#71 – Adult Gymnastics.

 

James – Front Tuck.

 

For a few weeks now myself, Flip and David have been attending an adult freestyle gymnastics session. After weeks of searching for a place to practice our desired gymnastics moves and having heard lots of hearsay from people we finally found it and by God it is an awesome place to go too! I’m so glad we have found it and the best part is you have to be eighteen or over to attend, so that instantly eliminates the immature and unsafe kids from our session. In some respects it seemed silly to go to such a place seeing as we had been practising flips in the great outdoors since our teens and destroying or bodies in the process, so what could this springy and soft place possibly offer us which we have not already done? Well that is exactly it, it offers everything to us, no more breaking ourselves, having constant pains and bruises from failing moves and having the fear of trying new moves we have no idea of how to do. It also had coaches to advise how to build up to new movements, breaking them down into progressional stages and are there to spot and help with your progress. Not to mention the gym is full of like minded people who are there for the same reasons, easy to talk too and have fun with in the process.

When we first heard that there might be a facility we were ecstatic beyond belief! Finding the place, however, was harder than we first thought. Flip rang around various leisure centres, which we could think of which might have a gymnastic facility, most said they had gymnastic sessions but they were for kids and not for adults and most you had to be enrolled in. It felt like this time consuming process wasn’t worth it at all. I asked around at college hoping someone may know more about it, but they didn’t. I was informed later on that a friend of a friend knew of a place like we wanted and I then found the name of the place. Flip had also been to that school back in Year Seven and he sort of remembered it not to mention some of the guys who come on a Saturday go to that school too and had mentioned it had gymnastics and so Flip made an appointment with Rushcliffe Leisure Centre to see the facility and we were very excited about the prospect of getting to do gymnastic movements.

We arrived at the Leisure Centre one weekend to be shown around the swimming pool area and then taken through the badminton halls and to a gym, only not the sort we were expecting to see at all. It was a gymnasium of the weighted kind and yet they had said they had a gymnastic facility, it seemed they had gotten a little confused by our request. We decided that maybe this wasn’t the place and we should give up all together. On walking back very disappointed we saw a glimpse through a door of a gymnastics facility and asked about it, they said that it is used by British Gymnastics which is separate to their centre and so they don’t have the full details and we would have to go and ask their coaches to get all the relative information. We left eyes wide and walked around the area, checking for Parkour while making our way round the back of the sports centre where we could see the doors open and people using the facility.

 

Flx – Stretching.

 

We entered the massive padded room and asked one of the coached there about starting gymnastics and when and how to get involved? We were informed the adult gymnastic sessions were on a Monday and Wednesday evening at 8-10pm and that you have to be 18+ to attend them, which was no problem for us. The first session would be a taster and then there on after you would have pay the yearly insurance fee which covers you from accidents and injuries. The cost was £5 for one session no matter which day you attended in that week but if you came both days it would be £5 for one day and £2 for the other, a slight discount for being a regular (however, over the many years the prices and sessions have changed, even the age range has dropped down to 16+ now too).

We would catch the bus together for gymnastics in the evening which would make us arrive right on time, even if we had to wait around in town for ages for the connecting one. We would get pumped for training on our long bus journey there, often seeing others who attended on the bus along the way. On occasions though we would hitch a ride from other people going to gym such as very own wrestling star James ‘Jimmy J King’ who had started to attend the gymnastic sessions with us. He preferred the soft padding of gym and it reminded him of the Urbanfreeflow workshops he had attended in the past, that and he was busy at the weekends so couldn’t get out for our weekly outdoor training. So for him these were the sessions for him to get his weekly Parkour fix and run off all those hours sitting at a desk. I remember we used to arrive and wait in the car park stairwell near his apartment at Vic Centre in the cold and some times rainy conditions, sheltered and waiting for him to come bounding out to his car for a night of flipping around.

Something that myself, David and Flip used to do as a inside joke on our way back to town with him (not that James will ever remember this, only that we would be laughing on the journey back to town and he wouldn’t have a clue why). Because of training at gym we would be some very hot and sweaty men indeed and this always used to cause the car windows to steam up no end after the session. David and Flip used to wipe their hands down the window Titanic sex scene style or squash their faces up against the window when the car was at a standstill at lights and pull faces at the other drivers. We used to always laugh about this, being as immature as we were back then and found it funny that next time James car would get warm and steamed he would have no end of hand prints, smiley faces and text all over his windows like he had been out for a night of dogging. I guess now you are reading this you will know the inside joke we had for all those years and why we were laughing if you didn’t already work it out, sorry dude.

 

Flip – Front Tuck.

 

Getting into gymnastics would be the hardest part of the evening as the stairwell and outside would be ram packed with all the parents blocking the entrance and not moving, just stood there waiting for their kids to come out. We often had to squeeze past them and the kids coming trying to also get through the crowd before getting in the gym doors, surly their kid doesn’t need to see them at the door before leaving! The children’s session would often overrun and this made our own adult session late to start, not that it was a bad thing as we made up the time by finishing later so it balanced out. The most gruelling part of the evening was the compulsory conditioning and stretching at the beginning of the session to get people limber and ready for the gymnastic movements, this would eat up a big 30min chunk of our session. It consisted of various abdominal work over ledges, box jumps, handstands, some somersaults, dips, rolls and press ups. It had a great vibe, apart from the stretching part which many found painful and torturous. Once that was done we were free to do as we pleased in the gym. Over the years and through the changing of coaches this process slowly got more relaxed until the warm up no longer existed through the choice of participants.

