04 September 2008

Olympic Sports that Baffle Me - Gymnastics

I had a go at gymnastics in highschool. I started gymnastics at the age of 15 which is about 2 years from retirement in the gymnastics world. It's also about twice the age of the gymnasts winning medals at the Olympics, so obviously, I approached the sport all wrong.

My favourite apparatus was the floor, working on the theory that you can't fall off a floor. I found though that you can sprain your ankle pretty badly and spend a week on crutches.

My concern with the asymmetric bars is that you could wind yourself or fall from a height and do untold damage. But the worst I remember from the A-bars was getting a wedgie in competition and being unable to retrieve the lost lycra until the end of the routine.

Retrieving wayward lycra results in a deduction of points in competition, and it is a measure of my [lack of] professionalism that my policy was always to forego those points and get my butt cheeks out of public view ASAP. Anyway, it was my fault for forgetting to hairspray my cheeks before squeezing into those leotards. (And that's an awful lot of hairspray, in my case.)

The beam was the most terrifying apparatus for me. You can do a pretty serious injury to yourself on a beam, but even though I was scared silly, I never fell too badly. I wouldn't have much to report about this apparatus except that my sister remembers that once in competition, I fell and then I was deducted a further 0.5 because I swore. Well wouldn't you?

You might be able to hurt yourself on the other apparatus, but I believe that you can kill yourself on the vault. And since studies show that people fear public embarrassment more than death, I can say that my scary vault memory was even worse than that.

My run-up went wrong (as usual) and I baulked at the last minute. I sailed over the stupid vault head-first horizontally and landed on my tummy on the crash mat. My body, obeying Newton's first law of motion, kept sailing forwards while my lycra leotard, bothered by its own frictional coefficient, remained where it first made contact with the rubbery surface of the mat. And the physicists wrote a new law involving Collective Attention being drawn to the Point of Exposed Breasts. Or something.

Not the most successful sporting story of modern times.

Five Star Friday

12 comments:

tinsenpup said...

Suddenly the tribulations of life don't seem so bad. I will carry that last, beautifully rendered, image in my mind always to cheer me through troubled times. Picture me on my death bed giggling like a fool. :)

Jen said...

Again, baffled just like you.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

I fell and then I was deducted a further 0.5 because I swore. Well wouldn't you?

WAY too funny!!!!! You crack me up with this stuff!!!

PsychMamma said...

Totally cracking up at the visual imagery! Thanks for sharing a smile. I needed it today.

Swift Jan said...

Well, my friend.... I admire you for trying hehe.... even if it has scarred you for life....

Great post!!

Hippomanic Jen said...

All I remember from your gymnastics career was that you could still do the splits when we were at Uni. Pretty good party trick, I think - I haven't EVER been able to do them.

Curiously you never told us about the vaulting incident. Why is it easier to share with cyber space than real, live people?

My vaulting injury was tennis elbow (?!). I think I'd prefer to get the physical reminders of that injury, rather than the searing memory of an Exposure Incident.

- Hang on, do you make a habit of public exposure? I remember a previous post when you thought your Embarrassment Cortex must have been burned out of your brain. With good reason.

Crazy Sister said...

You were pretty awesome. I remember when we went for a run around the block (ah to be that energetic) and you did a bunch of flips, making somebody applaud from his front yard. Very nice.

Givinya De Elba said...

Is that a fact? I don't remember that. I barely remember having a bust measurement small enough to allow me to "go for a run."

Hippomanic Jen, I repressed that vaulting incident until now, which is why I never mentioned it. I haven't thought if it until now - too embarrassing.

Leslie said...

Oh, this post is gorgeous! Love it! :)

Dee said...

So how many points do they deduct for flashing your boobs???

I am glad I hated gymnastics now... I would never have survived.

Louisa said...

No, not the most successful sporting story...but a pretty funny one!! Thanks for sharing :)

Le @ Third on the Right said...

Now that is a BIG ouch !! le