As I continue to jump on the trampoline, my Under Armour shirt becomes damp with sweat. I turn my head and see a teenage boy perform a front-tuck. A child runs across a trampoline to meet one of his friends. I enjoy the repetitive nature of jumping on the springy apparatus that catches me every time I land. Gaining height, I prepare myself to perform a front-tuck. Toes push off the trampoline harder and harder before I take off. Knees tuck in to chest. Arms hug legs. Energy carries the body into an upside-down position in the air. My heart is weightless. I have no room for worries in a mind that is overflowing with positive energy. Pause. In the split second that I am suspended in midair, I imagine all of the children and parents who watch me in awe. They are my audience, and I am the performer. Their attention gives me the confidence to continue to run, tumble, and flip.
Whether I was going to land safely was uncertain, but I trusted that my body would meet the stretchy fabric once again. And a smile would come across my lips as my sister gave me a gesture of encouragement. As predicted, we exchanged a glance of mutual happiness. I perform another front-tuck, and another. The stunt allows me to achieve a weightlessness of the mind and body. The routine motion directs the thoughts toward elation. Toes push off the trampoline with strength and grace. Hands reach toward the sky to gain more height. Arms hug legs as knees are pulled in to chest. And then the final take-off. The heart is once again free. Free from worry, anxiety, and stress. As my eyes are shut, I enjoy a glimpse of darkness. Once again, my body hits the springy apparatus, as I land on my bottom. I want to reproduce this feeling of euphoria over and over. I want to laugh with the children who parade in this happiness, as music fills the room. I want to suspend my body in the air. So I can become weightless again. Even if it lasts for a mere second.
I continue to run around the trampoline park, completing one stunt after the other. Round-off. Cartwheel. Front-walkover. Split jump. Front-tuck. Heart pounds inside the chest, as the mind replays lyrics of my favorite songs. The musician sings, “I can feel something inside me say, ‘I really don’t think you’re strong enough.’” But the body disproves discouraging notions. I perform three consecutive split jumps. My legs splay in opposite directions as I am suspended in the air. Youth and energy stretch through my hamstrings and toes. My pulse is a drum-beat against my neck, as the rhythm quickens abruptly. Exhaustion says it’s time to take a break. But not without experiencing that short-lived freedom once more. Elation is the beauty of the front-tuck. Simple and short-lived, yet powerful and healing.