Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gymnastics Training

For the past few months, Ryan and I have been going to Lawrence Gymnastics Academy to work on some fundamentals of body movement and basic "swinging" skills. So far we've gotten a lot better at a lot of things, ha. The first time we went, we had absolutely no idea what the heck we were doing. We jumped on the trampoline a little bit, swung on the bar, and did some flips into the foam pit. Now it's a whole other story! Coach Hays gave us some direction and workouts for us to do while we're in there and I tell ya, gymnastics is no joke. To anyone who ever excelled in the sport, props to ya. My body can hardly handle half of the things we do in there. But we've gotten to where we are doing giants on the high bar (with the sleeve bar of course), we can do all kinds of flips on the spring floor, we can do kips on the bar, a few random things on the rings and some just plain dumb tricks in there. Our first mission when we started going was to be able to do a giant. If any of you do not know what that is, it's where you swing all the way around the bar 360 degrees. What we once thought was an impossible feat, we have now mastered and moved on to more challenging tasks. Our goal, in doing this type of training was to gain more of an understanding of body awareness, control, and balance. Coach thought it would assist in our vaulting and I couldn't agree more. We've benefitted greatly from these skills and look forward to continuing our gymnastics training throughout the year. The purpose of the giants are to learn how to swing a hollow body upside down. It takes a specific group of muscles and exact timing on the bar in order to successfully swing 360 degrees. Here is a video of my first time successfully getting the giants!

This was a couple months ago, so I apologize for the delay. I've gotten better at them since then and can now go forwards when I want to and backwards when I want to, unlike in that video where I accidentally went backwards before I went forwards, haha. Here's another trick we learned how to do. Yea yea, I know it's on the chick bars but it's fun as hell to do! We call it the monkey swing, but I couldn't tell you what it's actually called, if there's even a name for it. But if I've learned anything in gymnastics, there's a name for everything.

Here's another cool thing I learned how to do. Very basic and not impressive to anyone athletic, but it's fun for me! It's a "front full" I think. It's just a front flip with a full turn and a half. It looks like I used the trampoline in this video but this was just from the spring floor. Whenever I use the trampoline, I pretty much jump into the wall... I don't have a whole lot of control yet.

My latest goal is to be able to spin around on the pommel horse. It's one of the most difficult things I think I've ever attempted. I dont know what it is, but I have the most trouble on this apparatus! I've almost gotten to where I can spin all the way around once, but not quite yet. When I get this, I'll definitely post a video cuz it'll be a huge accomplishment for me! I feel so close but so far from getting it. This concludes today's update, but there's a lot more to come! I'm so behind and have a lot to catch you all up on! I'm excited to write, but I just got so busy and overwhelmed with everything these last few months that time just flew by. I'll do my best to provide you with a few more updates within the next couple weeks so you don't forget about me ;)

If I don't update again before Christmas, have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year! I hope you got to visit with your family and friends a little bit. I'll finally be able to catch up with some old friends from high school tomorrow night since I haven't been home in a year. Lookin forward to it! Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a goodnight!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Success at the Convention!

We did it guys! We got the resolution passed to allow athletes in track meets, cross country races, and road races to be able to sport as many logos in as many places as they want to if the competition is on domestic soil and put on by USATF! Now I don't know all of the little details but in a round-a-bout way, that's the bottom line. Please don't quote me on this, because the I'm sure there will be other, more reliable sources to read the exact ruling, or removal of an existing ruling. A lot went on this weekend so I am a little confused myself, but what I was assured of was that, at the US Indoor Championships this coming year, I will be able to wear whatever jersey I prefer (so long as the jersey, itself is within the uniform rules), and I can have as many logos or sponsors, and whatever size I prefer. Now, granted, I may have a big fat ZERO sponsors on my jersey, because I have yet to put any effort into providing this opportunity to my sponsors, but I am very excited about the opportunity for these rights. This also means I can sport a sponsor's logo or name in my hair, which I intend to take advantage of if anyone is interested in this unique, yet very strange opportunity, haha. We'll see what road this decision leads to, but I'm excited as heck to start finding local businesses who would be interested in supporting a future Olympian in his early stages of development! If, by chance, there is anyone interested in these opportunities reading my blog right now, please contact me and let me know! Right now you would be first in line! As for the men working behind the scenes and on the front line for the athletes in this movement forward, I would like to say thank you to everyone involved, especially Jon Drummond. Without you, we would've gotten nowhere on this and I personally thank you. And thank you to all USATF directors and managers and board members for a great experience this weekend!
I would also like for yall to know, I just took a ride up into the St. Louis Arch and it was AWESOME! I had no idea the tram cars were little, round pods that they squeezed 5 people into. It was NOT a place for people affected by claustrophobia. Here are some pictures from the top of the Arch!

Looking down from the top

Looking down one side

We stayed in the amazing Hyatt Regency on the right

The vast Western Wilderness

Busch Stadium

The Rams Stadium

Looking over the Mississippi River to the East

The view inside the top of the Arch

Friday, December 2, 2011

USATF Annual Convention

I'm here at the 2011 USATF Annual Convention in St. Louis and havin a great time. I don't know why every athlete who's able to get funded doesn't come to these things. I've been the biggest sponge here so far and even spoke up in a few of the meetings so far. I arrived on Wednesday and leave on Sunday. And since I drove, I'll get reimbursed for my gas money, and THEN some. Mostly, these conventions are like stockholder's meetings. Athletes, Coaches, Officials, Agents, Sponsors, Meet Directors, USATF Boardmembers, and other entities come together to vote on rules, legislation, proposed competitions, you name it. This is where all of those decisions are made and so far, we're making good progress. Athletes of the Athlete Advisory Committee (AAC) are making a stand for the ability to have multiple sponsor's logos on jerseys. The current "guideline" that is being enforced at domestic, sanctioned competitions is that only one logo can be present on an athletes' body a certain number of places, yada yada yada... The USATF was actually just trying to follow the rules of the IAAF, which isn't necessary. Long story short, there's a resolution proposal that is going to change this being voted on in a meeting Sunday morning. Yes, I will be present and yes, I am passionate and excited about it. I'll let you know how it goes and I promise more updates are coming your way about my recent training! From St. Louis, Good night!