Trampolining (and visually impaired)

At school many years ago now PE was definitely not my thing. Cold, wet, shorts, losing at everything, hated it. I think we stuck in one activity for half a term and then moved on to something else. So I would have weeks on end of dreading PE. When it was our turn to use the trampolines though, it all felt so different. I couldn’t wait, I actually looked forward to it and was disappointed at the end of the lesson. I even went to the trampoline club after school. I didn’t just love it, I think I was fairly good at it as well. Which definitely made a change. I wasn’t the best but I could do quite a lot of the moves which some others in the group couldn’t do. Some people don’t react well to the wobbliness of the trampoline and the moves, it makes them feel dizzy and sick.

When I left school I always hoped that I would carry on trampolining, but it was just one of those things that never seemed to happen. I wasn’t a very confident person at the time, the thought of joining a new group on my own completely put me off. The passion for it just slipped further and further away.

When I was twenty three years old my sight deteriorated quite a lot and the dream of trampolining again one day just felt completely over. It would never happen. How can I join a new group and go on a trampoline when I can’t see properly? What if I don’t see the edge and I fall off? What if it makes me dizzy? It felt completely impossible.

After a while I started to visit The Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind. They helped to build my confidence a lot and realise that being visually impaired doesn’t have to stop me from doing anything. That was completely the opposite to how I had been thinking, but deep down I knew thst they were right. I had a look online to see who did adult trampoline sessions. There seemed to be loads for children, I struggled to find adult ones. Eventually I found that Ponds Forge International Sports Centre did them. So I decided to get in touch and explain my situation and see if they had any advice or extra support that they could offer me. They very kindly offered me a one to one session and a group session to try it out before I agreed to any regular lessons.

I was so wobbly when I first got on but there were two coaches on the trampoline with me. I was perfectly safe and they didn’t move away until we were all confident that I wouldn’t fly off the edge! To say I hadn’t been on a trampoline in thirteen years I think I did quite well when I managed to find my balance. I even managed to do a bit of a routine. It didn’t take me long at all to realise what I had been missing out on all of those years. The love for it just came flooding back and I knew that it was just the beginning. I would be back and I would be trampolining again. It was strange to think that I know so many moves, I did them all at school. My head felt thirteen years younger and that I could do them all so easily. It turns out I’m not as good after a thirteen year break haha! I have had to start right back at the beginning. I was just about getting my balance and getting a few moves perfected and I had to have another break. I was quite unwell last year so I had to give it up for the majority of the year. I missed it so, so much. Every Tuesday I was absolutely gutted that I wasn’t well enough to go. When I started to feel well enough to think about going back I was so excited. I was counting down the days.

Finally I am back!!! Everybody in the group is so friendly and understanding with my sight problems. I often lose my water bottle and am not sure whether it is my turn or not, but they don’t make me feel odd or awkward. It’s just me, the way I am and they are used to me now. And I am used to them. This time I am fitter and healther than I have been for quite a few years and I am determined to push myself more and learn more new moves. Since I have been back I have already picked up one new move and I am almost there with my second. I’m quite surprised with how quickly I am learning them, maybe because I have done them in the past. But I think when I first started up again a few years ago I was playing it safe, because of my sight and my health. I got stuck doing the same things. Now with some extra motivation from the group I am feeling more confident and capable of doing more than what I have been doing. At school I could do seat drops, tucks, pikes, straddles, swivel hips, front drops, I may have even started learning back drops… I’m not sure. But my plan is at the very least to be able to do all of those again eventually. Because I can, I know I can. My sight hasn’t stopped me from learning the moves I have so far, so it won’t stop me from learning the rest.

I never thought that i would say this about a sport, I’m hardly athletic. But j honestly, truly love it. I want to do my absolute best and get good. I don’t ever want to have to give it up.

I’ve got this!

Trampoline Queen of 2019!

Xx ❤ xX

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