Olympic Dreaming: Aerial Work – Part 2!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My daughter, whom I've kept from gymnastics all these years, is now spending more and more time in gym class. I thought about putting her in gymnastics when she was little, to keep her from bouncing to bits all our household furniture, but every gym was the same: focused on turning little girls into Olympians. I was on that track myself and have many scars and creaky joints as proof. I wanted a gym for my daughter that allowed girls and boys to stretch, swing, flip and vault, simply because it's SO FUN!

I found a gym with a fun-for-kids philosophy just a couple months ago. It may be the only one in all 50 states. My daughter's having a blast.

Since mid-August-after watching all those little Olympian girls on TV in Beijing-- I've been getting in shape, hoping to relive the past a bit. I've been hanging out at the local athletic club three days a week, doing low-intensity work outs and stretching, all with one major goal in mind-to be in shape enough to do a side aerial again. I felt there were two important things to work on in order to ask my body to rewind the clock by more than two decades-flexibility, and strength in my left thigh. I found out today that three is a better number than two...

But I did the aerial. In fact, I did two!

Last Thursday, we received a flyer saying that the first Saturday of every month is Open Gym. Just ten dollars for three hours-no coaching, no structure-and open to kids and adults alike. Adults! Wow, I haven't been invited to chalk up my hands for 27 years. My chance had come to see if my regimen had paid off.

Well, did I say above that I did the aerial? That I did two side aerials, no hands, not even a wisp of a touch? Amen for muscle memory. But I certainly paid for it--I pulled my left groin muscle--sort of forgot him in the training. That first night I applied ice on and off for many hours. Yeah, it hurt.

But a few days later-it's not so bad. I'll need another week or two to recover before trying it again...

So, was I stupid to try it? Maybe to try so soon?
Am I simply going through a mid-life crisis?
Are you going through a mid-life crisis?

All I can say is--it sure felt great to fly again!

Maybe next month at Open Gym I'll tumble a piked double back flip. I used to love doing those...