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!!

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