To start off this post, I’d like to announce: henceforth Rainbow Girl would like to be known as The Gymnast. I’m not sure how well I will manage to stick to this, but she has requested, so I will try to oblige. I am a little sad to be moving on from the Rainbow Girl moniker, but little girls who like rainbows do grow up and I guess they’re entitled to something a little less young-girl-y.
With that out of the way… On the weekend The Gymnast and I went away for a gymnastics training camp with some of the other girls from her squad and their coach. There were gymnasts from many different clubs there, and they had about 6 master coaches. The days were extremely long, and our girls’ coach was a little concerned that the long days with few breaks were going to be a bit hard for them. However, they all really enjoyed the experience, and learned new skills and worked on older ones.
A highlight of the weekend for The Gymnast (I keep going to write Rainbow Girl!) came on Saturday afternoon. Her last rotation for the day was on beam. The master coach, who is a former Chinese national team coach, was very impressed with one of The Gymnast’s skills called a straddle press. She was SO impressed that at the end of the day, they called all 60 gymnasts participating over to the beam area. From where I was in the viewing area, I just thought that they were going to make some housekeeping type announcements.
She then asked The Gymnast to demonstrate her straddle press for everyone to see, and said that in the 9 years that she’s been coaching in Australia, it is the best straddle press that she’s ever seen. The Gymnast was so proud, and I was so shocked! I must admit, though, that it was the best one I’d ever seen her do!
In case you can’t actually see what she’s doing very well, I will attempt to describe it. Her hands are placed on the beam, her straight legs are stuck out to the side in a v shape, then she’s lifted up her bottom nearly to the level of her shoulders. She balances there, completely steady, with toes pointed for basically as long as you ask her to. What makes The Gymnast’s straddle press so good – I think, but have no idea really! – is that she can get so high. Most other gymnasts get just a little way off the beam (maybe a few to several inches), but certainly nowhere near as high as she does.
Please indulge me with this purely “proud mother” post! It did also serve a purpose in announcing the moniker change!