Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gymnastics Class 101

I’m sure many of you are gymnastics fans and enjoy watching it, but I’m also sure you have all wondered what happens at gymnastics class. I was enrolled in gymnastics as a young child and actually stayed in it until I became a teenager. So here’s the scoop of what I went through, and what you or your child will probably go through if you enrol in gymnastics. 

 As many of you may know, gymnasts all have to wear these crazy spandex uniforms while performing in competitions... sorry to inform you about this, but we even have to wear them in class, yes, the rules are that strict. When you first arrive to class, everyone has to warm up and stretch for a good amount of time. I remember the coaches used to come around and press down on some students to encourage them to stretch further... it’s that part I used to dread, and I would pray they wouldn’t push down on me! Ok I’m making it sound dreadful right now, but gymnastics is actually really fun, and it’s a great sport and allows you to build amazing flexibility along with strength and skill. It is also quite challenging, but common how cool would it be if you could do back flips on balance beams and all kinds of cool flips?
To continue on, as some of you may know, the main categories in gymnastics are balance beam, the vault, the bars, and the floor...  we went through each one of them every class. We all got split into groups and some of us would do one category and others would do another. Balance beam was really fun for me, it teaches you how to get control of yourself, and helps with your balance. Once I progressed, I was able to do flips on it as well, which was really cool. My most memorable category was probably the bars because I remember using so much chalk on my hands, by the end of class I had chalk all over me. I would say that the bars were a lot of fun but painful on my hands at the same time. One of my favourite activities in the class was to be able to play in “the pit”, which is basically a giant pool filled with foam cubes. It was fun because we got to do flips and jumps off a spring and then we landed in the pit of foam and had to “swim” our way out. The vault was pretty scary for me when I was young because you would have to run straight for it and then be able to jump over it or flip off of it and land perfectly on your feet. I don’t know about you, but I was always scared of falling off of it, or hurting myself. That’s why I give anyone credit in gymnastics, it’s really a tough sport, and highly competitive. There is also risk of injury because you’re always doing flips, not only on land, but on bars, and on the top of a balance beam. But, needless to say, it is also probably one of the most entertaining sports to watch because it keeps you on edge. That about sums up all the major activities that took place within a class, in my experience, it was a lot of fun, challening at times, and drained my energy, which my parents probably took to their advantage.
If you would like to see cool videos on Olympic gymnasts or even get more information about gymnastics in general, visit the F.I.G facebook page and click “Like”, you can also visit their youtube channel for cool videos! 
 By: Pamela Petkovic

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