Dubai is always on the lookout for the latest, hot (no pun intended) trend to persuade parents to part with their hard earned, tax free cash. Not short of interesting and often unusual things to do in the desert (think: learning to ski, ziplining and rock climbing), it is still surprisingly easy to persuade parents to spend even more. Ever eager to offer their darlings a fresh, new experience, without question, they willingly hand over the dosh to fund the continuously stimulated Dubai bub the platinum experience. And let’s not forget, as with all things ‘Dubai’, there is always the rush to the top of the queue to experience the latest gimmick whilst earning ‘finger on the pulse’ points with your kids and amongst parent peers!
As a rule, I like to see new attractions first go through their teething problems and come out the other side safer. Ever since hearing about one of the lifts in the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, grinding to a halt mid journey for a number of hours, I like to err on the conservative side of caution and avoid all injuries including but not limited to those involving blood, broken limbs, concussion, bruises and even pushing that one wobbly tooth that has been hanging on forever by a gummy thread, over the edge and into the tooth fairy’s greedy hands.
Alas, sweltering desert summer temperatures + 3 energetic kids = mummy doesn’t have time to wait for all teething problems to be ironed out when it comes to entertaining kids in the desert’s sizzling temperatures. So, rather than have the kids bouncing off the walls, I booked them an hour’s session at one of Dubai’s latest play areas – Bounce!
A warehouse of wall-to-wall, multi coloured trampolines is, without doubt, every child’s dream world. Bouncing, tumbling, flipping, dodgeballing, slam dunking basketballs, back flipping, optimistic somersaults, bum bouncing, springing, jolting, bolting, and at times flying; wall walking, running, hopping, cart wheeling, free wheeling……anything goes….as long as you have a general clue of what you are doing! Supplied with rainbow coloured, gummy glue gripping socks, my 3 launched themselves over the black canvasses like wannabe Olympic gymnasts. Within minutes they were mimicking the bigger kids who were attempting Harlem Globetrotter dunking moves and not long after that were engrossed in a bouncing battlefield of softballs being blasted at them as they fought fiercely to hold onto their bouncy spot.
Infected by the fearlessness surrounding me, I was itching to try it out. It looked like so much fun. It looked easy. Well, the kids made it look easy. My keen adult awareness of not wishing to make a fool of myself held me back until I realised falling on my ass in a place that such a move is considered a legitimate move was not going to make me look so much of a fool as it would do in any other sporting endeavour!
And let’s face it, anything that can burn as many calories in 10 minutes as it takes to jog off in 33 is worth a shot!
Like a reluctant dancer in the middle of the disco dance floor (#showingmyage) I ventured onto a trampoline. I testily began pushing my feet against the flexible fabric underfoot, as if I were checking the firmness of the ice on a recently frozen winter lake. As I focused on keeping my balance, landing on my ass looked the better of all potential options. Let’s face it, I couldn’t afford to fall over and break something. I had to drive the kids home!
As my confidence grew and my inner daredevil level beckoned for freedom, I found my feet lifting off the trampoline. Before I knew it, I was turning (and probably gurning at the same time!), twisting, and springing my knees up to 90 degrees……Feeling like Mary Lou Retton (#again#showingmyage), I felt exhilarated. I felt my calves working. I was beginning to build up a sweat and my breath became rapid. Even moderate bouncing was proving to be a workout without feeling like a workout.
5 minutes in, I felt a a little pressure, a little strain. If I were jogging, this would have been in the knees or the hips. On the trampoline it was more of a ‘nether’ region pressure……the kind one dreads after childbirth has done a number on those nether ‘regional’ muscles…..As I slowed my bouncing on the taut, black rubber sheet, I had one thought……’could I blame it on the 4 year old who was there before me????’