In Top Form

I have been reviewing my performance over the last month and it is amazing to see the progress I am making. My body is in best form it has been since I began training on Aug 14, 2008. My knee is in the best shape. My ribs are strong and healed. The separated ribs are causing no pain AND I am still breaking records and pushing further forward every day. This morning I did my first Quadslinky on my off leg. This is still a miracle and it was 7 weeks ago I could not even do one. What a difference consistent conditioning makes. Everyone I did thi morning was smooth and flowing as well. It is great to see my body getting more and more balance. Even though I was pushing my boundaries the ribs held strong.

I also go my best on the new Rockerbridge where I go back into a bridge and then rock back and forth. What this does is allows the body to get more familiar of moving in and out of complete extension and over timethe body will adapt and be able to move to full extension effortlessly. This is tough on my shoulders but vital with the Back Walkovers and later Back Handsprings on the beam. I then did five Beam Slinkies-Back Walkovers-Front Limber Standups all in good form which as a personal best and then did a beam slinky onto the beam and pushed through my shoulders. Ten more of those and my body was feeling it.

I then went onto handstands. It is amazing the difference I am getting in my handstands. All the conditioning work has definitely paid off. It is much easier for me to get into handstand position now. I am also working on the press handstands to assist me with beam work. I did my best set this morning and I know it is going to accelerate as I keep going. I am loving all this work and will assist me reaching my goal of 100 steps on my hands and eventually being able to be in a handstand for five minutes.

I was talking recently with a friend who said Bobbie-Sue you are looking so good. I went back and saw photos of my when I was just Captain of the Heroes Cheerleaders. I was in great form but it is a far cry from Gymnastics Form. When I went and compared the footage it blew me away. i have lost so much more off my waist and my abs are getting more and more ripped without even doing any ab focused work. Look forward to another years to get to the Olympic Standard I need to be. Check this out.

Bobbie-Sue In Gymnastics Shape

Bobbie-Sue In Gymnastics Shape

I have 12 more sessions with coach and have a lot to accomplish in that time. I will keep blogging over the next weeks as I move closer and closer to my dream of competing for GOLD at the Olympics for the US. It is getting tougher and tougher to make the level I need but I am pouring everything I can into it every Day. And today is another great day. Go Heroes!!


Another Day Closer

I rested a lot last night and so ending up having about nine hours sleep. As a result my body was feeling strong and healthy. I got down to LA Fitness at 9am and took my minibeam and floor bar along with me as well. I started stretching and my back felt good. Very good. I started doing my first slinky and thought maybe I could do 8. At least six. I started and back I went and again and again and again……eventually nine or an Ninoslinky. First time I have even gone for nine slinkies in a row as my first technique of the morning. I can clearly see that I will be doing Decaslinkies soon as my starting technique.

I then moved on to my new technique which I am calling my Rockerbridge where I do a back bend in to bridge and then rock back and forth between kickover position and standup position. It is amazing feeling the bodyweight shift while in the bridge. The importance of this is getting the body used to weight shifts while at full extension. This is going to assist greatly with the ability of the body to brace itself in doing back tumbling on the beam. My hands are also getting closer and closer to my feet. I think within a year I should be able to reach back and touch my own feet. This will be an awesome accomplishment. I am not there yet but it feels if this Rockerbridge is going to assist with opening up flexibility even more.

After that I did left slinkies which were great. I was able to do another triple slinky and will not before long before I am doing Quadslinkies using my off leg. It is a never ending source of amazement to me just how the breakthroughs keep growing and expanding and truly reflecting the statement to me ‘Once Impossible, Now Easy’. Six weeks ago that was the case with these Off Slinkies and now doing them and getting stronger.

I then went onto what was one of my previously hardest accomplishments which was Beam Slinkies. I then got to a point where I do Beam Slinky followed by Back Walkover. Recently I have been doing 5/5 in perfect form so today I added a Beam Slinky-Beack Walkover-Front Limber Standup. I was able to 4/5 in great form and getting stronger. It is amazing the pressure the back is under doing this technique.

Next I went onto BackBends onto the beam. The purpose of this technique is to condition my arms to grab that beam and provide a solid foundation for the tumbling that is to follow. This makes a massive difference because I am confident in the hand position then there are only two other keys. 1) Having the baack open enough to be able to go over 2) the strength to be able to kick over while the body is under immense pressure. On the floor I am at the point where I go over about 90% of the time. Not as clean as I like but I am getting there.

