Loving the Little Steps

I went down to LA Fitness today because Coach is going in for a minor surgery and unable to train. I went in and warmed by back up for about eight minutes before working on my first major skill. I want to improve my Back Walkovers. A key part of a Back Walkover is what I call melting the back when you lean back straight away with no hesitation and put your hands on the ground and kick over.

I currently stand with one leg on a bench (so it cannot move to stablise me) and the lean back and go over. I did 10/10 for the first time which tells me I am getting more and more confident in my back. The key now is improving the speed of going back. I then did BWO leanbacks in the beam position which is much tougher and did 7/10 of those.

I then did Beam Slinkies which I have not done for a while as I have been focusing on sets of BWO or Beam Slinkies. While I fell on the first one I then did 9 correct including a double beam slinky and to triple beam slinkies (First ever).

I am now doing pullovers in the boys weight area and six of those in great form and am going to keep increasing that number and faster as well so I build up that strength. I also did 8 chin ups and am going to focus on increasing that and more bar work to improve my bars. I want giants and release moves and transition moves as soon as possible.

I did fantastic on my split leap-split leap sequence and then did some awesome Beam Routines including my Tuck Jump Turn – Split Jump. I was very aggressive and the jumps and it felt great.

I then went back on the traeadmill. I am gradually falling in love with the running and went to 12 minutes on speed 6.8. Tomorrow I intend to increase it to 14 minutes on 6.8. Eventually I want to get to half an hour at 6.8 or more to build my stamina for my floor routine.

Overall I am doing great and continue to get better every day in almost every way. Onwards to Rio. Go Heroes!!!

When Good Is Not Enough

I was unable to train yesterday as coach was sick and was so looking getting down to LA Fitness this morning and training for 4-5 hours. I did not take my beam down there and focused on Back Walkovers so I can do them cleanly for the beam. I just did not have a good morning. Now if most people could do what I did this morning they would be blown away. For me it was good and that is not enough. I want great. I want excellent. I want breakthroughs!!

I did quite a few back bend techniques but nothing breakthrough. My handstands felt strong but just not enough to break records. My beam handstands are improving but not breakthrough. My stag handstands are getting better but again in the breakthrough zone but not a breakthrough.

I found a bar I can use in the weights gym for long hand pullovers. First time I did them so I took it easy and did 5 of them. That was a breakthrough there and a solid benchmark as well. I then did pullups there as well which was a breakthrough that will be broken continuously going forward as I drill it.

I then went and ran. I wanted to go 16 minutes on the 6.8 speed setting. I moved it to 7 and was exhausted after 10 minutes and stopped. My pride hurt falling so short. I only got 4 breakthroughs today far sure of my average of 7 breakthroughs and my personal best of 16 breakthroughs.

I so want to reach higher levels that days like this are so disappointing. I know I will be training tomorrow and this is part of the journey but it still does not make it feel great.

Breathe Bobbie and focus on a brand new day tomorrow full of breakthroughs. Go Heroes!!

Insights and Distinctions

In Frontier Trainings there is a distinction that ‘Distinctions separate the masters from the masses’. This is based on the concept that the more you have done something the more you have understood the little things that make a difference.

On Tuesday I was training with coach and was doing horribly. My tumbling was just not strong enough and I fell on almost every beam skill I did. My balance was just no there and it was frustrating. I was dealing with some frustrating news as well.

Coach then asked how what do you want to do with the last 45 minutes. I asked if I can vault. I said I wanted to get some energy out. I sprinted and really got my feet up allowing me to get a much better position on the table. As a result I did one vault where I really felt the time off the table until I stuck the landing. The next vault I applied the new distinction. Bam. Brilliant Vault. Coach was like Wow!!. I shared the lesson and he said do it again. I then proceeded to do my best vaulting ever and cannot wait to do it again.

This morning I went down to LA Fitness to train and took my mini beam. I did my backbends and did my best set ever.

As you can see my hands are getting closer and closer towards my feet. Today I had my massage therapist work a lot on the thighs to lengthen this muscle so I can this without bending the legs. I will get to the point where I can grab my own ankles. I am determined and with careful incremental progress I will get there.

Coach has also got me running to improve my cardio so I am now running every training at LA Fitness. It will end up making a big difference but running is not my favorite activity. Now I listen to Laday Gaga, Ke$ha and Katy Perry when I run and I am actually starting to enjoy it.

I am training again tomorrow and looking forward to getting more exceptional results. Loving Life. Go Heroes!!

