November 6, 2013 by briantshock
I’m not sure if this is even still a thing anymore, but when I was growing up it was always a great day when you went over to somebody’s house and they had a trampoline. I always wondered how these kids that owned trampolines weren’t happy 100% of the time, but I always figured that was because they had to spend time dealing with the crushing reality that they were at school and not at home on their trampolines. Maybe trampolines weren’t that great after all, or maybe these kids had learned something that I had only pieced together much later. Now I will share these truths with you, dear reader.
FACT # 1 – TRAMPOLINES ARE DEATH TRAPS
Where there is a trampoline, there is momentary fun followed by inevitable grievous injury. It’s just bound to happen.
Let me tell you about my friend Chris. We were all at a birthday party when we were 12 or 13. Naturally, as it seemed to be at the time, the host had a trampoline, because every time you went to somebody’s house for a birthday party there was always magically a trampoline. We were having a good time, jumping around and avoiding crippling ourselves somehow. Then Chris decided he wanted to turn it up to 11 when you need to keep the dial locked on 3 or 4 to avoid being fitted for crutches later. He passionately called out the name of the jump he had invented (“The Pilot Flip”) like a Street Fighter 2 martial artist, and began. This went horribly and hilariously awry, as he (well, half of him) landed on the edge of the trampoline and slid off. Miraculously, he was not injured at all, so that makes it a-okay to laugh about, right? Well, I’m not going to wait for a ruling on that, I’m going to laugh about it again anyway.
Here’s an actual fact: the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated there were an estimated 94,945 trampoline injuries in 2012! Most of these injuries were in the 5-14 age range, but there was still an alarming amount in the 25-64 range. There were 88 injuries in the 65+ year old range, so you know there must have been some sick geriatric flips going on.
FACT # 2 – THEY GIVE ME MOTION SICKNESS (DON’T YOU LAUGH AT ME)
I haven’t been on a trampoline in several years, but the last time I did I remember feeling kind of sick pretty quickly. I’m sure my time-ravaged body has not gotten any better about the motion sickness-inducing bouncing brought by a trampoline since then, but since I am now an adult I have little reason or exposure to them to test this out.
I tried searching online for some reasons why this sensation might have gotten worse as I aged, but I couldn’t come up with anything intelligent. The top responses were on Yahoo! Answers and were akin to “your brains are sloshing around inside of your head” so I don’t suspect any doctors had a hand in crafting these answers. I thought I remembered reading something about being more susceptible to motion sickness as you get older due to some fluid or something in your inner ear that gives you your sense of balance gradually hardening, but now I’m seeing stuff that suggests the effects of motion sickness actually decrease with age, so I’m just going to move on here.
FACT # 3 – ALWAYS LEAD TO POORLY THOUGHT OUT ESCALATION
Bouncing on the trampoline may have always seemed like good fun with your pals at first, but it almost always escalated quickly to (even) more dangerous levels with little concern of well-being being a factor. This came in a number of different forms.
1) Timing bounces to give somebody else even sicker or madder ups.
2) Complexity of stunts or flips increased, leading to neck trauma or limb or pelvic devastation.
3) Trampoline is ushed to the edge of the house, making jumping from the roof an attractive option.
I will admit here that I am guilty to all three of these and have injured myself to each.