I discovered a brutal truth last Saturday: I'm getting old. Now I'm not talking about unable-to-look-over-the-steering-wheel old, or AARP-old. I'm talking about not in my twenties-close-to-my-forties old. And far too old to do what I ended up trying (and failing miserably) to do. Let me enlighten you...
This particular Saturday, my daughter and son were invited to her classmate's birthday party at this trampoline park/over-priced-playground. I had been to a few before but always sat them out, not because I was afraid but simply because I felt a little foolish jumping on a trampoline like a kid (apologies to mine and everyone else's inner child). But after much cajoling, my son finally got me to join him.
I kicked off my shoes, put on my sticky socks (they prevent sliding, and moving across regular floors apparently) and headed over to main bouncing area with various zones of activities. The first zone we went to was a platform that you swing off of with a rope to drop safely into a foam pit below. A bit startling, but not terrible. My son then took me to the adjacent room with floor and walls covered in trampolines (an immediately intimidating sight).
My fearless son proceeds to bounce off the floor to the middle of the room, giggling all the way and also calling for me to join him. I reluctantly do, unsuspectedly launching onto the nearest trampoline, and then immediately careening straight towards one of the trampolines on the wall. To which I bounce off and blast the other way, hopping across the various trampoline pads and nearly knocking over a few children as I try to stop my momentum. It took another bounce off a trampoline wall and a slight slide before I succeeded.
My super-ego is now telling me this is far too dangerous, but my id joyfully tells me to try again. My super-ego is winning until I notice a couple of younger-ish kids doing tricks between the floor and wall trampolines. My id says it looks both fun and easy, and I can do it too (as if my initial near-death experience hadn't proven the fallacy in that logic).
So, I make my way to a secluded area of the room, set myself up and jump towards the trampoline on the wall with both feet (dumb!). I rebound far too quickly backwards, attempt to stop my fall with my arm, and jerk my head painfully. I am startled, somewhat sore, but not hurt (wait for it...).
Fast-forward to after the cake and singing. I noticed earlier that there was this area called the "Ninja Room", set up a lot like those American Ninja obstacle courses, which times how long it takes you to complete it. My kids requested being able to go in (at $3 a pop) and I told them after the festivities. It is now after the festivities and they are eager to enter. I figure why not, and pay the front desk. They get this special wrist bands and are allowed to enter.
We head over there, the kids climb the (ominous) steps to the starting/ending platform, and they go for it (after a few mishaps with entering through the exit and not the start). They are having a blast and it looks like fun. I notice the entrance has these slanted padded platforms laid out in such a way as to be able to scale with a leap side-to-side until eventually landing on the far level platform (You're ahead of me). My id once again tells me I can easily do that. I have, after all, being doing DailyBurn regularly for the past month and got into fairly good shape.
So, So after letting the kids try a few times, I tell the far-more-flexible kids that I'm going next (to loud objections). I set myself up and bound onto the nearest slanted platform. I pass the first three just fine, but then my trajectory shifts and I'm headed for the second to last far lower than I would like. I land and immediately start sliding down. My left hand reflexively shoots out but it can't stop my descent. I land in the foam pit below with what seems like nothing more than a bruised ego.
Then I glance at my left hand and discover my pinky is bent up when it should be going down. I had dislocated it. Fearing it's broken, I pop it back in and find that I can move it amid pain. I am thankful it wasn't worse, and decide that I'm too old(-ish) for this and far too inexperienced. I let my kids resume their more talented attempts and head to the front counter to get a couple bags of ice to squash my pinky between. I vow to let my kids (and far braver adults than me) enjoy these (deceptively dangerous) trampoline parks from now on. I'll sit on the side and enjoy my book.