Chicago, IL

What it's Like to Try a Chicago Bounce Class on a Mini Trampoline

Rene Cizio

In my ongoing efforts to explore Chicago, meet new people and do interesting things, I took a Bellicon Bounce class. Pre-COVID, these classes were held all over town. They still are, though on a much smaller scale.

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Done on mini trampolines, Bellicon Bounce classes are advertised as being fun and low impact.

Unexpected Pre-Workout

I got my pre-workout when I didn’t leave myself enough time to walk and had to mix in some running.

I watched the GPS change my arrival time depending on how fast I was going. When I ran, the time showed I’d arrive on time. When I walked slowly over the ice it showed me arriving after the class start time. Running across the ice in Chicago winter adds an element of excitement.

Hello, Neuman

I blasted through the door right on time like Kramer in his stocking feet entering Jerry’s apartment on Seinfield. But I was much more sweaty and breathless.

After filling out the safety form I tore off my 10 layers of clothing, earmuffs, gloves, boots, hat, sweatshirt, t-shirt … and joined the class barefoot and ready to bounce.

Only five other women were participating, which I appreciated so I didn’t annoy dozens with my late, blustery arrival.

Tiziana, the instructor, fired up her playlist and got the bounce party started.

Bounce it Out

I couldn’t understand most of what Tiziana was saying, but I was able to follow along to her movements at the front of the room. She kept me motivated with her European gusto and aggressive, commanding style.

We started right off bouncing. No instruction needed. Who doesn’t know how to bounce on a trampoline? (this girl)

This was fun! Just like those summer barbeques with the kids’ trampoline in the yard. I always hop on those for like three minutes before becoming totally exhausted. This was much the same, except there would be no beer, nor excuse for walking away breathless anytime soon. We were on this sucker for 45 minutes.

Come on baby, do the twist

We bounced to the right, to the left, and in a twist. We did a version of a jumping jack, a boxing maneuver and I’m pretty sure, the Charleston.

Tiziana was relentless, fit, demanding and, to be frank, getting my nerves.

When I tried to lift my leg in a sidekick while bouncing on the other I wobbled like a toddler learning to walk, reminding me of that unattractive version of myself New Years’ Eve 1999.

At one point we were somehow double side kicking (some people were) coupled with a complex arm movement that left me frenzied and nearly bouncing across the room.

It’s not just bouncing

Finally, we stopped bouncing to do some floor exercises wherein we’d balance our arms in the center of the trampoline. We did planks, push-ups and other fun stuff with the added challenge of not being able to balance.

Tiziana kept coming over to me to push on my stomach and tell me to suck it in. At least, that’s what I think she was saying. She was fit and trim and didn’t seem to understand that no matter how much I sucked it in there was still going to be quite a bit hanging down. Welcome to the bane of my existence, Tiziana.

Floor exercises over, I took a long time getting a drink from the fountain while the girls starting bouncing to “Poker Face.”

Playlist fire

I’ll say one thing, the only thing that kept me bouncing was the playlist. It was fire – lots of Ke$ha, GaGa and inexplicably, Alicia Keys. Ke$ha’s “Blow” got me through minute 38 bigtime.

We ended the class by bouncing as high as we could. I was bottoming out, but it didn’t look like anyone else was, so I tried to jump less vigorously.

That’s when I noticed the woman behind me had a long handlebar on her trampoline to keep her from falling off. That would have saved me from looking like an insane rhinoceros on meth, but it was too late now.

Overall, the Bellicon Bounce class was super fun and a great workout. The playlist was relevant and necessary, and Tiziana wasn’t half as bad as I maybe made her out to be.

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Digital nomad, solo road tripping through the USA in my van. I write about travel, adventure, culture, and self-improvement. Pictures on Instagram @renecizio

Chicago, IL
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