Breaking New Ground

It is amazing watching the journey unfold as I move from the impossible to consistent to effortless. I recently started working on Kickovers off the wrong leg. With the now healed ribs there is still a lot of tension in the body as I go off my off foot. Two weeks ago it was impossible. I had never even attempted it because I could not even do it off panel mats. Now I am doing 9-10 every morning and often I kick over cleanly and other times it takes me a couple of attempts. As my shoulders open up and my body conditions more I can clearly see it becoming effortless very quickly and even moving to doing Back Walkovers off the wrong leg.

I have also been working on Front Walkovers and doing ten every day. I am currently using spotters to make this happen and as my back continues to get conditioned I am going to be able to nail this technique. This technique really requires the ability to block off the hands and maintain the arch while moving through it to stand. I love it and it will end up joining my combos at some point.

My handstands are looking nice and while not as consistent as I would like I can do many nice handstands. I look forward to getting back to LA Fitness and drilling every day and also to be able to walk on my hands for 22+ steps. I am most excited about working with coach again. It tests me every time I need to go away from coach but I am very healthy and strong and am getting fitter and stronger every day. So looking forward to getting back.

Here is a picture of Rebecca Bross and the flexibility she has is amazing. I am working on getting this flexible as will. I will get there.

Another Goal Bites The Dust

I have been wanting to work on my offside for a while. For most gymnasts we have our strong side and we train that continuously and do not spend a lot of time working on the weak side. For me I have done literally thousands of techniques on my strong side and yet cannot even kickover off the floor on my weak side. It is not the flexibility based on the effortlessness of the strong side so it comes down to technique and strength.

Yesterday I just had a feeling that my back was in great shape and felt it was time to do it. Last time I did it at LA Fitness I broke one of my ribs badly. That time I also was doing it off panel mats and my body was very twisted as I had not had a chance to see Doc. This time I decided a change of technique and decided to just go for it off the floor and keep building up my strength. Yesterday I did 8 and failed and finally made it over on the 9th. First time ever I was exhausted and so excited.

This morning when I went to see if I could improve on it, I set the goal of kicking over three times. I started and failed and failed and failed. After 11 attempts I felt I would have been content with two. When I kicked over on the 12th I justified that any I did was assisting in conditioning. I then proceeded to kickover on the next seven in a row. So the final were 100% or 8/8. I think the body is finally allowing it to flow which is so exciting. The goal now is to cement it into the body and then start doing all the techniques such as Back Walkover and Front Limber Kickovers etc off either foot. So excited about where it is going. Loving Life. Go Heroes!!

Blowing Away Expectations

I am at breakthough point where each day I train I am hitting key major breakthroughs. It started about a week ago when I moved from doing kickovers in the morning  as part of my warm up to going straight into Slinkies to warm up. Goal was initially to do three single slinkies to warm up. I blew past that quick enough and today I did a triple slinky, followed by a sexto slinky followed by a nanoslinky. For a total of 18 slinkies as part of my warmup. I can see it will not be long before I do a Decaslinky to warm up and then move onto other techniques. It is coming….

After that I did 3 Combos (FLKO, Slinky, BWO, FLSU, Stick). The third was perfect, the first two had minor steps. Still massive progress over the last month. So much harder to do such a combination versus the same technique multiple times. I am going to start working on Front Walkovers and will be able to include this into the Combo as well and then will include Back Handspring Stepout as well as soon as I am confident to do that. It is coming…….

I then worked on Upslinkies and got 5/5 on the Level 2 but could not get the Level 3 today. I am working on it and am close. If I was not going away I would have 5/5 within a week. My back is in incredible shape so this will be coming and then I am going for Level 4 as well and that will open up the upper back even more. It is coming……

My body is very unbalanced with my left leg being about 10 times as strong in kickovers than the other. Rather than working down panel mats I decided to focus on doing the leg lifts from the floor and eventually the panel will start settling into the body and then it will just kickover. Once I get there I will keep working on it until I can slot it into the combo and alternate the combo on each foot. It is coming……

As part of doing the leg lifts I decided yesterday to do a back bend into position. When I did this I though how would it be to do it with my eyes closed. Yesterday I did the back bend with my eyes closed. Today I did the whole technique including the Stand up with my eyes closed. A lot more in touch with the body when doing this. I am going to start doing a lot more techniques with my eyes closed to the point I can do the combo withe my eyes closed. It is coming…

Next I worked on Beam Slinkies followed by Back Walkover. A beam slinky is where you start on both feet and have hands in beam position and lean back with the hands on the ground and push through the shoulders and then kickover and land on the 4″ beam (simulated). Yesterday I added a back walkover it to get used to doing more combination techniques. Today I added the Back Walkover for all five. Did great. I used to be unstable or come off the side on the Beam Slinky. Not any more. Soon I will be doing this Back Walkover in Beam position as well so I can get used to doing the Back Walkover-Back Handspring so I can take it to the beam. It is coming……

I then went and worked on handstands. While I was doing it, I had Leigh come over and she asked me to show her how to do a handstand. She is one of the yoga instructors. I said of course. I gave her some key distinctions and spotted her on a handstand and she got to experience good form…Tight abs, Tight Back, Toes Pointed etc. She said I spent the first 50 of my life walking on my feet,I decided I want to learn  during  the next 50 to learn to walk on my hands. I said, “Me Too’, I explained my goal is to be able to walk around the gym on my hands for five minutes around a walking track. She is excited about doing more with me. 5 minutes on my hands. I did my longest walk today at 22 steps. It is coming…..