Ready To Run

I went to train at LA Fitness today as coach had a splitting headache. I started off warming up and then did some blind slinkies. I did a double, triple and a quad. It is amazing feeling the ability of going back and putting the hands on the ground and then kicking over relying only on touch.

I then did a series of back walkovers. I did 10 and then 12 and then failed at one and stopped. It is funny that it felt like a total failure even though four months ago I have never even done a series or 3 or more Back Walkovers.

I then worked on my back bends onto the beam. I did my usual ten and actually bent back more than ever before. I actually felt my spine at complete extension. I seem to have reached the maximum flexibility I can can in my back. My spine is now arched where the actually vertebrae was touching.

I then did handstands and while my times handstands were not so good I was able to do my first ever beam stag handstand in good form as well. I then worked on piroutte handstands and was able to do my first ever 770 degree handstand as well which is two full turns and a little. It took me 8 steps which is more than it should be. I need to get it down to 4 steps to do it correctly.

I spoke to coach recently and he said we can start working on my Level 6 floor routine as soon as I can show I have the stamina to do the Level 5. Well that was enough I started running today for Cardio. From this point forward I will be doing cardio every day and will keep increasing it until stamina is no longer an issue. I am excited about the work I am doing and look forward to seeing the results. Loving Life. Go Heroes!!

Blind Faith

I have been training hard and have not been posting every day. Today is my first day of rest in two weeks. I normally train 7 days a week and i felt I needed one day off before I do my last block with coach. I LOVE training. I can not think of what I would prefer to do other than train whether it is gymnastics or cheer or dance. Unless that is compete and win of course!!

I have got to the point now where when I warm my back up my first Slinky happens effortlessly. I thought how can I raise the bar. Is it possible to do them with my eyes closed. I have done a couple of back bends before blind so I knew I could do it safely. Technically if I reach back I am at a point now where I basically place my hands on the ground starting with my fingers so the risk is close to zero providing I reach back. I had never kicked over though blind. Sure enough was able to do that, then did two and then did a triple blind slinky. Opens up a whole new world of putting my skills to the test now. Without your sight you need to be so much more in touch with your body. I love it.

My back is doing great. Using my mini beam I keep pushing it hard and my shoulders, back and thighs keep opening up. I am fascinated to see where it will lead. I have also started pushing the hips forward at the end of the backbend in preparation for Standups which will happen at some point as well. Constant progress. It is slow but I keep getting better. What is even more exciting for me is I am doing it on a very healthy body. Knee is incredibly strong and ribs are taking all the back bending onto the beam. I only have the challenge now with Back Extension Roll to get through and I will do that as well.

I can see me doing Back Walkovers on the beam and it is getting clearer and easier each day for that vision to become reality. Back Walkovers on the beam is where most girls quit because it is too scary. To me it is just another challenge to get through. I am excited about the possiblity that I will be doing Back Walkover Back Handspring on the beam as well. Eventually Back Handspring, Back Tuck in my routine.

So much to work on but while I continue to push myself, commit and grow I will make those dreams a reality and those dreams are very, very GOLDEN. Loving life. Go Heroes!!

The Coming Twist

I went down to train with coach this morning after watching Jordyn Weiber win gold in the World Gymnastics All Around. It was a great session first down at LA Fitness where I opened my back up ready for the day and worked on the splits. I then went to coach. He insisted that before I go onto beam again that I get my front leg on the Walkover straight and not moving to the side at all. We did ten of those. My body can do it, it is still a mental process of the body looking for backup options. From this point forward only good form will count.

We then went onto vault where coach said. “Are you ready to vault onto the mat instead of the pit Bobbie?” Of course coach. I landed every vault and many of them I stuck perfectly. I have a lot more technique to work on before he lets me add a twist. I need to run faster, hit the board at near vertical, block harder AND land in pencil form rather than with an arch. That being said I am one step closer to doing the twist. In effect I landed the Level 6 vault today about 16 times with deductions for form so in effect we are really building a more solid foundation for the Level 7 vault. It will happen. I would love to start that coversation next week and maybe even twist my first vault into the pit before this block is out.

I then went onto back tumbling on the floor. Coach has again raised the bar. Looks like we are going to go back to doing Back Tucks on the floor but coach will not let me do it until the Round off, Front Handspring is stronger and more consistent. I did a god group of those and then 2 Back Handsprings they were stronger but need to be tighter.

