The Smallest Gymnastics Club Ever?

February 3, 2016

A crossfit and adult gymnastics club was started up in September 2006 which used the facilities that belonged to a city run gymnastics program. They got kicked out and were homeless and training outside for 9 months before finally finding a small space to train in. It was FIVE HUNDRED SQUARE FEET!!! True, they put out mats and tumbled outside but still! That is the tiniest gym I’ve ever heard of.

After 9 months of searching, all while continuing to train a dedicated group of people who were apparently going to follow anywhere, a small warehouse with a sufficient ceiling was found. The owner of 400 Tamal Plaza in Corte Madera reluctantly agreed to allow the use of the a studio’s 500 square foot storage room as a fitness facility. This occurred in September of 2008.

This 500 square feet now had to house a CrossFit program, gymnastics program and parkour program. Parallel bars, a pommel horse and a squat rack were crammed into the space. A small area was left open for lifting and the outdoors is always available. If you know the program now, picture this. An adult gymnastics class with 8 individuals and a CrossFit class with 8 individuals all training in the space under the mezannene (sic) that houses Roger’s office. Panel mats were laid out in the parking lot for tumbling, at night, in the winter, with no building lighting. Training was done by the light of a small construction lamp that Andres happened to have. In spite of the ridiculous situation the program continued to grow. After a few months of talks the program was allowed to expand into the smaller of two studios in the building. The gym now encompassed about 2,300 square feet, but was not allowed to do any remodeling. This is how 2009 began.

The gym continued to expand over time and was 11,500 square feet as of 2013. Many clubs start small and get bigger. I’ve heard of clubs starting in someone else’s gym, then moving to their own. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of a club having to be run out of a 500 square foot space.

It just goes to show, just like with any other business, it doesn’t necessarily take a lot of money to start a gymnastics club. Yeah, a lot of coaches wish they could build a huge club from the ground up and many do. However, starting with a smaller space and growing bigger is also a tried and true method of starting a gym.


Melrose High School Gymnastics

February 1, 2016

Go Red Raiders! Their meets are on youtube.

Fear Of Going Backwards

January 31, 2016

Brandie Jay developed a fear of going backwards on beam. She wanted to overcome it before she left college and she did.

Here she is on beam from her elite days.

This is Gold

January 29, 2016

Circus arts used to advertise the grill guard on a truck. Not one, but two commercials. Brunette and blonde edition.

I can’t describe the feelings I got when I watched these.

Watch Out!

October 10, 2014

“On the award podium, Larisa Iordache points out a bee on Gold Medal winner Simone Biles’ flowers, … and comedy ensues.”

I’m so happy Kyla won an AA medal again! Also good to see Simone making three finals.

Nicole Curtis Just Wants Brick

September 4, 2014

There’s this show called “Rehab Addict”. It’s about renovating old houses. During the opening of the show, the star is shown ripping out some drywall while saying, “I just. want. BRICK!” Cracks me up every time. It kind of reminds me of gymnastics fans. Some just want TRICKS! Some just want BEAUTY!

As a fan, I have my own preferences. I like things that are different. So sometimes athletes do uncoded skills and that’s my favorite part of their routine. Anything unusual or surprising. I learned that there’s an athlete, Marissa Oakley, who uses the 1992 compulsory music. This tickles me because it’s a little unexpected.

Lizzy LeDuc, Ava Verdeflor, Youth Olympic Games

May 18, 2014

So! Lizzy LeDuc tweeted that she is the top gymnast in the Philippines or something. With some searching I found out she just competed in the Philippine National Games. She cleaned up. Full results aren’t quite out yet. Maybe there will be pictures soon.

I also found out that Lizzy’s WOGA teammate, Ava Verdeflor, has qualified to represent the Philippines at the Youth Olympic Games. Ain’t that a trip. Last I heard, USAG did not even send a women’s team to the Pan Am Championships which was the qualifier to the YOG. They probably could’ve sent the four girls that beat Ava at the Level 10 Junior B Texas State Championships and the US would’ve been well represented by one of them.

If the gymnast that goes to YOG has to be an elite then make her one. USAG has varying qualifying standards based on age and the competition the gymnast is trying to qualify for. They just have to make some standards designed to get level 10s of the proper age to qualify. It’s not like it’s a one way trip. Plenty of elites drop back to level 10.

Enough ranting. How ’bout that bar routine!

Another Produnova?

May 16, 2014

When I first read that India’s Dipa Karmakar has started practicing the Produnova my initial reaction was to bang my head against my desk.  At first.  When I got a hold of myself I remembered that Dipa has attempted a front layout and now does a front pike half.  Maybe that doesn’t mean anything but maybe it does.  

In 2011 Yamilet Pena was doing a tucked front with a full whenever she wasn’t competing the Produnova.  By 2013 she started doing a front layout instead.  I’m pretty sure Yamilet’s front layout in 2013 was better than the front layout Dipa was doing in 2010.  Hard to say but the fact that Dipa has already done a front layout gives me hope that maybe her Produnova will be one of the less terrible ones.  

Anyway, I’ve felt that the best thing to come out of all these crapdunovas is that sooner or later we would start to see better prepared gymnasts training and competing the Produnova.  Somehow I don’t expect coaches to attempt teaching this to any of the current crop of top athletes but maybe they’re working with some of the younger ones right now.  Who knows.  

Can I exhale?

May 12, 2014

May 9th has come and gone. So far I haven’t heard any more about these new Olympic qualification procedures. The FIG has something on their site about reforms but says nothing about what that means.

As of May 9, delegates from the FIG affiliated Continental Unions will join the Executive for the Council, at which time several issues will be presented.

Maybe the whole ‘announcement on May 9th’ thing actually meant they would announce it to each other and let the rest of us know at a later date.

The Heebie Geebies

May 2, 2014

That’s what I got when I read that the FIG is going to announce a new Olympic qualification procedure. The last thing I remember from the FIG on this subject had something to do with cutting teams down to four. Please, no! Or if they do announce any sketchy changes next week, please let it be the kind of changes they turn around and undo five seconds later. OR maybe have the changes not be terrible!

This is bothering me. The not knowing what the fuck they are up to. Imma just try to stay cool with a dose of John Orozco trying to learn air flares. Of course, it’s not the air flares that sooth me, since he can’t do them yet. I’m calmed by the toe point. Looks pretty good from that angle.

Anyway, poor John can’t get air flares. The whole brute force approach might be slowing him down. He’d probably have better luck if he came up with some drills so he can learn it the same way he learned all his gymnastics skills. Bit by bit. Lots of gymnasts are only as good as they are because their coaches were able to utilize tons of drills that were developed by other coaches over many years.