BRISTOL, Connecticut, U.S.A. — At the X Trials this weekend, I got to: float upside down, looking kind of stupid; smack Teddy Roosevelt in the head; and grab a bagful of freebies.
It was all part of the Xperience.
The Xperience is billed as an “interactive village in which spectators of all ages get to test their skills” at rock climbing, bungee jumping, and get to in-line skate, skateboard, or bike in a mini-skate park. It also had everything from airbrushed tattoos to a Marine Corps pull-up bar set up next door to the athletic competition site.
I have been waiting sooooooo long to try out two of these thrilling events.
I’ve craved the bungee jump and rock climbing so greatly for the past couple of months, that I seized my chance to go this weekend.
On Friday afternoon, I buzzed over to the X Trials at Lake Compounce. When I got there, pretty much the first thing I noticed was the bungee jump set-up.
It looks like a giant overturned red spider, with only five legs. It also had big yellow and blue bungee cords between each “leg” which deeply resembled huge rubber bands, and in the middle were harnesses.
The number of bungee cords attached to one depends on their weight (the heavier, the more bands). If one is around average weight, you go higher on the jump. The highest you can jump is about 20-25 feet.
Four people are able to leap around at one time. As I approached the bungee jump, I also noticed that whoever was bungee-ing jumped on a small moon bounce.
When my turn came around, I did a couple of front flips.
During some of my other attempts to perform a flip, I kind of just floated upside down in the air for a while, looking kind of stupid, until I finally realized I was going to make it around.
It was actually quite a challenge.
Saturday was rock climbing day for me. I peered up at the rock climbing walls and thought, “oooooooo.”
After my harness was put on, I started up toward the presidents’ faces that decorated the top of the wall.
As I was climbing on, I observed that the objects you step on as you go up looked like multi-colored turds.
At the top I had to press a little blue button. My arm was about a half millimeter too short to reach it when the “turd grippers”, as I later called them, stopped.
So, I had to resort to drastic measures. (Dun, dun, dun.)
As I tightly gripped Teddy Roosevelt’s nose, I pulled myself up to the button and pushed.
I tried again: nothing.
Then, I remembered the man who put my harness on had told me the bell at the top was broken.
Needless to say, I’m very sorry Mr. Roosevelt.
Even though I didn’t take on the mini-skate park myself, I watched other teens take a stab at it on Saturday.
As I stepped up to the mini-park, I spotted two teenage guys standing by with their gear.
One of the pair was Jon Stancao, 14, of Plainville, who bikes and watches flatland stunt biking and admires Dave Mirra.
He said it takes “a real lot of balance”.
He talked about where he bikes and whether there is a need for a new skate-park in the Bristol area.
“I just want a park,” he said.
On Sunday, I went to all the tents to get freebees, win prizes, and have fun.
Since there weren’t a whole lot of people, because it was Father’s Day and pouring rain, some people in the booths were nice enough to give me prizes because . . . they just DID.
One man in the PacSun booth gave me a full bag of freebies when I only won the foam finger.
Jen Plonski is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.
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