succumbing to peer pressure

Monday, June 05, 2006


To continue the nostalgia theme, we'll next pick up with gymnastics! I coached my first class in years today, and it was great. Well, ok, a little frustrating too, but mostly great. Seven little kids, mostly in the 4-to-5-year old range. Frustrating just because I grew up in such a strict gym environment, and this one is primarily recreational, I had to sort of remind myself that it was ok that the kids were flopping around and not paying much attention. (I know, I know, they're little, what was I expecting! it'll take a slight attitude adjustment on my part) Reminiscing with the club organizer about our past lives as gymnasts was tremendously fun and playing around on the equipment after class was fantastic. For a while, during undergrad, I'd go back and play around at one of my old gyms once or twice a year, but by now I've managed to let two or three years slip past since my last time inside a gym. Just feeling the leather on the beam under my feet brought it all back. It's funny though, because my brain remembers how things should work, the rhythm and timing of things, but my body just doesn't respond that way anymore. I can still pull out a few tricks, but I definitely had to remind myself to reel it back in tonight. Despite the fun, I know it'll be hard to move tomorrow, and jumping back in at an unreasonable pace means imminent injury, so I'm trying to be at least mildly responsible. The worst part is that you don't realize just how much of a different muscle tone makes. During the height of training your body is so toned that the muscles absorb a pretty hefty impact. Even being in relatively good shape now, I can feel the difference because my muscles transfer so much of the jolt of a landing and my cartilage is less spongey, so a much larger proportion of impact gets transferred almost directly to my skeletal system. Landing a tumbling pass really feels like getting my bell rung, as the vibrations travel right up to the base of my skull. I'm sure that isn't good for me. But damn is it fun.


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