22 Years in the Making 

Without planning,  I took a bold move in engaging in an activity I have avoided for 22 years…jumping on a trampoline. The amount of times I have jumped on a trampoline are less than one can count on your right hand. And it’s all because of a war wound I encountered at the age of 16, when I double bounced in a backyard. More than four of us were on a massive trampoline on a summer’s day, living like king kids, and then the land occurred. I completely broke my left ankle the day before my driver’s test. Not only did I fail the maneuverability portion of the test, but I had to wear a cast for the rest of the summer.
I quickly learned to associate pain with trampolines. I vowed never to do it again. The opportunity never arose. And I never had to face the fear, until yesterday.

At my dream job that I’ve held for the past four years, we take groups of workers on fun events to bond and de-stress. These have included such things as a ropes courses, race car driving, golfing, swimming, and white water rafting. I haven’t attended all, but somehow yesterday the stars aligned for me to be there.

I warned the leader of the group of my PTSD about trampolining. Nobody pushed me to jump or even asked me to, but as everyone was sitting for their safety video. I said to myself “why not?”. I wasn’t dressed for the occasion, I had a blazer on with jeans, but I didn’t care.

One of my goals this year is to do something every month I’m afraid of. It was May 19th and I had no activity planned. Why the heck not? And so I did.

I bounced on my own solo trampoline at a trampoline park. And after sometime, I added some leg kicks, attempted to bounce to the trampoline next to me, and at one time even tried to bounce on my butt.

I saw all these adults around me who had no fear and had amazing skills with balance, flipping, handstands. It was insane, but such a release of joy.. The simple act of bouncing with 80 people, all on their own trampolines was bliss. People released who they were and momentarily acted as kids again.

There was this one top of higher area that many people jumped up to and were perching on. I told a friend that it reminded me of the 8th grade steps I had in grade school. Only 8th graders could sit there, and it wasn’t until 8th grade that you earned the right to get to the steps. That’s where we would spend recess. At one point she and another co-worker made it to there. She said to me, “come on Tricia, 8th grade steps.”. 

It was such a blessing to have a friend reflect back to me a memory and a goal to attain, with such ease. And yes I did bounce to the 8th grade steps.

What have you been avoiding? What have you been keeping from your life due to fear or a bad experience? Is it still a valid fear? What’s stopping you? They are only 8th grade steps.

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