My parents’ next-door neighbours got a blue, 4-person monstrosity of a trampoline for their sons this summer. You could hear the yelling and laughing all the way down the block. Of course, considering that gaming consoles have largely supplanted actual fitness these days (unless you are a practitioner/follower of the more active titles for Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Kinect), in my books, any physical exercise is good. And it’s good to see the little nippers (who are heading towards adolescence and will be heads and shoulders taller than me in six months) airborne and burning off their energy.
By sheer coincidence (and research on the web), I wanted to get a trampoline as well, although my yearnings predated said neighbours’ purchase. Just not on the same scale or size; neither fiancé nor backyard would accommodate a swimming-sized rebounder (not that I was going to do backflips, twisting turns, or tumbles, nor are Olympic aspirations in the offing). To say nothing of storage issues during inclement weather and/or non-use. But simply, as part of my goals for 2014, I had decided to get a headstart on the fitness part of things, and having received a mini-trampoline as an early Christmas present (the big, liquid brown eyed Puss-in-Boots stare and determination finally paid off), I am convinced that the elusive delusions of six-pack abs and an active lymphatic system are in sight.
The unboxing of said mini-trampoline (which, I have learned, is not a true rebounder in the strictest sense–but what can you expect for $50 and taxes) was easy, as was the attachment of all four metal braces and the feet. Unfortunately, the connection of 30 springs to the jumping surface was a workout in itself, even with use the provided tool. It was not until my gifter was about 85% of the way through fastening springs to surfaces did we think to read the instructions. Attach the first half of the springs first in a circle, and then the second half. Oops.
Once that part was re-accomplished, slipping on the elastic spring cover was the next trick, and required two people to do. Here’s the best way I can describe the process: it was like putting a tight, humungous rubber band over and around an even more humungous circle … something that approximates the circumference of an earthmoving wheel–and hoping the cover wasn’t going to snap back in my face, or cocoon me in the process.
The assembled mini-trampoline looked surprisingly sturdy. Of course, my being well under the 195 lb maximum weight gave me a bit of breathing room. It should be able to take my bouncing in stride … for at least a few thousand bounces (and hopefully before the warranty expires) before a spring gives.
My attempts to temporarily shed gravity’s pull with the first five tentative bounces had my heart triphammering and my lungs gasping for oxygen. This is my fourth day of use, and I’ve graduated from 10 bounces to 40. Moderation is not my middle name.
My body is rebelling with kharmic revenge. The abs finally stopped trembling after the first two hours; they ache now whenever I sneeze or laugh or breathe deeply. I feel like my small intestine has been resected down to a much shorter length. The glutes are not meant for sitting down on, for at least two days. My intercostal ribs have been pummeled with a rubber mallet. My hamstrings feel like they have been stretched on an iron maiden. Even my deltoids and lats are protesting against any further flights of fancy/fitness–the way they do after I have participated in a mild session of Bird’s Eye Bullseye activity (a Wii Fitness Plus title). Flapping your wings may be comical at first, but it is tough. I now have a greater respect for flighted birds.
The trampoline makes for a good mini hammock. Particularly when the sport of jumping has been overindulged. Something I learned when I collapsed onto it after one too many jumps. The other things I learned? (2) read the instructions, (3) stay hydrated, and (4) warm up!