Gymnastics – Day 66
Both of my daughters are keen gymnasts and sank to new depths of mortification when I mentioned that I was going to the adult gym class immediately after Izzy’s session. As I watched my little daughter warm down by doing the splits and placing her nose on her leg, I had to wonder where this flexibility has come from. I certainly don’t possess such powers, although Paul can proudly touch the floor with his hands whilst keeping his legs straight.
Once Izzy was safely deposited with Daddy in the car, I joined the rest of the adult gymnastics class. The class had only been going for 2 weeks and I was surprised to see so many people there. I was a bit apprehensive, as I assumed they were all going to be ex-gymnasts but it turned out that nobody had any particular gymnastic heritage. Both men and women were there, either because they were parents of some of the gymnasts or just randomly fancied giving it a go. I found this very comforting.
We lined up at one end of the springy floor and alternated forward rolls, forward rolls to straddle, backward rolls, cartwheels and round offs. My rolls were not pleasant to behold but I am really pleased with my cartwheels. Looking around, it was quite amusing to watch 25 adults, all veering off in various directions, landing in different heaps around the floor. It was certainly performed in a good spirit.
Once we had conquered the floor with our misshapen moves, we were free to sample any apparatus we wanted, with the help of some of the coaches dotted about. For me, this was reminiscent of a chapter out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as this normally forbidden apparatus, usually reserved for children, suddenly became ours. No more standing behind a cordoned off fence, watching enviously from afar. Our faces lit up as we charged toward our most desired apparatus. For me, it was the vault.
As I come to the final third of my challenge and the finish line comes in sight, I feel like I need to make the most of every opportunity presented to me because in reality, a large number of things I am trying, I probably won’t do again. I mean to make the most of it and for the vault; it meant that I was going to charge at it like I was an Olympic contender!
After a quick lesson in technique, we formed a queue. I strategically placed myself at the back and watched the people in front nervously canter up to the springboard, vault and then land on the mat. I decided to charge, like I’ve seen on TV and launch myself as best I could. The result was the best I could have hoped for but it felt really good. No wonder my kids love spending so much time here!
Next was the beam, which really tested my issues with balance. I was encouraged to keep looking up but even on the baby beam, I was like a newborn foal. I moved on to the bars and again, there did seem to be some physical limitations to even reaching up to the bar. For one, I am a short-arse and secondly, I have big boobs. I had a few attempts to get up but for once, I decided to preserve my dignity, as I shrugged off my attempts with my self-deprecating barbs and moved back to the floor where I tried to perfect my cartwheels.
We ended with some conditioning, which meant more planking. I am not going to miss planking or burpees after this challenge.
I really enjoyed gymnastics and I actually didn’t need to feel daunted at all. The class was completely inclusive of all ages and all abilities. I don’t think I will be challenging my daughters anytime soon for room on the podium but it was great to enter into a bit of their world. At the rate I am going, I will be attempting to shoe horn myself into their relay race at sports day or turn up on a Duke of Edinburgh excursion. Now that would really crank up the Shame-O-Meter for them!
Sofa Dodger; One Woman's Quest to Try 100 Different Sports and Fitness Classes in a Year is available on Amazon, please click here