At the moment I lean back from the steps (which raise me to floor level) and see the beam and place my hands in beam position. I then push hard against the shoulders in preparation to condition them to go over in the next couple of weeks. It is incredible feeling the body under so much pressure however it is critical to do it so I can get those back walkovers going forward. I can see lots more breakthroughs in this area going forward.

Lastly I did some handstands and did 4/10 which was one less than by best counting up to 3z. I then did 30 beam handstands and making great progress. Still in the very early stages but it is very important stages that I am going through to get used to do handstands on the bars. This a critical part of the Level 7 Bar Routine.

Overall progress in almost every area. They are all just improvements towards getting the results I am really after but I love these days when I keep moving foward. Go Heroes!!!

Bending Over Backwards

Wow. I was speaking to coach the other day and he said do you realize Bobbie we have almost been working together now for three years. Three years. We started training on my birthday Aug 14, 2009 when I just turned 19. What a journey it has been. One of the biggest achievements of that has been the incredible back flexibility that I now have. It has been a long and gruelling process including breaking three ribs multiple times and separating ribs in two places.

I have difficulty fathoming NOT being able to lean backwards and place your hands on the ground effortlessly now. It is getting easier and wasier every day that I do it and I keep pushing the envelope of my flexibility as I invent new skills and drills to open it up even more.

A series of slinkies is not routine. This morning I did a pentaslinky as my warmup. Tomorrow will probably be an Octoslinky to warm up. That is definitely coming the way my back is opening up. I then did some Double Slinkies using my off leg. The first one was horrible but I did the next three well and the last was a Triple Slinky. First time I have done a Triple Slinky using my off leg. As I keep conditoning it I will be doing Quad slinkies with it. Yet only five weeks a single one was impossible. I love this sport!!! Miracles are a daily occurence.

I then did a new technique I call my Rockerbridge. This is where I backbend into a bridge and then rock back and forth between  kickover position and standup position. It is training my back to be used to the movement and allow my hands to get get closer to my feet. I will get to a point where I can grab my own feet. I still have a while to go but I am on the journey.

After that I did my beam slinkies followed by back walkovers. I did a perfect set of 5. It is amazing watching how this has progressed. I remember when even doing a Back Walkover was scary. Now I do the slinky in beam position and then an effortless Back Walkove after. This will eventually become Back Walkover-Back Handspring on beam. So cool.

I recently ordered a Mini-Beam and Floor Bar and will get more so I have one of each in each location. I need to be able to do the drills regardless of location. I took my mini-beam with me to LA Fitness and then started doing back bends onto the beam. This is to train my body to go back and get the hands into the position to land on the beam. This is going to require a lot of conditioning but the idea is turning the motion to instinctive where I see a beam I immediately prepare hands to grip it solidly. I did 10 solid bends onto the beam. I still have more work to go to be able to kickover on the beam but I will train more tomorrow and keep drilling it.

I had a frustrating last day with coach on Friday. I just was not clicking like I wanted to be and it was capped off by my bar routine in which I just plain sucked. I know that the more I train the better I get and there will be days where things just are not working. It is part of the process.

So after almost three years I see how far I have come and I am very excited to see where the next three year of intensive training and flexibility work will bring. Go Heroes!!!

BAM..Three in a Row

I have been making massive progress in so many areas. The biggest area coach and I have been focusing on is front handsprings. This technique has caused issues for 2 years and twisted me knee 7 times. The fear was real as I kept hurting myself. For the last three months I have been working with coach on the floor and coming off a springboard and if you read recent posts you can read about the challenges and progress. Well yesterday coach got me to start on the blocks again and very quickly we regained good form and then he said lets take it to the floor. I was reluctant but trusting and sure enough after a couple of survival turns I was able to make one and then made 6/7. Going to do more today to get it into the body.

I was working on back handsprings as well and then standing back tucks which will  be going to be floor very soon as well. Then coach said lets got for Front Tucks. So I was able to do that on the padded tumbltrak very quickly and he goes lets test something Bobbie. I want to see Front Tuck followed by a rebound in anticipation of Front Tuck-Front Tuck (which is going to be my Level 8 Floor Front pass)  Sure enough I was able to get the rebound and so we started work on it. I did not get the second Front Tuck it looked more like a Front Tuck diving somersault but the principle is there to build upon and I will get this very quickly. I love it.

I then got to have a photo shoot for some more magazine requests. Jennie Edwards my angel photographer came in and did a photo with myself and coach for ‘Coach’ magazine. We also did five more covers for other magazines as well. It was fantastic and I am so looking forward to seeing the proofs. Thanks Jennie.

