Tuesday, January 17, 2006


One of my co-workers invited me to join her Adult Gymnastics class. She said there were all ages in the class from early twenties to mid sixties, and ability levels from just beginning to competitive gymnasts that just want to continue to work out. I used to do my share of gymnastics when I was young and was pretty good. She had been going to 3 years and helps people through their stunts. I thought it sounded like a fun workout, so I went to try it out last night.

We got there a little early so we began stretching our old, tight muscles. I figured it had been a while since I had been in a gym like this, but it would come back to me. When I sat down and figured out how long it had actually been since I did any sort of gymnastics, I was blown away to think that it was about 18-19 years ago. What struck me the most was that I didn’t even have my PERIOD the last time I did gymnastics. I got scared, and very wary of what skills I still had.

The workout started with running around the mat 5 times, and then back the other way. I thought I was going to fall over with this. “What have I gotten myself into?” I quietly said, as my friend laughed. Then everyone started doing jumping jacks. 75 to be exact. This is going to kill me, I thought. Then 35 push-ups and 35 sit-ups. I did 2 push-ups and felt my arms go to jelly. This is not the fun workout I was looking for. The little girl in me that got pushed by her coaches was yelling at me to keep going. For heaven’s sake, the 60+ year old man in the class was kicking my ass!

After that bit of cardio and strength, came the stretches. All your normal stretches, plus holding all 3 splits for 1.5 minutes. I used to be so flexible… now, not so flexible. I was afraid I was going to tear something, so I eased up. And good thing, cause then we started the BEGINNER tumbling.

Beginner tumbling my ass! Ok, so I used to be able to do all this stuff when I was 8 years old, and then some. But now…. Hell no! I was dizzy with the first pass of forward rolls. And nauseous with the second. I sat out for the back-roll extensions, but did try just one regular backward roll. A BACKWARD ROLL! I did these when I was 5 years old all around the house, but now they make me dizzy and want to hurl, and we won’t talk about my lack of grace. I got my courage back for the cartwheels and round-offs and handstands, so something in me was remembering some of this stuff. The addition of some 30+ pounds, a weak cardiovascular system and many years of neglecting my physique was showing.

My friend and I went and played on the uneven bars, beam and trampolines, and that was a great end to the 2 hour torture. The coach spotted me on my back handspring on the tramp, and that was the most difficult move of the night. I’m glad I did it, because I needed some sign that I hadn’t lost all of my skills.

I was nauseated by the BART ride home, and couldn’t concentrate on anything when I tried to read in bed. This morning I hurt and I’m tired. I feel like someone clocked me upside the head while I was running a marathon, and then told me to do it again. I am humbled. Completely humbled. All those years of going to the gym, and I now realize just how little I was really pushing myself. I’m totally going back next week!


Autumn's Mom said...

WOW. I'm proud of you! What a workout! It will get funner I think. I'm very impressed. I never took gymnastics. I could never do the splits. *sigh*

J said...

Funny what a little 'real' work can do to a person. I think I'll sit over here with my Cheetos and watch you, k?