I’m halfway through my time on the gymnast floor and have come to terms with the lack of flexibility in my body.
Partially it’s got to do with the fact that I, like Roger Murtaugh, am just too old for this… Because age means you lose those plastic bones and rubber ligaments. And partly it’s because I haven’t stretched myself out like a rubber band all my life. And, I’m a guy, so naturally I’m just less bendy.
Despite my lack of flexibility, there are things still to learn that don’t require me to bend like Gumbi and those things include awesomeness like flips.
I have flipped, and often flopped, my way through classes and am finally finding some semblance of control as I careen wildly through the air. My head no longer losses all sense of balance after flipping and some of the tricks are finally coming together into something that feels right.
So, I’ve decided to go for a bit of a grail move and try to learn how to do standing flips before my short stint is up.
If there’s any move that is designed to wow your friends and win you bets, a standing flip is that move.
Picture this, if you will: you’re standing there with your friends and talk about whatever and you somehow horn in that you can do a standing backflip. Your friends all scoff, so you move slightly away from them and, bam, backflip city.
People would flip (pun sadly intended) and you might be able to earn a couple dollars from some strategically laid bets.
Sounds good to me.
And that’s really only the start of what you can learn at gymnastics.
You can learn to run up a wall and pull a flip, dive over hurdles and roll back up onto your feet and hurdle over objects almost as tall as you are. Or you can take the more traditional route and learn how to do multiple flips on the trampoline, or spinning flips, or cartwheels for days.
One of the most interesting things to come from taking gymnastics is learning how your body moves and the ways it doesn’t. We spend so little of our day to day life throwing ourself into the air with wanton abandon that we don’t understand how to make it do these things and lack the strength in the muscles we don’t use.
Gymnastics changes that, forcing you to work out the twisting and flipping muscles you didn’t realize were there, strengthening you so you can move like a cat, all lithe muscle and manoeuvrability.
I look forward to use this in my future endeavours to show off for friends and for my own enjoyment. Stay tuned to see if I stick the landing or fall on my face.
– Jonas Gagnon is an Observer Reporter and is checking out the clubs of Quesnel to let you know what’s out there.