Humans of FHC: Kam Wilcox


“One year, I was at nationals; I believe this was two years ago. I was competing Advanced on the trampoline, so it wasn’t even my hardest level, which would be Elite. I was doing a routine with a difficulty caps, so I did two doubles out of it.

Basically, I was in my last warmup; we get three warmups before we compete. I was in the last one, and I kind of jumped into the corner of my trampoline. And I was like, ‘Hey, it’s nationals; I’ll just do my last skill and compete afterwards, even if I fall off the trampoline a little. It’ll be fine.’ So I’m in the corner of the trampoline with an inch to two inches from the mat. I do my double-back, which is my last skill, and the thing that I forgot is this: we compete on different trampolines from the ones that we train on at our gym. My coach makes his own trampolines, so the ones at nationals were different. These trampolines were made by bigger companies. My coach’s trampolines kind of pull you to the center of the trampoline; these ones let you go wherever you’re going. I go to do my backflip with momentum already throwing me to the side, and as I came out of my flip, I saw that I was about to land with one foot on the trampoline and one foot completely off. The trampoline was four to five feet above the ground, and I was like, ‘I’m not trying to tear my leg off today,’ so I forced myself to do a quarter-turn; this would basically make me fall off the trampoline completely, but it was better than being half on and half off. We had spotters to catch us for this specific moment in time– like, when somebody falls off.

There was this skinny dad that was the spotter in my corner. He was maybe five feet and five inches, and he was so skinny; he was skinnier than I am. I watch him as I’m falling down, and I’m hoping he will catch me. I’m watching him, right? And he was acting like he was going to catch me. Then, he suddenly just opens up his arms and steps back; he just let me fall into the mat with no help. I ended up landing at such an angle with such high impact from the fall that I sprained my ankle and fell underneath the trampoline– and almost hit my head against the metal frame. Also, there’s no padding underneath the trampoline because they don’t want you to hit it when you’re jumping on it, so I almost hit my head on the concrete too; I almost got a concussion. Luckily, I didn’t get a concussion because I was strong enough to keep my head from hitting the ground. I got up and competed my final pass. I could hardly walk after that, and my neck was so sore the next day.

Basically, I learned to never let a skinny dad catch you as you’re falling off a trampoline.”