What a journey it has been so far. I have decided to start posting again after having a break for a while. Today I smashed my record for number of Back bend techniques in training 142, I beat my record for 10 Back Walkovers in a row 45.6 seconds and also did my best on my crab techniques which are constantly opening my back up more. Also did the best with the beam Back Walkovers with a total of 48 done and the quality is getting better and better. I need to get both hands together directly side by side all the time but I am getting closer to doing Back Walkovers on the beam. I will get there.

My broken collar bone is healing nicely and I can only really feel it now when doing pushups. I am back to doing 100 or more every day and so far in the last 160 days have done over 10500 pushups. I have a way to go because I want to get to 36,500 pushups by the end of 365 days. I think I will be able to get there.

My body is feeling amazing and watching the back break all these records tells me I am still not at my peak yet and can keep getting better. I have broken records continuously over the last 10 days and I have another 20 days before I go to the UK. Wonder where I will be by then.

Looking forward to training with coach again soon and seeing how I can apply all these breakthroughs to the results I am getting. Going to start filming a lot more to as this journey is so amazing it is great to have a record of it. A big part of it is stamina and as I keep lengthening out the techniques like making 10 Back Walkovers become 20 back walkovers it further conditions the back that what I do is normal. My goal is to get to the point I can do Back Walkovers anywhere without warming up. At that point. Watch out world.

Glad I could share this with and promise not to be away so long next time. Go Heroes!!!!

On The Verge

I watched the Visa Nationals today and it was amazing to watch. The turning point that made me decide to train for London was Nastia Luikin in Jan 2009 declaring she was training for 2012. I watched her closely for the last four years. She only started getting real about 6 months ago and it looks like she left it too late. As the Olympic Champion in All Around was the best in 2008 but a quadrennium is a LOOONG time especially when you sit out three years. Shawn Johnson retired. Chelsea Memmels petition to attend Nationals was denied. Alicia Sacramone just is not up to scratch. Rebecca Bross is behind with knee issues and Bridget Sloan is solid but just not up to the current level. The new girls Wieber, Douglass, Moroney, Ross, Raisman just look unbeatable as a team right now.

I was so excited after watching Nationals that I went down to LA Fitness to train. I felt good. Really good. I ended up doing 111 Back Walkover Techniques beating my best by 7 but that was not my goal. That was a side benefit. I started working on Back Walkovers in beam position meaning my hands have to side by side versus shoulder width apart. I slowly moved them together and within a short time I had them fully in beam position. I then did 45 of them. My back was flexing like a champion and I felt new distinctions today I have never felt before. All the work from Heather in opening up my abs and thighs and Dr Michelle opening up my spine is coming together AND I know it can still open further.

One of my goals this year is to do Back Walkovers on the beam and then start doing the ground work for Back Handsprings on the beam. This was one of those things that was going to be a huge physical challenge and incredible scary but now feeling where my back is the fear is starting to diminish. Watching them at Nationals I have new distinctions I did not have before and that is not making it nearly as scary.

I will be training for RIO. That is only four years and six weeks away and I have so much to do but it will be so worth it to see how good I can get in that time. Loving all that I am doing and even though I have some challenges I am getting better in so many ways. Loving Life. Go Heroes!!

The Next Level

I have been training now for 3 years and 9 months and what an adventure it has been. Through the knee challenges, the broken ribs, the torn shoulder and the countless bumps and bruises. I have learned so much about myself and my body has changed so much. My back flexibility now blows me away and it keeps getting better. My best series of Back Walkovers was 25 in a row. My second best was 20 and I tied that today. My back is getting back to peak form AND it is more open than ever before. As I keep working on opening my abs and keep opening my shoulders I will get better and better and faster and faster.

One of my big goals at the moment is to get Back Walkovers on beam. It is something which seemed unfathomable when I started when I could barely do a bridge. After working through the bridges, the slinkies and now back walkovers I have progressed so far. What I love is that if I keep training the way I am training getting back walkovers on beam and then back handsprings on beam becomes INEVITABLE. I love that. Again it is a long journey but I am patient and every skill I get is a miracle.