My flexibility is increasing. One of me PST (Physical Support Team) Heather who does massage has this incredible tool for assisting in breaking up scar tissue so twice a week I get to lay in an bridge with my ribs wide open snd she gets to work all the small muscles between the  ribs and using this decide break up and remove the scar tissue. Yesterday she came across this big knot of tissue and worked on it for a couple of minutes and by the end of it it was gone. I then stood up with assistance and WOW could I feel the ribs opening up even more. It feels comfortable and as the muscles get worked and trained they will be able to handle the extra workload. So I am expecting even more breakthroughs today. Go Heroes!!

BAM..And that makes two!!

Another great day down at the gym. My rib was playing up a little and rather than push it I decided to focus on handstands and other techniques. I upped my handstand requirement to 3z from 2z and still got 3/10 which was great. So this was huge progress. I then did some average pirouette turns and then began work on Beam handstands. I have hit a key distinction and that is to focus on getting the feet together. When I focus on that I have a MUCH stronger chance of hitting great form and being able to hold it to 1z. My first set was mediocre but was next set was 5/10 which is incredible.

I followed that with Press Handstands. So much of this is the kickup which at the moment I need to do. In time there will be no kick and it will be totally controlled through strength and balance. I started off with much higher expectations than yesterday and still only made one completely to handstand (1z) but many others were strong showing me the technique is improving. This is now going to be an automatic part of my regular workouts.

I then did my handstand walks which were good but not spectacular. It is important conditoning because the more steps I can take on my hands in good form the faster I am going to be able to do 100 steps. Which is my best big goal (after 50).

I then did a lot of other techniques to be back in doing them down the gym as well. There is so much I need to work on to get where I want to but then if I look back at all the hard work I put in every day I can see the results. Techniques I take for granted today were impossible months ago. Discipline and rigor are the keys to accomplishing miracles in your life and do not judge the daily ups and downs. They are an inevitable part of success. Just understand success will come with time. To success and beyond. Go Heroes!!!

Bam: Out of the Park!!

I love it when the pieces just keep coming together. After lots of breakthroughs yesterday I decided today was going to be another awesome day of progress. I went in and started stretching. Initially I was relectant to go for it all out but made a commitment to go for a Sexto slinky and see if I could go further. Well I did an Octoslinky as my first technique. Now an Octoslinky used to be my Holy Grail that OMG if I can do that it will be the best ever. To make it my first technique in the morning just blows me away. It will not be long before I am doing a Decaslinky to warm up each morning. Wow!!

Next I did Double Slinkies using my off leg. 5 weeks ago I could not even do one using my off leg and here I am doing four Doubles and just fell short of a Triple slinky using my off leg. If will not be long before I am doing multiple Quadslinkies using the off leg and beyond.

I then did 5 perfect Upslinkies (L-2) but my separated rib was causing stress so I decided to wait and then focus on handstands. My first set was UGLY!! once I was warm however I was able to do 7/10. I have never done that many counting to 2z. Huge progress. I then did mediocre piroutte handstands before going for beam handstands. Again the first set was mediocre and I then went for it again and got my best ever of holding it to a count of z. That is going to start making a huge difference on the beam in holding a handstand.

My handstand walks were average today and then I decided to test doing part of the press handstands. This is where you start with hands on the ground and then using feet on the ground, kick up and going through the sidesplits bring the feet into a perfect handstand. I am going to need this for handstands on the bars so I decided to go for it. First srt, good foundation, second set stronger, third set stronger, fourth set glimpes of excellence and on the fifth set I made one up into perfect handstand position and counted to z. Now I have a whole new benchmark. Absolutely incredible.

I finished up doing some kicks and also doing coupe and passe walks. I need to do more of this to assist my turns. I used to do these for a while and then stopped. I am going to be changing my routine a little and doing less of each technique and doing more different techniques. I really want it back to four hours every day or five when working with coach.  I have so much more conditioning to get my body into elite shape. I am on the right track though. Go Heroes!!!!

Breakthrough Central

Wow what a couple of days. I forgot to take  my camera yesterday to train with coach which was frustrating because I knew big things were up. We did our Level 6 Vault and began flipping it from the beginning. We were making great progres and then coach put these giant wedge shaped mat between the springboard and the vault table so I had to go higher in good form. Kinds freaky weird but over I went. Coach rocks. Made a lot of progress. Our goal is to keep tightening this vault and then we start working on the same vaule with a full twist. To do the full twist I need to be tight form like a layout.

