tumbling!

So, I’m about to celebrate my 28th b-day, and I just started a Tumbling & Trampoline class for beginners.

Since I’m taking a fully time load of grad classes at a state university, I get to toss in some PE classes for free. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to take tumbling classes (ever since I saw my first gymnastics meet on television at age 9), but have never had the money or access to do so.

Those who know me know that I am NOT an athletic person, though I’m in decent shape (BMI of 22, reasonably active). I can’t do a pull up or more than 1 regular push up, and I can’t do the splits… (YET!!!). I don’t have any permanent injuries that prevent me from doing any activities, so that’s helpful.

Before taking this class, I scoured the internet looking for adults in my situation. I KNOW I’m not the only crazy late-20’s-aged-someone taking tumbling classes for the very first time in her life! But, I haven’t been able to find any others. My hairdresser DID tell me about a 65 year old man who’s learning the flying trapeze (with no background whatsoever in acrobatics).

Anyway, I hope that if anyone else is thinking about embarking on this journey, you’ll find some comfort knowing that I’m as crazy as you are! ;)

So, Tuesday was the first day of workout. WOW. I’m fairly sure that I’m the oldest person there by at least 5 years. There are at least 2 other people at my same (lack of) skill level. The rest are all former gymnasts or cheerleaders.

It’s a once a week, 2 hour class. I think we got out after about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

We started out doing warm-ups–swinging our arms and legs to loosen up our joints,  getting our muscles relaxed with gentle stretches, and then attempting to do bridge poses. I can only do this pose by “cheating” and putting my arms WAY out to the side. When I tried to do this pose correctly, keeping my arms practically pressed to my ears, I couldn’t get up at all. Something to practice!

After that, we had handstand contests. The teacher had everyone get into a big circle (there are about 25 of us in the class) and then had people get into the center of the circle by month of birth. There were always at least 3-5 people in at each time, so no one felt put on the spot. Luckily, I was in a group of 5 people who couldn’t do handstands at all (YEAY ME!).  We all tried and immediately failed, our legs never even getting parallel to the ground much less perpendicular to it!

So, she had everyone do handstand drills and jump drills. The handstand drills involved walking our hands out in front of us and pushing off with our feet while keeping our legs in different positions. For example, one jump required that we push off and keep our legs in a V-straddle position. Another time, our legs were supposed to “scissor kick”, and another time we had to hold a “pike” position. All of these were designed to help build core strength so that we could eventually lift and hold our bodies in handstand positions. We then progressed to a partner drill. Luckily, I was partnered with a strong guy who I was fairly sure wouldn’t drop me. Poor thing…I don’t think he got the same feeling from me. :( We supported each other in jumps, and then did a drill where we provided resistant while our partner performed different stages of the handstand (without actually being inverted). Then, we actually went into handstand positions with our partner helping us balance. AND I ACTUALLY DID IT after 2 or 3 tries. I needed help balancing, but I held my own weight for several seconds!!!! The trick is to lock your elbows! ;) VERY cool.

After this, we had a little show where the more advanced people showed off their tumbling skills. Then, we all attempted forward and backward rolls, cartwheels, and more (REALLY difficult) conditioning exercises that involved strength and cardiovascular endurance. Toward the end of this conditioning segment, I got pretty nauseated, which made me very happy. Why? That’s what happens when I work out at a really tough pace (and I never feel that way when I’m working out at a self-set pace!). I sat down for a bit and drank some water, and the nausea passed.

Then, we did some crunches and deep stretching, and a LOT of push-ups. OW!

For the next 3 days, I was so sore that it was painful to sit or stand. Not painful in that “I’m injured” sort of way…just painful in a “I used soooo many muscles that I didn’t know existed” sort of way. Even my feet hurt in ways they’d never hurt before.

I feel fine now (it’s Friday), and have been careful to eat a high protein diet and drink lots of fluids. Also, a dose of aspirin on the 2nd day really helped! I had a regularly scheduled chiropractor session (I have one every 4-6 weeks to realign my neck, back, and hips), and that took away all of the muscular pain in my back. My body feels like it has actually produced more muscle–I can already feel a difference in my muscle tone, though I’m sure part of that is my desire to believe that I’ve toned.  :)

I made sure that even when I was very sore, I moved around to encourage circulation to the sore muscles. Now that I’m not in so much pain, I’m going to stretch more deeply in preparation for the next class session.

Can’t wait for next Tuesday!

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10 Comments

Filed under health, tumbling as an adult

10 responses to “tumbling!

  1. I’m crazy like you…just did my first class and I just turned 30! I had a blast. I just want to learn it all!

  2. Ron

    I’m 37 years old. I started bringing my 7yr old daughter to gymnastics class 3 months ago. Everytime I was almost drooling with envy at how much fun all those gymnastics students were having! That I started practicing with my daughter at home. I can now do cartwheels, back rolls, bridges, and handstands lasting 8 seconds. I wonder if i’ll ever learn to do the split! I need that before I can start learning the walkthroughs. But my ultimate dream? The back handspring. Im crazy!

  3. @ Ron: WOOHOOO! good for you! Let me know how you do on the back handspring endeavor! I’d be happy just to do splits and walkthroughs! :)
    @ Mary–keep it up–hope you do well! :)

  4. Desiree

    Way to go everybody! I’m 45 and taking tumbling classes. It’s fun. It’s a great workout! The key for me is to stretch as much as possible and NOT GIVE UP even if I look like a dork…(at least i’m a happy dork : )

  5. Gia

    I’m so glad I found this posting! I just tured 30 and was thing about a tumbling course which I haven’t done since I was in high school. Good luck everyone

  6. Becca

    Thanks so much for posting this! I really want to get back into tumbling (not that I was so good the first time around) and it’s great to hear of other adults doing the same thing. I was in some adult tumbling classes a few months ago, but it’s hard to find them. I’m still shopping around for a good one. Have fun everyone, and good luck!

  7. EUGHHHH. I feel you. I was GREAT at gymnastics when I was a kid. But I had an injury when I was younger and so I haven’t done anything of the sort in probably 7 years and now my nephews are into it and i’m trying to relearn. No money for classes though, so I’m trying to find what information i can on the net.
    I cant even do a forward roll anymore. Can anyone help me? The problem is the pressure I feel on my head scares me, now that i’m an adult weight, (5’3″ about 180 lbs.. yesss I’m chubby, but in decent shape) it scares me because I don’t want to hurt myself.
    any suggestions?
    alex.gypsyface@gmail.com
    or
    Alexx KarmaQueen Ramsey on facebook.

    • Hi Alex! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one going through this! I wish I had a great answer for you. I HAVE had some luck finding good conditioning/stretching exercises on youtube by searching for gymnastics related condition. I am totally with you on the whole NOT wanting to get injured (especially now that I have an active 18 month old to care for). Are you still in touch w/ any of your friends from back when you were in gymnastics? Maybe they can offer some suggestions or train with you to get back some of your old skills? It sounds like you’re in a good spot since you’re still in good shape and aren’t too tall! :) Best wishes!

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