I then went onto Back Handspring series which are getting tighter and then went to doing it on the floor. I made some adjustments and did my best work to date. Back Tucks were OK but not my best. We then went to bars where I turned in a solid performance working and refining all the skills. My Hands are good so I may be able to train bars tomorrow as well.

We then finished up doing the floor routine three times without the tumbling. A lot of this is conditioning and stamina where I have more work to do. Overall it was a great day. I felt strong and even though my knee was under pressure twice and previoulsy would have taken it badly it just shook it off and kept going with zero impact. I LOVE having a healthy body. Training again tomorrow and looking forward to getting more results. I am loving training four times a week. To tomorrow with a coming twist. Go Heroes!!

Super Flexibility

I was down stretching this morning at LA Fitness. For a while I have been working on oppening up my back more and I do a variety of stretches to help but the one that has made the biggest difference is called the beam back bends. This is where I have my minibeam placed on the ground and then put down some step platforms so my feet can be at the same level as the beam. I then lean back with the hands in beam position (thumbs side by side pointing towards me, hands spread ready to grab the beam as I go back. I then bend all the back through the arch until I can grab the beam.

I have doing this for a while and do no more than 10 in a day. 10 is exhausting and when I start it took me an hour. The fastest I have done a set is 28 minutes. Either way it pushes my back to the extreme. I am very conscious of opening up my back correctly so I never jerk, or move to quickly. I reach to full extension, squeeze and squeeze and then relax and push it a bit further. I am now at a point when I reach back, my hands are getting closer and closer to the end of the beam. Also today I straightened my legs and squuezed and I felt it even more. When I did this on the following go I actually felt a section of my back I have not been able to isolate before. I then squeezed hard and that is when it happened, suddenly that whole section opened and become flexible. It was amazing.

My back was heavily fatigued from all the stretching but then I could feel the new areas opening before that I have never been able to do. This stretching is about doing it every day (or least as often as possible) so that that level of flexibility becomes conditioned. I am a long way from that step at the moment but I also know that the more I do it,the more the body will get used to it. My goal is to make my peak stretch an everage and have another whole level of peak. I am thinking of going into that bridge and holding it for 2 or 3 minutes and seeing how the body likes being in that position for a period of time.

This is a journey so it is going to take time to get to where I want to safely but then looking what I have covered so far I have come a long way and th view from here is sweet. Very sweet. Look forward to sharing more as my back takes my flexibility to even new levels. Go Heroes!!

Solid Performance

I stayed up this morning to watch the Team Finals at the World Gymnastics in Tokyo. Jordyn, Sabrina, Gabrial, Makayla and Ali did awesome as they won GOLD for the US. They were so calm and stuck almost their landings. There were no falls and they won by a large margin.

After that I was so excited I could not go back to sleep and finally got ready adn headed down the gym with coach. The energy was great and although I was a little tired I was ready. We started off on front handsprings and I am getting closer and closer to doing them by myself. I ddi 5 with coach spotting and then 5 with coach backup spotting. I still needed him but as he backs off the spot it will get to a point soon where he is not there at all. There is no fear, it is really now just cleaning up technique.

My Back Walkover is getting better. The challenge is mainly when my back is not warm and I need to do them. It just does not work. I still have a lot more conditioning to do so that I can lean back and put my hands on the ground any time day or night. I will get there. The first step was the conditioning to allow me to go back without fear. I am there. Now it is conditioning to have muscle memory.

The third big block to my floor routine is by Back Extension Roll. We now have a new strategy for that to assist in reprogramming the tracking in the arm. We will get this. I am not going to settle for writing off this technique. I will overcome it like everything else.

When I finally can get my Level 5 floor routine out of the way I can start my prep optional routine using Lady Gaga’s Born This Way as my floor music. So excited.

After the Front handsprings we then went to front tucks. I am very close to doing this on the floor now which is exciting. I am punching off the flooe into the put onto mats at pit height. Very soon.

We then went to bars where I got back into great form and we will be doing more soon and then went to do work on beam where I completed the first half of the routine and made all skills for the first time. We also worked on Front Tuck Dismounts and I did my best set ever as well and actually finished with a great stuck dismount. I LOVE this technique and cannot wait until I can do it off the beam all the time. This changes the game for me and makes beam so much more fun. So much of my beam is getting more comfortable and I can definitely see me doing Back Walkovers and Back Handsprings on the beam into the future.