In the beginning when I first started attending there we two crazy Russian coaches Sergei and Sasha, now I say crazy for good reason. They were amazing at teaching and made you feel like you could achieve anything you wanted as well as making you do rigorous and sometimes more unconventional methods to get you learn a flip. I personally loved that approach to training where unless it was perfection it didn’t count, then again I am a perfectionist at heart and that is just how I am with things. Sergei on occasion would still bust craziest of moves out of the blue leaving everyone in gym with their jaw wide open at what they had just seen. He was very modest and down to earth, stating the moves are easy and anyone could achieve them with time and practice, while having a giant smile on his face. He did things with such ease and very little effort, it astounded me. If you needed to learn a move he would spent a lot of time with you to get things right. I remember having to do drills over and over again dozens of times, until my brain turned to mush and I stopped thinking about them. One session where I only practised back tucks, I got to churn out around 200 throughout the whole session and boy did that wreck me for the next week!

Sergei near the end of the sessions would also set up some crazy games for us, mounting various foam blocks together with mats and other objects. He would then get the ones who wanted to join in on the fun to come over and watch his demonstration of what to do before trying it ourselves. Managing to triumph or fail miserably in the process, I always used to go home feeling well worked and would be feeling the burn days later even more so at times for the second session which was two days later. It felt so surreal to be indoors, everything was springy and being used to the hard, solid outdoors it meant when we did come to gym we would go mental throwing ourselves around with no regards to the fact even though it was soft injuries were still possible, even if more so from getting stuck at the bottom of the foam pit, colliding with other people or landing face first onto a crash mat. Which on occasion did happen. I remember one of the first sessions we had always wanted to try a running gainer so with no thinking I ran towards the foam pit, kicked and jumped up tucking, what could be easier right? Well I threw myself with such force that I had managed to knee myself in the eye socket while going over near enough knocking myself out in the process, needless to say that was awake up call and I haven’t done a gainer since…

 

David – Double Kong.

 

A few other occasions of accidents were the same night as me taking myself out I also made Flip do a similar thing while he was running to do a front I shouted to him ‘Gainer!’ to which put him off doing and front and he jumped and attempted a gainer slamming in between two mats face first. I have no idea why but hearing a move name being said before doing something made us attempt the spoken move. While David was doing some back tucks and being spotted by Sasha he was getting tired and was slowly landing lower and lower and then on one attempt he jumps up and didn’t tuck, going over like a swimmer and landing chest first while his legs remained above him and kicked himself in the head like a scorpions tail, by far the funniest thing I’ve seen even more so with the death cry he made as it happened. Sasha just stood there in shock and then said I think it’s best he had a rest from the back tucks now! Another memory was the diving and double kongs we practised, increasing the distance and after so long you wouldn’t make it to the block and just flail in the air before crumpling face first into the block, taking yourself and the block over with you.

The gym in the early days was empty (as seen in the photos) with it hardly ever breaking fifteen or more people compared to present day 40+ at times if not many more when cheerleading season starts. With it being so empty it would mean we had free use of everything to ourselves and could move freely to different equipment as and when we pleased like the dons we felt we were. The array of people who attended was vast, martial artists, cheerleaders, average joes, wrestlers, sky divers, gymnasts freerunners and trickers. Each person had a certain style and each would influence each other, through these people I met some awesome people like Ian, Duncan, Mike, Pete and Sam who had been regulars long before I started attending and also did martial arts together.  There have been so many people I have met since attending to name here and many have come and gone much like the Parkour scene. The only downside with gym was in summer it got extremely hot and sweaty not to mention you could see the foam bits and dust flying around with we were ingesting into our systems and can be seen in some of the photos.

I used to love winding James up in gymnastics about how all wrestling and wrestlers are fake and how it’s not real blows and silly, it was great to see him get so frustrated and annoyed with me before I would run off around the gym only to come back later with one liners to enrage him more. A few times I remember James chasing me through the gym, to try and get hold of me to show me some ‘real wrestling’ and how it isn’t fake haha. Flx still had a sprained wrist and so he was limited to lower body exercises, I think I’ve only ever seen him do a few somersaults in all the time he attended the rest of his time was spent doing precision jumps, low impact vaults over the blocks and playing on the bars than throwing himself upside down. As amazing as gym was another drawback I had found with attending too regular you would too accustomed to the foam and softness of gym and then when you were outside you would second guess yourself with tricks and want to do a few more practice attempts in gym first to make sure you had it. Which of course would never be enough and that also made you have a fear of outside too.

I guess like all things there are pros and cons to everything, you have to take the good with the bad and hope the good outweighs the bad. I’ll carry on attending these sessions so I can progress with my tricking and it’s great fun for a few hours twice a week. I rarely take my camera to gymnastics so this will more than likely be my first and last entry about it. If you have ever wanted to do something like this I’d advise going to one of the sessions to see what you think, as it’s an experience that’s for sure.

 

James – Front Tuck.

 

David – Double Kong.

 

James – Speed Vault.

 

Zade (Me) – Diving Kong.

 

Flip – Diving Kong.

 

Zade (Me) – Front Tuck.

 

David – Front Tuck.

 

James – Front Tuck.

 

Flip – Pike Front.

 

David – Front Tuck.

 

Zade (Me) – Barani.

 

Zade (Me) – Barani.

 

James – Front Tuck.

 

Zade (Me) – Front Tuck.

 

Flip – Pike Front.

 

Flip – Wallspin.

 

Flx – Portrait.

 

James – Portrait.

 

Flip – Wallspin.

 

Flip & David – Diving Kongs.

 

Flx – Up High.

 

Flx – Portrait.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Traffic Love.

  • 59,163 Hits
Follow Zade's Training Blog. on WordPress.com

Post Archives.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email as and when they are created.


%d bloggers like this: