The house was silent and empty.
My partner – the man I’d moved to the most boring city on earth to be with – had moved out, taking the sofa, kitchen table and television with him. I was stranded in a suburban wasteland I’d never warmed to no matter how much wine I drank. To make matters worse, it was November: dark, cold, and the first real taste of winter’s long haul ahead. The only thing I had to look forward to was the fact that my cat – the cat my ex had claimed he was allergic to – was now allowed back in the bedroom. That this made me so excited was a clear indication I really needed to change my life.
But what to do? Sure, I could join my friends at the bar, guzzling drinks until my present became pleasurably blurred. But I wanted something more, something besides vodka. Leafing through a community centre catalogue, activities leaped out at me. Pottery – I could be Demi Moore in Ghost! No, I decided, I could barely make a lump out of cookie dough. Book club? I hated being told what to read.
I turned a page. And there it was. I knew, as soon as my eyes fell upon it, that this would be it. Trampoline lessons!
I’d always envied those athletes, bouncing high and spinning in the air. The freedom to leave the ground behind, to twist and turn at will! Granted, I hadn’t exercised for about a year, but no matter. A little bouncing up and down couldn’t be that hard, could it?
I took the plunge and signed up, co-opting a few other friends into joining me. Registration done, I searched the shops high and low for the perfect trampolining outfit, settling on softly flared jogging bottoms and a lovely chic new tank top. I was ready for my trampoline debut.
When it came time for my first lesson, though, I was in no mood for fun. I’d spent the day sorting through kitchen utensils, trying to determine which forks and spoons were mine and which belonged to my recently departed ex. Cold sleet was slicing through the sky and if ever there was a day I wanted to curl up under a duvet, this was it. But I forced myself into the car and over to the gym where the lessons were taking place. Nervous, I climbed up onto the shoulder-high trampoline and did a few test bounces. Higher and higher I went, loving the feeling of being flung in the air. Sweat covered my face and my legs felt like jelly, but I was grinning like a idiot. Who could stay sad on a trampoline?
As the weeks went on and complications in my personal life increased, trampolining became my therapy. It didn’t matter that I’d spent the day arguing over phone bills or hunting for a new flat I could barely afford on my limited income. As soon as I climbed aboard and began bouncing, that trampoline magically lifted my mood.
Eventually the snow melted, the sun appeared and summer came to the city. I stopped going to that dusty gymnasium and somersaulting in the air; I started to think about dating again; and I wasn’t nearly as excited about my cat sleeping on my bed. But I’ll never forget the power of the trampoline to raise my spirits when I needed it most.
I just love the thought of trampolining as therapy!
Talli blogs here and you can follow her on Twitter . Anyone whose email signature line is -
‘I drink coffee. I write. Then I drink wine.’
- has got to be worth reading.