By Courtney Lewis Opdahl |
On most weekends, at least for the past several months, I haven’t been making plans. I leave it open to take care of chores, clean the house, do laundry, or run errands. I nap, relax, and read, and catch up with friends and family.
But something was missing: adventure. Activity. Exploration and new discoveries.
We were visiting at our homes, or sticking to familiar restaurants. Since my weekdays were busy, I was giving myself some flexibility and plenty of downtime on the weekends. I could’ve suggested workouts or walks with friends instead of brunch (or a combination of both), but I just wasn’t feeling up to it.
This weekend was different: Instead of hanging out, I got out. Yesterday I went snowshoeing with a friend at a nearby nature center. I asked our staff writer on a gal-pal date to the movies — and we went to a theater new to us both (not only can you buy the tickets online in advance, you can reserve your seats!). Instead of going with my usual glass of wine, a Malbec, I chose a Tempranillo (living on the edge!).
There’s something about novelty that’s infectious. I woke up Sunday ready for another challenge. And I knew just the place: the trampoline park.
Only a handful of kids I knew had trampolines when I was growing up, so I never mastered any awesome skills or flips. And I never jumped very high, fearing that I’d fall and hurt myself terribly. Of course, you can get hurt (as we were reminded when we signed the liability waivers), but the fear of hurting myself has kept me from trying many new activities throughout my life. I didn’t even learn to ride a bike until I was 11 years old because I was so scared to fall.
For this trampoline experience, we opted to pick the fitness class at Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park. First, this concept is an excellent idea in general, but perfect in a market where cold winter temperatures force people inside. It felt like a new version of the roller rink. And it’s not just for kids! Bouncing in the air, you can’t help but smile and even giggle — no matter what your age.
The Sky Zone we visited has three separate areas: two smaller courts that also have basketball hoops, and one large “open jump” zone in the back, where our fitness class was held. (Their website also says they have a pit with foam blocks, but several large groups were playing there when our class let out so we didn’t check out the smaller courts.) The “floor” is divided into individual trampoline squares, with the springs covered by mats. There are even trampolines on the walls!
Within the first 15 minutes of our class, I was already winded and sweating. Our instructor, Chantelle, had us run or “jump” laps for four minutes to start, and after the first lap, I opted to head to the side squares to practice jumping. It felt so odd at first, and I wasn’t quite able to get in a rhythm. (See my attempt in the video below; making funny faces and exaggerated arm swings seem to help my speed — or just my humor.)
Was it fear? Did I not trust my body? Or was it my preference for activities that keep my feet on my ground? I’m still a bit nervous when I bike (and thus, do it rarely) and I’ve never been a confident swimmer. (If you’re interested in Ayuveda, it might have do with my strong Kapha dosha.)
Once I started to get the hang of it, I was running like a gazelle over the trampolines. We added a few partner exercises with a ball, and also used small weighted balls for wall squats, situps, walking lunges, planks, pushups, and wall bounces, where Chantelle had us fall, back straight and core engaged, into the trampoline wall, then twist as we rebounded.
We did so much more than just jump on a trampoline for an hour — and we had a blast doing it.