Coach recently decided for me to flip my vault he wanted me to be coming off the 7 setting on the vault instead of the 5 so he raised the table and I began flipping over the Level 7 yesterday for the first time. I still have to get a lot more leverage ad be tighter but it is coming along.

Another big piece of exciting news is that coach and I finished mapping our my Level 6 Floor Routine. I love it. It an instrumental version of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way. It lasts 1:25 and includes 6 eight counts of dance at the end including the paws up from Bad Romance. I love the whole feel of it and it is great to finally get a music piece to showcase my strengths. The Back Extension Roll is coming along. The Back Walkovers are 80% where they need to be and Front Handspring will get there.

Bars I am also making progress in linking the skills together. This has also been a low, laborious process but we can see light at the end of the tunnel and once this level is over I get to work on giants and layout dismounts. I love bars and need to increase my upper body strength even more to get to the level I want to be at.

Overall, I am blessed to be doing what I do. I train hard. I am committed and I know that if I continue to do what I am doing I will accomplish so much to me that is amazing. Living an incredible life. Go Heroes!!

Smashing It!!

What an amazing day. I have been waiting for a long day for this day to come and it finally arrived. I got to start work on my Level 6 floor routine. I have not completed Level 5 but made more progress today than I have in over 2 years. You see this level has been tough. One of the toughest things I have ever had to do. I have had three techniques that have caused me problems. Firstly Front Handspring. This technique in the past often involved me twisting my knee. The last time that happened was over a year ago but the memories linger. Today I did 10/10 with coach giving me a light spot. It is going to get to the point where coach will not need to spot me shortly and then I can own this technique.

Secondly is the Back Walkover. I have been doing them now for two years but there is a difference down in the gym as part of the routine and without shoes. Coach has been spotting me until today. I did 5/5 cleanly by myself and 5/5 as part of the routine. This is now anchored into my body and so can be checked off the list.

The third one is Back Extension Roll. This technique has been stuck for two years due to problems with my shoulder. I have had a pinched nerve and it was painful and recently VERY painful. This is where the title comes in. I met in Australia one of the most amazing massage therapists I have ever come across. He is way more than a massage therapist. His knowledge of the body puts him close to mastery. He gave Clinton and I 12 sessions in Australia. One every night. He dove deep and I mean deep into the armpit as he calls ‘Smashing It!!’ and let us say it was ‘mildly discomforting’ (his words) as you could tell by the tears rolling down my face and the breaths to release the stress. But the results speak for themselves. Today for the first time my hand turned. It was reactive versus proactive but that is more than it has for two years. Now I know I can get this technique and move past it.

As a result Coach had me start work on my Level 6 floor routine. As least the first part to it. I love the choreography he has put together. The song is Lady Gaga Born This Way and I love it. I cannot wait to see the rest of it as it unfolds. I love my custom routines.

On Monday I vaulted very well and my bars was exceptional. I am ready for lots of breakthroughs and now I can see them happening. I love this part of my training and look forward to sharing the great results. Go Heroes!!!

Melting Point

Today was a great day at the L.A. Fitness. Yesterday coach told me that I was fit but not gymnastics fit. That I needed to dramatically improve my overall strength conditioning and cardio. He said I happy where we are with vault. Beam is doing well and is probably your best at the moment. Bars is holding us up and so is floor with cardio. He said I am ready to take you to the next level Bobbie-Sue but we need to improve these things.

Today I was working on my back to get it open more in preparation for more back walkovers for the beam tomorrow and Friday. There is a point that gymnasts know regarding back flexibility where you can just bend back and your back basically melts. There is no resistance, no pressure, you just lean back and hands go effortless to the ground. After 3 1/2 years I finally did it for the first day. It was an awesome feeling. I have done 25 Back Walkovers in a row but even then my back did not feel the same as today. It felt effortless, graceful, flowing. After ten BWO there was no dizziness, no exhaustion just Ahhhh!!!

I have started working on a lot of other exercises he wants me to do as well and also ran for 24 minutes on the treadmill. My goal is to get up to 30 minutes on the treadmill and then after hitting that 5 times in a row start increasing the speed and the incline to improve cardio ability for my floor routine.