I am looking forward to getting more and more flexibility. Here are some of my current goals…….

Overall I am in excellent shape, the body is strong and getting more flexible by the day. The next 24 days in the UK should increase my flexibility and strength even more. So Excited… Go Heroes!!!

Pushing the Edge

Back in Jan I was at the point where my back was just in amaing shape and I was did 5/5 Upslinkies onto the 3 panel mat (L-3) before hurting myself again. Only yesterday I got back to doing 5/5 Upslinkies on the two panel mat. I did that today as well and went for the 3 panel mat. I failed. I failed. I failed. I failed again. Then I made it. Ahh. The joy of pushing my boundaries and getting back there. I can see that I am very close to returning to the greatest flexibility I have ever had.

Also my back is so conditioned now that my warm includes some cobra stretches for five minutes followed by slinkies. Yesterday I did a Slinky followed by a Quad Slinky followed by an Octoslinky. When I went in this morning I felt strong so I decided to go for a Double Slinky right off the bat. Made it. Then did a Pentaslinky also a personal best and then did an Octoslinky (failed going for a Nanoslinky).

After that I did my three combos although I did double kick on one technique. I also got to focus on why my arm comes out on a standup. Will pay more attention to that. I then went onto Beam Slinkies which I double kicked on a couple of them but on the fifth one I did a Beam Slinky straight into a BWO. Huge progress in combining techniques.

I then worked on getting my right leg going for kickovers. Rather than doing it off the panel mats which is where I hurt myself before from being so twisted I changed strategy. I decided to do a backbend and then simply raise the right leg up five times and get used to the motion and as it gets more comfortable I will then docus on doing that while kicking with the left leg and eventually if I do that every morning as well it will get to the point where I will be able go over effortlessly. I love this strategy and know it will beam fruit with the focus I now have and my back in such great condition.

Next I did handstands and just had an average day with these until I started to do walking. I did fantastic and did my longest walk (19 steps) and did the highest average walk on my hands. Being able to walk on your hands is all about control and body shapes and strength and balance. It was critical to get good form in handstands before starting to walk on them, so I am ready no. My goal is to be able to spend five minutes walking around on my hands around LA Fitness and do a course on the ground including turns, splits and other handstand postures ie stag. Big goal but I am up for it. There was lots more stretching as well on all splits which are all coming along well.

So exciting. I get to have another great day of training at LA Fitness tomorrow before going to see Doc and then training really early on Tues with coach from 4:30am-7:30am. It was the only time we could do because we had to be out for a summer camp starting at 7:30. I love my coach so much. He is the best.


  • First Double Slinky as first technique in morning
  • Most slinkies in morning (Opening Technique)
  • First Beam Slinky followed by BWO
  • First blind Back Bend
  • Best results for Bridge Lifts using Right leg
  • Longest Handstand Walk (19 steps)
  • Highest Average Handstand Steps (8.4) over 10 walks
  • Look Up and Trust…

    I had my final session with coach before heading over to the UK to do some more work with experts over there in the area of flexiblity. Coach showed me the Stag Handstand and wants me to start work on various different positions including this one so I can have a lot more control. It is exciting and a very different feeling. Here is an example of Svetlana doing it on the beam.

    I had a very rough day at the gym. Physically I am in excellent form. Emotionally I was a wreck with a whole lot of other things gong on behind the scenes. Upheaval with schedules, travel, Robby getting into a second car accident only months after recovering and news my grandfather passed away in Bulgaria. I apologized to coach afterwards.

    I had an ineffective morning at LA Fitness although I did do three perfect combos to show what shape my body is in. When I arrived with coach he said how are you Bobbie. I said “Physically Great. Emotionall Horrible”. We taked for a while and then began tumbling. I tumbled well enough and got to Back Tucks and did five good ones and one that was very high but just not consistent. We then did some Standing Back Handsprings and that was not working well.

    Next we went to Front Handsprings. I had never made one yet by myself and after coach spotting me I made a number in row and got greater and greater clarity. Finally coach says OK Bobbie you can do it by yourself now. Well I ran did the Handspring and landed on my butt eight times in a row. I then did one where I was close. The challenge with Front  Handsprings is that you go into a perfect handstand and then have to block (push) up and drive the feet through an arch into the ground ground as close to your hands as possible and stay looking at the ceiling. Of that arch is too big you sit. If you don’t extend through the handstand you sit. If you do not drive the feet you sit. If you do not block off the ground you sit. If you look forward You sit. The only way to do it succssfully is to do it all together and make sure you end up looking straight up. Which means you need to have total faith.

    This is the technique where I have hurt my knee seven times and there is fear when I do it and I look to where I am planting my feet to make sure they are ok. Challenge is if I look. I sit. I gave myself five more attempts to do it and on the third I went for it. I made it and ended up standing. It was a VERY long journey to get to this point and not physical. My body has been able to get there for a long time but mentally. Hell. I made it and promptly burst into tears. That is when my amazing coach said “Metaphor for life Bobbie. Look Up and Trust”. The tears just kept pouring out and pouring out and pouring out.

    We then went to bars and we ended up stopping that early and I called the class forty minutes early. Rare for me indeed. I was just not making progress and it was sad. Overalll in hindsight I made great progress and need to acknowledge that success and know there is plenty more in store. Coach when you read this. I love you and you are incredible and my Hero. Go Heroes!!