Finished with leaps and jumps and turns on floor and put in more solid results. I love days like today. I may not be advancing rapidly but turning in solid performances is so exciting for me. Foundations are the Building Blocks of Success and to the US girls that means one thing. GOLD. Go USA. Go Heroes!!

The Dreaded Plateau

As a gymnast I love the ability to progress in skills and there are so many skills to learn that it seems insurmountable. Yet constant training in each skill starts to build muscular memory and before long progression happens and then there is another challenge and another and another and you never get done. My challenge is when I hit the plateau or the worst of them all regression.

Back when I resumed doing gymnastics three years ago I was able to do a Round Off, Back Handspring and Back Tuck on the floor and it did not take that long. With all the knee challenges I lost the technique as I did not train tumbling for almost a year while my knee continued to get twisted. I am now back working on it and have not got the technique correct yet and so it is frustrating have to retake ground. I should already have layouts on the floor and be moving to full twists but still not there. Argh!!!

Over the last week I have been sitting in this plateau not making very much progression on anything. I am training long hours at LA Fitness in support. My back is more flexible than ever and yet in my floor routine I ran out of energy by the time it came to do the final back walkover. I can do 25 in a row at LA Fitness but could not do one in my routine when I need it.

Front Handsprings was something I started week one with coach. That week I twisted my knee. That has been the story of Front Handsprings. That technique was responsible for me twisting my knee seven times. Agonizing let alone stopping vaulting because I could not sprint. I am currently doing front handsprings on the floor with coach spotting me. They are getting stronger and cleaner and more comfortable. I no longer have the fear that I did for a while. At one point I used to burst into tears after doing them because I survived uninjured.

I will keep going and I will persevere through the challenges. A friend once said to me. Bobbie gymnastics is about falling, falling on your back, your head, your arms and mostly your pride. If you like falling then gymnastics is for you. Every great gymnast has had to fail a LOT to get this good. As natural atheletes that we are the skills we learn are not intuitive and need to be technically perfect and done with confidence. Backflipping on a 4 inch wide beam, swinging between bars and running full speed at a vaulting table just are not things people do in ‘normal’ life, let alone tumbling across the floor and proppellign yourself high into the air for a quad twist.

I need to remember to keep smiling. I love the journey and know that every minute in the gym is a blessing. I get to train in my passion every day. I get to improve and get stronger, healthier and do things that less than 1 in 100,000 can do at best. For that and everything to do with the sport of gymnastics I am so grateful. Loving life. Go Heroes!!

How the Tears Floweth

I had an amazing day yesterday training with coach and was expecting today to be another great today. I woke up at 3:40am and got ready and went down to LA Fitness in San Carlos to warm up for an hour. My body was in good form and I did multiple Triple Back Walkovers.

I finally started with coach and did my first Quadslinky at the gym followed by my first Quad Back Walkover at the gym. I was so excited. I then did work on Back Walkovers on beam. I did a couple of good ones and then we moved onto tumbling. I started off with Round Offs and Round Off Back Handspring and RO-2BHS. Coach kept saying faster, tighter Bobbie. I then started working on Round Off, Back Handspring and Back Tuck. Coach wants me to do it into the foam pit but I am just not comfortable and just kept making mistakes and finally big a back tuck and hit my hard on the side of the pit.

Coach then had me doing Back Tucks and Layouts on the tumble track. They were lousy as well. I then did two series of five back handsprings in a row followed by doing some back handsprings on the floor. Coach spotted me on the floor and the aim is for me to do series on the floor rather than just doing it on the tumble track. I then did some good standing back tucks on the tumble track before coach going to spot me on the floor but considering how my body was responding we cut them short.

I went to bars and just could not do a really good job there either. Coach cut that short as I was making no progress either. We spent the last half an hour on bars and again nothing was working. I could not stick a turn, horrible handstands and fell on all cartwheels. Coach finally said ‘Well Go Home!!” I turned and walked back to the bag to pack it crying. Coach said. Bobbie I am not disappointed with your tumbling. I am not disappointed in anything you have done. But if you walk out with 15 minutes to go. I will be disappointed. Quitters NEVER win Bobbie. I then went back and kept drilling skills and fell on everything and I mean everything. I was crying while working away heartbroken because it was such a terrible day. I knowe there are going to be days like this and it is frustrating when I am so healthy and I also understand a lot of it is conditioning my body to train so early on a regular basis.

I will overcome this as this too shall pass and I will keep working on my way to GOLD. Back focusing on success. Go Heroes!!