I have a long way to go but coach said to me yesterday. I am not going anywhere Bobbie-Sue. I am in this for the long run. I said “Coach you know I am here for the long run”. It is a great feeling having such a great relationship through all the challenges, pain, delays and everything else we have faced. I am looking forward to him pushing me harder so we can get bars moving and get those giants etc.

I cannot imagine life without gymnastics. It is such a part of my life. I am going to keep training for Rio. I missed my opportunity to go to London but now have extra time to focus, train and deliver in Rio. Loving Life. Go Heroes!!

Knee Jerk Reaction

I finally had my rib feeling good again and with no pain and knee started playing up again. I have committed to get the sideways splits but it seems every time I focus on the splits my knee ends up playing up and I quit working on the splits. This time I am going to keep going until I get them but I need to be smarter about my knee. I have taped it and am going to be back wearing my brace while I am working on the splits so it does not slow me down. I have too much to work on to be slowed.

Recently I have been working on my twists. This is part of my Front Handspring vault with full twist and also will be part of my layout full. I am loving the twists. It is a very different feeling rotating in the two axis. The temptation is to pike or arch and pull yourself out of the tight twist but to do so only invites pain when you land as you will under rotate and under rotating while still twisting is never good any knee.

Yesterday I was working on 540 degree jumps as he realized that 540 degree jumps are the same as 540 degree pirouette handstands. It just gives us option for the routine. I did a couple and have a way to go but it will be possible.

I am back doing Round Off Back Handspring, Back Tuck on the tumble track and they were looking good and I was landing all of them. The key now is to get a much bigger punch up and then tuck because we want to get this back onto the floor shortly. Bars was terrible yesterday and I could just not kip correctly and only made 30% compared to my normal 95% kipping.

I am loving having Jamie-Lee training with me and watching her grow so quickly as well. She is exhausted each day. When I started I was doing 2 hours and built up stamina to go for 3 hours in the mornings, especially at 6:30am training sessions. I expect another great day because anything less would not be playing at the level I know I can. I am an Olympian Gold Medallist in spirit and one day in hand. Challenges are part of the step and with the knee ‘This too shall pass’. Go Heroes!!!

Catch a Break

I had an outstanding year in 2011 with almost no injuries and was able to train hard and make a lot of progress. On the morning before Christmas I was training and rebroke one of my ribs. A real pain. Christmas was very frustrating and moving at half speed and every time I moved it hurt. I spent a lot of Christmas wrapped up on the couch drinking hot chocolate and being nursed by by Mom and unwrapping presents. Kenny’s dad sent over a couple of nice presents for our new house we are getting. We have both committed not to get married until after the Olympics as I need to focus but we can’t wait.

After about four days I was back at the gym pushing harder and harder and then I got to train with coach and began twisting my vaults which was so exciting and an awesome present from coach. Soon after I got my longest ever handstand, best ever set of handstands, best Double Switch Stag handstand and lots of other results. I also started working on the slits and getting on the treadmill again and then the next day Jan 1 I hurt the joint again. I trained with coach this morning but was operating at about 60% but aggravated it even more. It felt like someone was punching me in the ribs and a small move could make me wince. I hate this feeling.

I have since seen Doc and been on my Amethyst Crystal bed which vibrates at a high level especially when heated and it has removed a lot of the pain. I have told coach to have the day off tomorrow and the plan is to come back on Thursday. I am going to be seeing Doc tomorrow and Wednesday as well. I want this behind me as I have so much to work on.

Today I was able to do my beam routine for the first time including the front tuck dismount. It is such a good feeling and even though I was falling on some of the techniques it is still a step forward. The front tucks have come a long way and I landed some really good ones and I know this will be a strength going forward.

Time to get more rest and get back to 100%. Pain is part of gymnastics so I will heal and move on. Looking forward to an amazing 2012. Go Heroes!!

Back Into the Groove

I had been away for three weeks from training with coach in Australia and while I got to stretch and do some work at my friends gym it is not the same as working with him. I went back to training two days ago and started working on vault. My vault was quickly back to top form which is great and coach has me working on new drills to assist with blocking. I need to block a lot more to give me time to get the twist in before I land. I love the drill and I think it is going to make a big difference. I get to do a handstand on the tumble track and then immediately block 8 inches up onto a mat. At the moment I can barely do 4 inches.

