So my third session - third hour on the mats.
I'd hoped to attempt a backward somersault, but seems that was a little ambitious. But the forward somersaults are more than just attempts now. as you can witness in the video below (I told you I'd get it on video!).
It's interesting to analyse this process - what's holding me back from doing the back-somersault? Some would say I shouldn't be so impatient - hell, this is only your third hour session, and you can already do this much. And I am happy with my progress - no question about that. But I don't think I'm being impatient - one hour of jumping up and down in one spot gets tedious very fast... learning the stunts is what makes it interesting.
The thing is, I know how to do the somersaults... I know the technique, I did them at 19 and that experience doesn't go away. And I know I'm quite capable of doing them now. But there's a certain amount of fear holding me back from making my first attempt. I remember this from when I was young too.
But maybe it's not just fear - I have to improve my balance in the jumps, up to the point where I get more height and still be in control. I think once I get that height and balance together, I'll feel safer at making the first backward flip.
Oh oh oh! - maybe I shouldn't be analyzing it at all, but just enjoy doing it. In a couple more sessions, I'll improve on what I can already do, and the back-somersault will come when I'm ready for it. And then the back-flips, and the somersaults off the wall, and the forward flips without hands, and, and, and....
I'll keep you updated of course. For now I leave you with a little video of my present achievements. To think, only a couple of years ago I was laid-up for a year with chronic back-pain!
Jumping is something we don't do so often anymore, once we leave childhood behind us. That's a shame. Why did we stop?
We were built to move in a variety of ways, but as we get older we limit ourselves to the basic movements that get us from A to B... and we wonder why we get stiff.
I've decided I want to get back my abilities to move with the ease and grace of a child again... and that includes jumping. I caught a local news-report a time back, on a trampoline hall that was open to the public here in Amsterdam - and I made a mental note. One day I'd try that out. Today was the day.
It magnificent place - a whole hall covered wall-to-wall with trampolines fixed to each other... no way to fall off.
I did some trampolining, some 30 or so years ago when I was studying. It's probably the only time in my life since leaving school that I did anything sporty. I'd spend a couple of hours, once a week, just jumping. I taught myself to do forward and backward somersaults. I had my fair share of accidents - getting caught in the springs, and springing too far to end up crashing to the floor - but in the end I got quite good at them. So good that I could do them from a stand-still, perched on the edge of the trampoline.
My interest stopped abruptly though when, feeling way too confident, I thought I could do a somersault on the mat. I should've been able to do it too. But fear of landing on my head made me curl up my body at the wrong moment... and I landed on my head.
I've been on a trampoline a couple of times since then, but I never did find the courage again to try to do a somersault. This has always annoyed me personally... but now that I feel in such good condition, now that I feel strong again, now that I've got my determination back... now's the time to give it another shot.
So I went along and just jumped for an hour, just to get the feel for it again, get my balance back. I did some twists and turns... some bounces onto my butt and my knees... even managed a cartwheel... but no somersault. Oh no... not just yet. But soon. Maybe the next visit (in a couple of days)... maybe then I'll get my nerve back... I just know I can do it.
I promise you - when I achieve this, I'll make a video of it. But until then I can give you an idea what it's like with this video... I definitely recommend it.