09 December 2009


It was an unexpected sight, and yet one that was instantly attractive. Shortly after having bought a pass to the vast CEPSUM sports complex I use for swimming, I decided to explore the available facilities a bit. Walking through endless corridors, filled with a sweaty odors emanating from young sporty students, I came past a variety of torture chambers with assorted instruments (treadmills, free weights, climbing walls, Jane Fonda-esque drill sergeants…) before I spotted them: Two full-size, professional trampolines, of the very same kind that I used to compete on, way back in my teenage years as a member of the TV Wislig team. In the long time since then, however, I had not set a foot on any such trampoline, as they are almost impossible to find in regular gyms or open-air sports courts. Seeing them there at CEPSUM, I knew that this would change at last.

As it turned out, you have to attend a trampoline course in order to be accredited as a certified athlete, which then enables you to use the facility at your leisure. Learning that the instructor in that particular course was actually a friend of a friend, I could no longer restrain myself and enrolled for the winter session. And so, one day in September, there I was at that gym, surrounded by nine – decidedly more athletic – students eager to try out this outer-fringe discipline. Cautiously making my first few shy jumps under the auspices of this group, I kept repeating to myself that it was merely a coincidence that most of the other participants were high board divers, ballet dancers or gymnasts…

Typing this post now, three months later, I have survived nine of the ten sessions without injury, and am already a proud holder of an “accreditation aux activités specialisées”. After a rough start, at which my body painfully reminded me of the 11 year hiatus in jumping, I have gradually been achieving my overall objective, which unlike the one of my course mates, consisted mainly of having fun re-learning the basic skills I once posessed. And as a pleasant side effect, I can now name many more body parts and postures in French! Although of course I prefer not to comprehend that “double salto” thing in any language…

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