After I went to floor and after a couple of ugly front handsprings I actually got to do my best first half of the floor routine. Coach is still spotting me so I need to keep doing it until I no longer need him. I have come a long way on this journey and that technique has been one of the biggest challenges in my life.

My bar routine was a disaster. Long Hang Kips are normally a piece of cake for me. I failed 5/5 and so we cut that short. Overall a solid day after a 21 day layoff.

Yesterday I went in and we started on floor. We mainly did tumbltrak because my knee was a little sore. I finally got into the groove again and will working on layouts again this coming week. My bar routine was great because I got to do baby giants and flyaways in the same session so I am progressing and before long will be doing them both in the second half of the bar routine.

Finally I ended up on bars where we were making great progress on jumps including tuck half into split. We also worked on tuck full into split slipt on the tumbltrak as well. So for 21 days away it ended up being great to be back in the groove and ready to finish off the year strong. 2012 is going to be an amazing year with so much progress expected. Giants on Bars, Back handsprings on beam, Tsukahara vault and a custom floor routine. Can’t wait!! Go Heroes!!

Power of Belief

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately as well as watching a lot of footage of my peers; Jordyn Wieber, Alicia Sacramone, Chelsie Memmel, Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin. As I watched and rewatched the World Championship I need to keep asking myself do I have what it takes. Do I have what it takes to keep training every day to have the chance to go to the Olympics in 2016. Does my body have the ability to withstand the grueling training schedule and the ability to get to the flexibility in my back and splits that I need to do the skills. It is such a journey ahead that occasionally I must stop and pause.

When I look back, I realize how far I have come. It has been almost three years since I started training. Back then I could not even do a back handspring and had not touched bars since I was a junior elite. It has been incredible to make that commitment to train for the Olympics. I have watched my back change and open, my shoulders open up, my whole body keeps changing.

I normally train seven days a week and have a day off once a week. This week my body was really feeling it and I had not had much chance to work with my back flexibility. I was stiff and store and my legs were very sore from lots of deep squats from doing front tucks. I decided not to train yesterday and to have a day off and have lots of sleep. As a result I could not wait to train again this morning. I finally went down there this morning and although my back was not in its best form I was able to do some series of back walkovers (10) and handstands. I has 5 personal bests this morning. My theory is while I stay committed and keep training I will be able to reach my dreams. I believe that by the end of next year I will be doing Back handsprings on the beam and will have completed Level 7 and well into level 8 with pirouette handstands on the bars.

I feel so blessed and pray in thanks each day. I will keep training. Setting goals and working towards them and see where it takes me. Loving Life. Go Heroes!!

Breakthrough Days

I love breakthrough days. Coach had requested that I do Back Walkovers this morning and so I was up at 4am to be down at LA Fitness in San Carlos. I warmed my back up and then went down with coach. I was doing the Back Walkovers and they were OK and then I decided to test something. I decided to do it as fast as I could. Bam it worked. I did a couple more and I was able to feel the difference of the speed. I then did Front Handsprings. I was able to do 6 great ones in a row and they were feeling great. Then I did a couple that were not as good and finally finished out the ten.

My Front Tucks were quickly up to standard and equal to my best. Coach wanted me to do them on the floor but I just not quite there yet but with ongoing practice I will be there very shortly.

We then went to bars where coach set the benchmark high. He wrote on the whiteboard flyaways. Yes!!! I did all the prelim and flipped the first flyaway into the pit and then asked if I could flip the second onto the mat. He said yes Bobbie. I believe in you. I did the first flyaway and stuck it. Coach was happy. The second one I did in even better form and stuck it and he was ecstatic. So it looks like I will be doing lots more flyaways in the future. I love them.

I then went to beam and did a lot of beam fundamentals and finally onto beam tuck dismounts. I did them into the pit and they went well and then coach had me doing it off the full size beam. It took me a while but I started landing them and ended up doing some really nice ones. I love doing beam dismounts. It just adds to the difficulty and moves beam up until another whole level.

Overall it was a great day and cannot wait to train again!!