Gymnastics Reflections

10 05 2008

Today is the last day of gymnastics for an unforeseen amount of time. I plan to keep working out and I am going on this circus tour. However, I think it’s also important to reflect on what I have learned in the two years of gymnastics and circus training.

I started circus work in earnest when I got a summer camp counselor job at Circus Smirkus from June—August 2006. It was one of those experiences in which I could list new things I learned just about every single day. I managed to keep a log of it for the first several weeks.

Following that, I took up gymnastics at a local gym. It, like most other gyms, is oriented toward the girls competitive team and the youth classes. There was an adult class once a week started by these two guys, Matt and Gabe, who are awesome. I was there from September 2006—August 2007, and then from January till now. When I started I could sort of do a cartwheel, and I was beginning to understand what a handstand was about. Now, even though we’ve only taken the class once a week, I have a much more solid grounding.

When I started, my goals were to have a press handstand that I could hold in place, and a solid tumbling pass or a back tuck. Now, I…

• can hold a handstand for nearly thirty seconds
• can press into a handstand (woo!)
• can do a decent cartwheel and a passable roundoff
• am very close to doing an unaided back handspring on the floor, and can do it on the tumble track
• can usually do a front handspring
• have successfully done a front tuck
• have a solid back extension roll
• can do other things that aren’t coming to mind right now

I’m really proud of my progress. Certainly I have a lot of things to work on, like getting the front handspring all the time, and getting over my fear of a roundoff back handspring. Basically I need more time, more repetitions. I don’t have a back tuck or a solid tumbling pass yet, which means I have a lot more work to do. Practicing once a week isn’t enough, clearly, and neither is starting at age twenty. My body isn’t as willing to stretch as it was even five years before. But I’ve made considerable gains in the past two years, and I intend to keep going!

What are some things you’ve progressed on, and what are your goals?

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