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Thu., April 4, 2013, 11:16 a.m.

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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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.