We next made massive progress on Front Handsprings. We carried on from the setup coach had the day before where we put all these large blocks and then did the front handspring off that onto matting at a lower level. The other day I was able to flip these consistently in good form which is what coach needed so yesterday we did more in great form and then we gradually added another mat and coach let me loose. I made it multiple times then he added another mat to bring it up almost to floow height. I started making them by myself as well. one of the biggest challenges of this technique is getting the body shape which is counter intuitive.

We then did more work on Back Extension Roll. I have been working on my Level 5 Floor Routine for ages now and there has been three major blocks. 1) Back Walkovers. These I can do when my back is warmed about 96.76% of the time. Can be tighter but not an issue blocking us anymore. 2) Front Handspring. I had twisted my knee seven times doing this technique and it severely put me back in so many areas. No I am approaching doing it on the floor. So within 2 weeks this should be moving into conditioning rather than having the body understand the technique like it is now. 3) Back Extension Roll. This is a challenge becausr my shoulder still has some issues. It is getting better through certain exercise drills but having problems on the floor. This is now the biggest block and something I get to focus on.

After those I moved onto Front Tucks. Nailed five of those. Coach was ecstatic. Then standing Back Tucks. I did both of these on the TumblTrak with the additional padding. Next it will be to the floor. I finished with a mediocre bar routine and was down on myself but in reality I did awesome!!

Afterwards coach was saying, Bobbie your tucks are fantastic. I asked him when can we take the Front Tuck and Back Tuck back to the floor. He said next week. He said he will spot initially but I am so strong I will be able to do it by myself very shortly. He then said we will be working soon on Front Handspring Stepout Front Handspring [L6] and then Front Handspring Stepout Front Tuck [L7] and then Front Tuck Front Tuck [L8]. He said I will need that to be doing Front Tuck on the beam for Level 8 Beam.

Today I went down to LA Fitness to do my conditioning work and my body felt great with lots of sleep. After my initial stretches I could feel my chest opening more with the recent adjustments of Doc and the massage work from Heather. Wow. I went to do my first technique and then did a Sextoslinky as my first warmup, followed by an Elvaslinky (11) . This is the first time I have ever had the strength to do 11. Up until now I have done 10 three times. I can see now at some point doing Femtoslinky (15) and more. Hmm Possibilities. (I do not latin above 10 so I am using Swedish) (11-Elva, 12-Tolva, 13-Trettio, 14-Fjorta, 15-Femto, 16-Sexton. 17-Sjutto, 18-Orta, 19-Nittio, 20-Tju)

I did some other techniques and even thought the handstands were good they were not record breaking and it was not until I got to Handstand Walks that the next mega breakthrough. My highest average has been 15.3 steps per walk. Today I felt great. I did a 19 walk then soon after a 38, a 32 and a 34 walk for a total of 203 or 20.3 steps per walk or a 33% increase in performance.  Incredible and I can feel walks of 40-50 coming up soon. My goal is to get to 100 steps and walk the full length of the space available.

It is amazing feeling all these breakthroughs. So many. Looking forward to tomorrow where I get even better. Go Heroes!!!

Bam! Breakthroughs

I mentioned in previous posts about getting into the Breakthrough Zone where a combination of conditioning and skill acquisition have kicked in where breakthroughs are about to happen. The last couple of days have been incredible. I have been working on slinkies as my warm up technique for a while now so I stretch out my back using the cobra pose and then go straight into a slinky (band bend-Kickover) I was doing one and then increasing the number. For a while I was able to 1,3,5 meaning a slinky then triple slinky and then pentaslinky. This has now changed. A couple of days ago I did my a single slinky folllowed by a pentaslinky followed by a decaslinky. I have only ever done three of those in my life as they are so exhausting on my body and now to be doing it as the third technique in the morning is so incredible.

I then started work on slinkies using my off foot. If you read earlier posts you will know that just over a month ago, this was impossible for me and when I had gone for it, I had hurt myself. Well I am now doing double slinkies with the off leg and on the verge of doing Quad slinkies. I still have some technical aspects to work on but they are getting better. Once the technical aspect of foot placement is improved it should be bam over and over. I love it.

Then I worked on my Combo (See earlier posts) and was able to do three in a row in perfect form and then decided to go for a double combo and sure enough I nailed it perfectly. To go from a single to a double combo is to double the already five techniques making it almost like a decaslinky because of the ten different back moves.

