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!!

Click Click Click

I went down to train at LA Fitness this morning and got to train for 3.5 hours. My back has just not been feeling in top form for the last ten days because I have not got to use my mini beam which really opens my back up. I took it down this morning and after some other warm up techniques I set up the mini beam and did my first beam back bend and suddenly click-click-click. Ahhh my back jsut fully opened. Now I realize why some of the other skills were not going as well as normal because the back was partially closed. I will be interested to see the next week and it also tells me the difference between my back fully open and partially open.

I did my best set on the mini beam and held all ten for a count of 70 each. My shoulder was a little tender from all the back bending work but oh it felt good. I then worked on handstands. I am now moving to a double stag switch. This is where I do a handstand go into stag position, switch leg into the other stag position and then go back to the first leg and then the other again. I did not make any ie 0/10 but was close on two. It will not be long before this is my new normal. I love it.

My split leaps are coming nicely as well. Now I training them each morning I do 10 sets of 2 leaps. I am thinking of increasing it to three or four leaps to push my body as well. I have plenty of space on the floor so might take advantage of it.

Another four breakthroughs today after 3.5 hours of training. It is hard work but I love seeing the small incremental improvements. I get to train with coach for eight more times before I leave including tomorrow so it will be interesting to see what I can achieve. Loving progress. Loving Life. Go Heroes!!

Success is Inevitable

I went and trained today down at LA Fitness and I had one goal. TO achieve a Quad Beam Slinky. My best until now has been a Triple Beam Slinky and that was tough. I have done slinkies before (Back Bend Kickover) and my longest series was 14 in a row. It makes a big difference when you move your hands into the position. I would almost say three to five times as hard.

I started warming my back and it felt good. I did a series of Back Walkover Leans in the beam position. This was my best set ever. I then did some Back Walkovers with the foot raised. It was a good set but nowhere near my best. I then went to do Beam Slinkies. I failed on the first. The second. The third. I was almost in tears. It just was not walking. I then did a Double Beam Slinky and then a Quad and then to prove it was not a fluke another Quad and then almost made another but just fell short on the last one.

I then did some Timed handstands and did a great set (not a record) and then did Handstand into Stag Position back into Handstand then into Stag with other foot and then Handstand and then down. I call this Switch Stage and did my best ever 7/10.

There are some other things I am working on as well and ended up with 5 breakthroughs. What I realized is that as long as I am pushing my boundaries and getting 4-10 breakthroughs a day I will achieve my goals. It will be slower than I wanted but what I do today was a dream six months ago and impossible a year ago.

As long as I train and persevere I will end up doing Back Handspring-Back Tucks on the beam. It may be three years ago but while I keep my body in great shape it will happen. Oksana Chusovitina just won Silver at worlds in vault at 37. 37!!! She was winning medals as a gymnast before the other gymnasts were even born!!

Rio is the real possibility. 5 more years from now. Intense training. My body is in the best shape it has even been. While I look after myself and keep making incremental improvements I will be able to do all the techniques I want; Amanar on vault, Katchev on bars, Back Handspring-Back Tuck on beam and Quad Twist on floor. There is so much more to learn and and it is going to be an amazing journey.

Weather Effects

IN the US we have our Football players who play in all weather conditions. It is a key part of the sport and something which the players need to be able to be conditioned for. In Gymnastics we train in an large open building. It does not have heating. Air conditioning consists of opening a the doors and turning on a fan. I woke up this morning and it was a drizzly. I had planned to go and kick some butt today and do my first ever Quad Beam Slinky.

I got down to LA Fitness and started warming up my back and it was just horrible. I was operating at about 80% of my flexibility and when you are doing Elevated Back Walkovers that translates to leaning back and crashing on the ground. NOT a happy experience. I really had my heart set on a particular breakthrough instead I got five other breakthroughs. Fortunately I was not attached to my goal and still had a solid day.

I figure as long as I train almost every day, my goal of doing Back Walkovers and eventually Back Handsprings on the beam will come to fruition. Maybe it is another year away but there is no reason why it cannot happen. Doing back walkovers on the beam if the breaking point for most girls and where they quit. I have no problem with coach spotting me on Back Walkovers and now it is just getting the confidence for me to do it by myself and be consistent at it.
I feel so blessed to be an Elite Gymnast and will continue everyday in my pursuit of GOLD in the Olympics. With focus like this, nothing can stop me. Go Heroes!!