Before I was a journalist, I was a gymnast. For 17 years of my life, I trained for four hours a day, five days a week, perfecting my skills. Now, it was my turn to show Aaron and Greg the ropes, at the Gymnastics Academy of Rockford, to see if they could flip our way to a Perfect 10.
The key to every successful day at the gym is a good warm up. We started with a light jog, then stretched out. The guys were lacking some flexibility. You don't want to pull a muscle or hurt yourself. After we stretched out all the main body parts, we were ready for our first event, the floor exercise.
We started simple, a forward roll. 4 year olds can do this. Aaron, not so much. Take one. Take two. Take three. Oh well. He tried.
Cartwheels were a bit of a challenge. I think Greg knocked the wind out of himself. So we moved on to our next event, the uneven bars.
I showed the guys a few simple swings to give them an idea. Aaron went first. I think getting out of the foam pit was more challenging than the actual bar. The girls taught the guys how to chalk up their hands, to prevent them from ripping or slipping off the bar, then it was over to the balance beam.
The beam is four inches wide, which definitely posed a challenge for Aaron's size 14 feet. First we got on the beam. Aaron was a bit wobbly. But the guys did great! A few jumps, then a lesson from one of the professionals.
We ended with some fun on the trampoline. Well at least I thought it was fun. I showed the guys a few flips and gave them a chance to bounce. For as tall as Aaron is, I think he's afraid of heights.
By the end of the workout, the guys were exhausted, ankles sore and a bit winded, but overall they learned what it takes to be a gymnast!
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