Once you get the hang of the basics, you’ll be bouncing off the wall at Emerald City Trapeze.
DROPPING BACKWARD, body stiff, even onto a bouncy trampoline, is counterintuitive. My brain did not want me to do it. I kept piking my butt out or curling my shoulders forward to “save” myself.
Except that was the wrong thing to do. Whenever I did either move, I would hit the trampoline with my butt, my head would whiplash back onto the trampoline, and I would flail around instead of standing up.
Mastering trampoline wall was a little complicated, as it turns out.
I’ve seen trampoline walls, with a trampoline set up next to a wall of varying heights, and turned to Emerald City Trapeze for a beginner class. I love to bounce with my kids, but I have never ventured up a wall. I wanted to learn some skills.
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The first skill teacher Deon Fox showed us was falling back onto the trampoline. There were three of us in the class, and we switched off, practicing the fall. Every time I got up there, I had to take a deep breath and let myself fall back. It took several tries before I could do it without nerves.
Next, Fox taught us a “high-five”: Instead of bouncing back up to stand, we reached with our feet toward the wall to high-five it.
I was puzzled by this, and the first couple of rounds, I flopped around with my legs swinging in the air. Fox told me that once I dropped onto my back, I should pull in my knees and reach with my feet. The more I could push off from the wall with the high-five, the more I could keep momentum.
Once I got the high-five, there was the challenge of standing up again. Instead of aiming my feet higher on the wall, now I had to aim low. Oh boy.
I was proud when I got one or two high-fives in a row and could still stand up at the end. But then Fox moved us to the next skill: a wall entry. He put on shoes to get a grip. He jumped up and down on the trampoline, then put his hands and one foot on the wall, burst off it, let himself fall back and started doing high-fives. My mouth hung open as I watched.
The first time I had to do it, I reverted back to nerves. Jump up and fall back? No, my brain insisted. No.
There was no way to practice other than to do it; I had to go for it. The first few times, I fell in my old pike position, and Fox pushed a mat under me as a cushion.
After a few tries, I started to get it, falling back in the stiff position, and I even added in a couple rounds of high-fives. I was thrilled. I wanted to keep doing it over and over.
Except time was up. No! It took 90 minutes to learn these first moves, and time flew by.
In between our turns, we could bounce on another trampoline nearby or do some core work, but after a few rounds, all of us were mesmerized. The next stage would be to work on running up the wall. There are some future tricks, like walking off the wall and bouncing, that look totally terrifying, and also fun.
Trampoline wall has some elements of an adrenaline sport, which is not usually my thing. But I want to go back, practice all the high-fives and start to run up the wall. Watch out, trampoline wall: I’m coming for you.