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Losing your bounce

I spent late yesterday afternoon with some of my great-nieces and nephews. They were gathered for a spring break fun day at one cousin house where a trampoline is a fun activity.

I have not jumped on a trampoline since I was a teen. You don't get many chances as you get older.

But I assumed, like bike riding, it would come back.

So I crawled on the trampoline with Sam, 11, and Mia, 7, and Rocco, 3. It was hard to get in a standing position as they all bounced. I asked for a moment of non-bounce as I stood and then, I froze.

“How do I do this?”

“Just jump!” Sam said, as he did back flips.

I did and screamed. It was so unnerving. It didn't come back. It felt a little dangerous (and not the worry of flying off and cracking my head open, as was the worry in the 1960s trampolines; new ones are safer.) So I bounced for just a few minutes and then I worried. Would I wreck my back? My knees? My niece and nephew couldn't believe my inability and my worry.

I kept saying: “I should be able to do this. I work out everyday!”

They looked at me like sure you do, Aunt Becky. I really do. But trampoline jumping, like some other younger year activities, do not remain an option for most of us. It's another loss, but it's not one I will miss too much.

Finally, I convinced the kids to lie back on the trampoline and look for faces in the clouds, which I also loved to do as a kid. We did this for a half hour. No knees required.

(S-R archive photo)

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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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