By Leigh Anne Jasheway
NABBW’s Boomer Humor Expert
I bought a mini-trampoline this weekend. I was looking for a piece of home fitness equipment that met one specific requirement – it had to fit into a 3-foot square area of my bedroom.
All those infomercials that promise muscle toning, core-strengthening, and cardio training neglect to answer the most important question: Will the device fit in your house?
Or will you have to remove a major piece of furniture such as the sofa, requiring your guests to perch along the edge of the AbFlexGlideRowArator whenever they come over for margaritas and tofu chili?
Maybe you have a 3600 square foot house with a room designated as “the home gym,” but I\’m lucky to have a room designated as “the bathroom.” The rule around here is nothing new comes in without something old being donated to Goodwill.
This is one reason I never have long-term guests – they worry that I may get up early, hit a few garage sales and come home with a floor lamp that takes up the same amount of space they do. It\’s a legitimate concern; just ask my half-sister. She was exactly the same size as the wicker clothes hamper I found while she was visiting from California.
When I discovered the mini-tramp (love that word, by the way) at a local sporting goods store and realized it would fit in the bedroom without having to take anything out, I was ecstatic. It didn\’t hurt that it was only $39 and came in one sleek box. I\’ve had my fill of exercise equipment that arrives in multiple boxes and requires a screwdriver, wrench, hammer, ratchet set, drill press, circular saw, GPS device, latex gloves, and six rolls of duct tape to assemble.
I managed to put the mini-trampoline together in less than 15 minutes with just a wrench and the enclosed motivational CD featuring a sexy-sounding man with an Italian accent repeating, “You\’re a smart and talented woman who can put together this product by yourself. And did I mention how attractive you are?” I got up to my target heart rate just listening to his dulcet tones.
My new “gym” is located right in front of a window so that I can look out at the birds and squirrels while I work out. Perhaps twenty-seven years of living with dogs has affected my brain, but I always feel more energetic when I see creatures darting across the yard. And if I yell “Squirrel!” my dogs also get a workout. It\’s win-win. The only thing I have to be careful of is not getting overly enthusiastic and hitting my head on my 7-1/2-foot ceiling. I\’m pretty sure a concussion doesn\’t burn extra calories.
Before engaging in my first official bouncing session, I posted the yellow laminated “Trampoline Use Instructions” card in a highly visible place as suggested by the manual. I tacked the card to the closest wall and took a moment to read it over.
- Do not allow more than one person on the trampoline at a time. As far as I can tell, the only way that would be possible is if you had a small infant strapped to your chest. So please, if you break into my house with the intent of working out on my mini-trampoline and you happen to have a small infant strapped to your chest, remove said infant prior to getting on the equipment.
- Use trampoline only with mature, knowledgeable supervision. Well drat! Where am I going to find someone mature? I have no idea where to even start looking. The most mature person nearby is a neighbor in her eighties, but last week she put Spongebob Squarepants stickers on her bicycle helmet and did her hair like Pippi Longstocking, so she\’s out.
- While keeping the head erect, focus eyes on the trampoline toward the perimeter. I\’m sorry, but if my head is erect, I cannot see the trampoline. I know I\’m supposed to have a third eye, but not in my ankles. Good thing I have the wiener dogs to keep watch on the perimeter for me… when they\’re not running for the squirrels.
- Do not use the trampoline while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. I\’m willing to forgo the booze prior to working out, but what kind of drugs are they talking about? I\’m on the estrogen patch and really think using the equipment while experiencing mood swings and hot flashes may be the more dangerous choice. Perhaps I should ask my doctor.
- Make sure to use the bathroom before using the device. Okay, it didn\’t say that, but it should. So I scribbled it on the bottom of the list. I don\’t want to take any chances.
I\’m ready now for my first real workout. Assuming I can find a mature person somewhere.
Leigh Anne Jasheway, M.P.H. is a stress management and humor expert who helps women and men manage stress, embrace change, and become healthier by learning to lighten up. She speaks at 50-60 conferences and workshops every year and has been a national Speaking of Women’s Health and Healthy Woman keynoter. She’s a member of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH). Learn more about her at her website. Leigh Anne’s new book, “Confessions of a Semi-Natural Woman” (a collection of 99 of her funniest humor columns from the past ten’ish years – including the one that won the Erma Bombeck Humor Writing Competition – is now available at www.accidentalcomic.com) She also has a new blog. Of if she says, “If you go there and like what you see, you can subscribe by clicking the subscribe button (who knew?)”