Friday, June 5, 2009


One of Tony Horton's 11 Laws of Health & Fitness is "Sport". Recently I was encouraged to think about "plugging into sport". Especially those of us who were active in sports (team or individual) as kids and then as we became adults and the busyness of life took over and we left sport out.

I've given a lot of thought about this subject over the years, in particular over the past couple of months. I, like many people, always thought of "sport" as being on a team. I used to think, I'm not interested in sports, never have, never will be. But the more I hear about "sport" the more I realize that it doesn't have to mean being on a team. It can be an individual sport. Like cycling, running, gymnastics, jump rope, swimming, etc.

When I was a young girl, I was always outside playing with my best friend, Gail Saunders. We would ride bikes all over the neighborhood, jump rope, chinese jumping, walk the whole distance along the top of the school fence (until she fell off one day and broke her arm), we would do all kinds of gymnastics all over the front yard, go swimming, climb the monkey bars at the playground, climb trees, etc. etc. Then when I was finishing up Grade 6, my family and I moved across the country. It was during those years of living in our new city that I no longer was active. My "new" friends didn't like doing those things. They would laugh at me for wanting to do "baby" stuff. I was so desperate for friendships at that age that I went along with the crowd and did the boring stuff they wanted to do. Hang out and talk about boys (ew) and listen to music. (ho hum). I lived in a very public neighbourhood and never felt comfortable "playing" in my yard. I still did headstands and handstands indoors, but my mom discouraged me from doing so due to limited space and possibly breaking something. What I didn't realize at the time was that as my body was changing into womanhood, I was losing my flexibility. Once I got into high school and realized they had a gymnastics program, I was thrilled! Finally I could do this again. But my body failed me. I could no longer do what I once did. Long story/short, I was brokenhearted and gave up. Never tried again. I secretly blamed my parents for bringing me to this God forsaken place. I still hurt from those years, but I don't blame my parents for it. I look on those years as a blessing in many ways. I am very much the person I am today because of what happened to me there.

Fast forward to now...I've been actively working out at home for the past few years and I feel fantastic! Thanks to Beachbody and my commitment to a better quality of life. Anyways, at the age of 43, I attempted a cartwheel in my backyard. I did it! Probably the best one ever done by me EVER! So I tried two more and did it! Then I didn't want to press my luck and I was feeling it in my shoulders (not to mention...I forgot how dizzy you get from multiple cartwheels). Well that just stirred up the little girl within me and I've wanted to do more. I now realize that anything is possible with practice and I intend to work on my flexibility more and more. Tony Horton has really inspired me to become more flexible. (If he can do it later in age, so can I, right?)

I've tried to find some beginner adult gymnastic classes, but there are none here. So, I'll do what I can, on my own! My goal is to do some handstands, more cartwheels, and ultimately (God willing) a walkover (or at least that's what we called them). I'll start off trying to accomplish "the wheel" (yoga posture) first.

This is one of those "I don't want to live with any regrets" parts of my life. To regain a part of my early gymnastics ability would be fantastic!

The other sports I intend on "plugging in" are cycling and long distance walking.


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