I did some more work on handstands which are getting stronger and stronger and then began working on  my Handstand walking. It was awesome out of the gate when I did a 25 step walk already beating my personal best. From there it got even better. Over half the walks were 20+ steps and I did my first ever 30 step walk. Now my basic handstand is so solid, this is a huge step because it allows much more sense around balance, motion and weight adjustments which will be critical for the beam and handstand pirouettes.

I am now training with coach 11 days over the next three weeks and cannot wait to see the incredible results I am going to get. I am loving my life, loving Kenny and loving my Heroes. Go Heroes!!!!

Into the Breakthrough Zone

As an elite athlete, there is a certain level of conditioning that you need to get to to have breakthroughs. For the last couple of days I have been rebuilding my conditioning to move myself into that zone. Today I moved into that zone meaning that I am going to be having many more breakthroughs over the coming four weeks of working with coach.

Originally I  used to do 3 bridges to warm up and then move into kickovers. Then in time I got to the point where I could just do three kickovers because my back was open enough. About two months ago I moved to the next level where I started off doing Slinkies as my first major technique. Before long I was up to doing three double slinkies as my first three techniques. Well today I broke my record with a 3, 6 and a 10. Now I have only ever done four Decaslinkies in my life so it is a good indication of how open my back is.

I also got 5/5 on Off leg slinkies which were impossible a month ago. Just need to clean up form. Also did 5/5 perfect Upslinkies on Level 2 and went for Level 3 and got 2/5 with the last one very strong so I am looking forward to tomorrow. I then did work on Front Walkovers where I do a back bend onto the Level 3 Panel Mat and then lift one leg and then block off into the standing position going forward like the seocn part of the FWO. Well I did my best ever there as well.

After  a number of other techniques I worked on handstands and upped the ante and made the bar 2z meaning I have to count through the alphabet twice for them to count. I did 5/10 which was easily best ever. Home Run!!

Finally I did 5 Roundoffs. I need to improve the blocking and so doing this off the concrete will help with the block.

Overall incredible day. Huge progress and I am looking forward to training tomorrow and making another huge step forward when as I stay in the ‘Breakthough Zone’! Go Heroes!!

Returning to Peak Form

I made some great progress while I was in the UK on various stretches however my conditoning suffered severely. I was back at LA Fitness yesterday and today and am gradually getting back to series of Slinkies. Yesterday I could barely do a slinky, followed by a triple slinky and another triple slinky. Before I left I could do 4,6,9 from a cold start. Today I did 3,3,6. I can see within another three to five days of conditoning I will be back to the edge and pushing breakthroughs again. I am also working on my off slinkies. 20 days ago these were an impossibility. Today I am very frustrated when I only get 2/5. I will be back doing 5/5 and clean very shortly.

I also worked on Upslinkies. And did 5/5 up onto the 2 panel mat (L-2) and then got 2/5 onto the 3 panel mat (L-3). I can see this returning in the next five days as well. My back is doing great. I am still feeling some pressure around where the upper rib is healed where the calcium formed around the bone so I am taking it easy as I get back to full shape.

I then did two combos which were perfect but my body was pretty pired by them so I backed off and went to handstands. Just did not do as good as yesterday when I made 7/10. I did two nice 360 deg pirouettes and then did lots of Handstand walking. I am committed to getting much stronger at this as it is going to help in so many areas of balance on bars, beam and floor. I made 23 steps which was my second best. Yesterday I did 24 beating my previous best of 22. I can feel the difference in the hand posture, moving the feet and balance so I am constantly getting new distinctions which will lead to more breakthroughs this week. I can really see me getting 35-40 steps this week. It is on the near horizon.

I only spent three hours at LA Fitness today but my body just hasn’t got back to the conditioning level I need to go for 4-5 hours and not have injury. Tomorrow should be stronger and even more flexible and I can see some breakthroughs happening tomorrow and I am looking forward to seeing that.

Off to get more rest and then work on stretching on splits tonight and then plenty of sleep. I love it that my body is so strong and healthy. I just have muscle and bone crunching in my right shoulder from where the ribs healed leaving so much scar tissue. This too shall pass on my way to GOLD!!! Go Heroes!!!

P.S. Sending my blessings to Aliya Mustafina, the Russian champion gymnast and all around World Champion who blew her knee at the recent european championships and will miss Worlds and may miss the Olympics. I understand the challenges you face and send you all my love.