym that offers such a service. As a child we had a tramponline for one summer but after my Dad repeatedly hurt himself (including one incident in which he smacked into our already precarious back fence) my Mum decided that it was unsafe.
Anyway, a few weeks back I found a listing online for a gym in New West that offers an open trampolining and gymnastics session and decided to make my dream a reality. With my friends Anne and Cheryl in tow I made the hour-long journey out to New West this past Saturday to get my tramponline on. Upon arrival at Queen’s Park Arenex however something was immediately amiss.
It was all children.
We were quickly greeted my an extraordinarily friendly man who informed us that the Saturday session was open to anyone 3+ and was largely geared toward children. As in we were the only participants there over the age of 10. Literally. We had to give our names and ages; below rows and rows of 4s, 7s, and 3s came ours: 28, 30, 34. The ever-chipper clerk then implored us to stay and said he would make sure we had a great time.
So we stayed.
Much to the consternation of the parents seated along one wall of the gym staring at us incredulously.
Our group consisted of myself (28), Cheryl (30), Anne (34), two nine year old girls and our instructor Chelsea (who couldn’t have been more than 20). After a quick discussion we decided to do a bit of everything and got into some warm-ups led by Chelsea. Then it was off to the trampolines! Despite being thoroughly put to shame by the clearly more practised 9 year olds it was great fun. We learned the seat jump (landing on your arse), the hip swivel (landing on your arse and then landing on your arse facing the opposite direction).
Then it was off to the vault.
The nine year olds again put us to shame flipping over the damn thing like baby gazelles doing Cirque de Soleil. So we tried some basic maneuvers which was fine and then they had us try the “mount” position in which you hop over the vault but split your legs around it. I went third after Anne and Cheryl who gracefully cleared the obstacle as had the children. As is my lot in life, I caught my feet on the stupid thing and went flying over it, much to the enjoyment of the aforementioned gathered parents who up to that point had looked at me with scarcely hidden scorn.
After I had brushed myself off I couldn’t stop laughing and gracefully declined Chelsea’s offer to spot me while I attempted a flip.
Next was the double mini tramp.
I had previously seen the double mini tramp in some competition on television when my friend Jo-Ann and I were terribly hungover and too lazy to change the channel. Even for those trained professionals the odds seemed about one in four that you would come flying off this human catapult without rhyme or reason. After explaining my fears the instructor Chelsea told us to stay clear of the marked red areas on the tramp and we’d be fine. We each took one turn and all was fine. In fact one might even say we excelled (if one hadn’t seen the 9 year olds we were competing against).
The second run was a different story. Not only did I not quite stick the landing and fuck up my knee but poor little Anne hit the red area and just sort of disappeared off the trampoline at the other end.
Needless to say it was hysterical.
Also the double mini tramps were directly in front of where the parents were sitting only further worsening our embarrassment.
After this humiliation we headed back to the big trampolines where Cheryl managed to miss her landing on a stomach jump and whiplash her face into the trampoline with sufficient force as to leave a mark. Never let it be said we were any less that 100% committed!
We left the class brimming with laughter, aching all over, and with the knowledge that a slightly more suitable 13+ class is offered on Monday nights.
It was fantastic.
Although my knee still hurts.