I have always loved going boing boing on the trampoline. I like the sense of becoming weightless as you shoot up into the air and then start heading down again for the next bounce. The higher you jump, the longer you stay in the air. When I was living and working at a non-profit in Massachusetts, we were way out in the boondocks with a lot of open land. It was the perfect opportunity to buy a trampoline of my own. I purchased the largest one I could find and set it up. It was enjoyed by me and many of the volunteers for a long time to come as can be seen in the above image.
I was amazed by how many people there were already quite skilled on the trampoline. One woman there was particularly impressive and was able to bounce into the air while keeping her body straight and rotating herself 360 degrees around two axes simultaneously and then landing on her feet. Another volunteer was very skilled at aerial somersaults and claimed that he had learned the skill jumping on his bed as a child. I can't imagine accomplishing such a feat on a bed.
The only impressive trick I learned was jumping high into the air (as high as I could) and then leaning back during re-entry so that I hit the trampoline with my upper back, just below the shoulder blades. This would shoot me back up and allow me to land on my feet. What I loved about this move was that it kept me in the air for the longest possible time. Eventually I was able to do it dozens of times in succession.
Once I left Massachesetts, my trampolining days came to an end. There was no way I was going to put a trampoline in my yard in Muncie. I could see it quickly being stolen, vandalized, and resulting in the paralysis of many neighborhood children. Also, I did not relish the thought of putting myself on display for the neighbors. I checked at the local university (Ball State) for trampolining classes or other opportunuties for trampoline use. They definitely had trampolines, but it appeared they were only for use by students in advanced acrobatics classes. I was out of options.
Here at the U of O, things are different. They offer trampolining classes! I did not find out in time to register last quarter. One day when walking across campus to one of my classes, I peered into the basement window of one of the buildings and spied a gymnasium filled with trampolines, all occupied by bouncing students. Returning to my dorm room, I looked it up and discovered that they offer three levels of trampolining classes, as well as an aerial maneuvers class.
Every day on my way to class, I made a point to pause outside that window and watch the action inside for a few seconds. Different people were doing different things. I even saw a student on a snowboard bouncing up and down, which must have been part of the aerial maneuvers class. I also saw a student in a harness learning to do somersaults. I had tried to learn somersaults, but after landing on my head a few times, decided that the danger of a broken neck was very real, so I gave it up. But with a harness, I should be able to master the skill safely and in very little time.
This is all very exciting for me. Tomorrow I will have my very first trampolining experience in a long time (almost five years). With proper training, perhaps I will become the trampolining champion of the universe.