Monday, 11 December 2006

Amateur Gymnastics

Last week at the ripe old age of 34, I decided It was time to take up gymnastics. I quickly worked out that Olympic Gold was probably beyond me so I contented myself with learning some basic moves that I could show off to the family. The vision of an intricate series of tumbles and twists ending in a perfect backward somersault landing in the soft golden sand of Aberavon Beach to rapturous applause from all who had seen it was to much to resist so I enrolled in a class and got started.

Fortunately, despite being several stones heavier than while at school, the skills that I had learned there were not entirely forgotten so I confidently managed to run the length of the tumble run and execute some front somersaults (some with a 1/2 twist too!) and sink up to my waist in chunks of safe, soft foam at the end of the run. I was in my element. It would have taken many gallons of strong detergent and a wire brush to scrub the smile from my face as I continued to throw myself around the gym. I was only slightly conscious of the fact that I was 20 years older than nearly everyone else there who must have assumed I was having a mid-life crisis and left me to it while they practised their parkour in hope of a role in the next James Bond movie.

There was all the usual gymnastic apparatus there. I had a quick go on the rings and just hung there for 20 seconds swinging pointlessly without any idea of what to do next. This was followed by a similar experience on the high bar. My aspirations of performing a crucifix spoiled I strolled past the pommel horse - amazed at how gravity affects some more than others and back to the practice tumble run until my legs started complaining.

After 2 hours the fun was over and it was time to go home. The next day I was sore all over and my legs had stopped talking to me altogether. I was nursing whiplash as the result of a dare gone wrong, but it was all worth it and I'm fully looking forward to having another go soon.

I highly recommend those who have been green with envy while watching kids fling themselves yet again into the ball pool at "Jungle Jims" give this a go. I was surprised to find a gym of this type so close to where I live and maybe there's one near you. Go on, give it a try.

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