Velcro Wall Jump

The kids and I (except M who had previously arranged plans) went to the annual Family Fun Festival otherwise known as Oyako Matsuri near the station. The kids were encouraged to make the usual fabric craft flowers to celebrate Mothers' Day and play various games with volunteers. This year the local youth center organization had a stamp rally where kids could get cards stamped for measuring their grip, flexibility and vertical jumping prowess at their booth. Completed cards could then be shown to receive a small prize like a pencil or a figurine or a ticket to try the Velcro wall jump http://www.metroinflatables.com/showgame.html?id=36 which was set up in the large room on the 12th floor where I emceed the kindergarten graduation party a few years ago.

Naturally, the kids wanted to try the ultimate stage of this physical fitness test so we went to get them some stamp cards to record their performance and were told that the parents should also participate. "Fine by me." I thought, and had fun gripping, stretching and jumping up with a string attached to a belt around my waist and a measuring device. Results: I have a much stronger grip than the kids do and I'm more limber than the kids are in spite of my stomach getting in the way but they can all jump about 10 inches high than I can.

Off we head to the elevator for the final stage. N and L were already in Velcro jump suits with Velcro mittens and feet by the time J and I arrived. The wall and a ten yard long "runway" were basically fancy variations of the age old inflated moonwalk with a similar inflated target shaped trampoline between them. This set filled the entire room.

L had trouble picking up any sort of speed on the huge air filled tubes and didn't bounce very high. N's performance was not any more inspiring. J and I were called over to get our Velcro suits. I had to wait until J finished her jump as they only had one large sized suit and the medium large one was just to small for big old me to squeeze into. I watched her struggle down the runway and throw herself at the wall to be peeled off by two volunteers and hoped that the suit would be too small so I could bow out of the potentially embarrassing situation. I couldn't decide which would more embarrassing, being too fat for the suit or to clumsy to even make it to the trampoline, and decided that injuring myself on a huge cushion of air was probably more inconvenient for all involved.

No such luck; the suit fit fine so I bravely made my way to the starting point. I managed to run in slow motion down the runway, jump (more like fall...) on to the trampoline and reach for the wall as I ascended only to find that I'd stuck to the wall before my feet ever left the trampoline. I guess it's made for shorter people. At least I didn't twist or break anything. I did wonder though, on the way out the door, where all the other moms were at this stage. They were probably downstairs getting pencils or cheesy figurines.