94-Year-Old Trampoline Man - New York News

94-Year-Old Trampoline Man

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The next time you feel like skipping the gym, think about Elliot Royce and get up off the couch. At 94-years-young, Elliot has become a master trampoline athlete. He's on the trampoline daily and the young folks are coming to him for tips.

It's a weird thing to let yourself fall for the sole purpose of learning to get back up. But what leads one to set foot on a trampoline is the same thing that inspired Cindy Royce to take up the trampoline a couple years ago.

Her father, Elliott says that his daughter, as a kid, was a klutz.

"A klutz? Yeah. You're calling her a klutz! A klutz and now look at her," he says. "She's in her mid-fifties, she took off weight. Look at her go."

But this story is not about her.

"When I first got on, I couldn't do this. No... I was looking around for the handlebars," Elliot recalls.

This story is about what led Elliott, who is 94, to the trampoline a couple of years ago.

Elliott, when he was younger, lived in a senior home.

"And I learned about seniors falling…and they have many courses in fall prevention, but nothing in how to fall," he reflects.

Elliott found a class in Hawaii that taught how to fall safely. He, to this day, practices safe falls on an air mattress at his apartment every morning.

Three times a week, he trains for an hour on the trampoline to work on balance and strength and falling.

"And I fall a lot of times. Sometimes I fall hundreds of times in here. Isn't that the point? that's the point. Overcome the fear of falling," he says.

Falling is a serious problem for seniors and avoiding falls all together remains a big focus.

"Well the immediate risk is blood clots, but the longer term risk is the immobility," says Dr. Speier.

Dr. Jennine Speier says that for seniors, healing is slower. Breaking a hip or other bone quickly leads to other problems.

"And then, of course if you get injured, you have depression and anxiety, which makes you less active and overall that affects your cardiac function, your immune function," she says.

Avoiding falls still tops doctor's recommendations, but so is staying active and fit. In fact, staying active and fit equips seniors to better survive falls.

Elliott is supervised by coach Pat Henderson, a one time Olympic judge.

"That took me a year to learn," he says as he shows off a move.

Not all seniors are capable of what Elliott's up to, certainly not many 94 year olds.

"Six more years and I'll be 100…" Elliot exclaims.

Learning how to distribute his weight and overcoming fear. His goal is to do a flip before he hits 100.

"Goodbye Pat, see you on Saturday! Good bye…" he says as he walks out the door after practice.

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