Thursday, January 15, 2015

Final Thoughts Month of January: Blog 3- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Hi Ellie!

Well… it is another gymnastics day and I have to say that I am so glad that your Mommy and Daddy count on me to take you to your class now and then because it is certainly a precious site to see!  This blog will not be long, but before they come to a permanent end, I want to touch upon your cartwheels.  And that is because if gymnastics comes to an abrupt halt like ballet did, (where you lose interest in the hobby after one year), I doubt you would remember this moment in time years down the road.

Final Thought:  There is a saying “Practice Makes Perfect”, but more times than not the saying should really be “Practice Makes Us Better”!

And Ellie, you are true testimony to that statement!  Let me back up for a moment and explain your gymnastics class weekly agenda and my first time observing.  First Ellie, there are about 6 of you in the class and all of you are pretty much equal in “gymnastic” ability!  Your instructor usually has you all doing a few stretches to start off.  You are the only one El, who can split your body into a perfect “T” shape (like the plastic Barbie dolls whose limbs can move inhumanly) while laying face down, body flat on the floor with arms stretched outward and still pat out the pizza dough your instructor has you pretending to make.  Next comes forward and backward rolls which are pretty much done with ease by everyone.  Following that is the walk on the balance beam which to be honest with you boggles my mind.  Ellie, for the life of me, I don’t understand how you do not fall off that thin board as your eyes are constantly darting to wherever there is activity in the room, everywhere except for where they should be and that is focused on the end point of the balance beam!  The next rotation sends you to the spring board where you are to run, take one hop (with one leg) at the beginning of the board, then two hops (with both legs) at the top of the board and then land on your knees as you spring towards the mat.  Ellie, this gymnastic activity always makes me giggle because it is like watching you play Hop Scotch… the one foot/two foot hop doesn’t always happen when it is suppose to!  Next up is the cartwheel mat.  When your instructor laid it down, I thought… “Hmmmm, that is kind of cool.”  There were two perfectly positioned hands and two perfectly positioned feet boldly outlined on the mat for you little ones to use while turning your bodies upside down from one side of the mat to the other.  The visual was pretty self-explanatory.  Well… actually for adults it is.  You and your classmates saw it a little differently.  Ellie, instead of standing with arms raised tall and ready to glide your upper-body downwards and sideways as your lower body raises itself upwards and over your head… you turned into a little robot!

First you studied the position of the right and left foot and then set your own directly on top of them.  Next you studied the position of both hands and quite robotically placed yours directly on top of them.  Then instead of hoisting both legs overhead like a windmill, your cartwheel looked more like a frog with led in its bottom weighting it down!  You swiveled your hips sideways with a hop that was no more than 2 inches off the ground and leaped from one side of the mat to the other.  El, the impressive part of this ‘definitely not a cartwheel move’ was that your feet landed perfectly in their rightful spots on the other side!  Now fast-forward a dozen weeks.  Your cartwheels are officially the real deal and you are having lots of fun performing them.  You no longer need the mat to show you how to position your hands and feet and only use it as a reminder to where you are to be in the rotation.  The parallel bars, the trampoline, the floor mat and the pit follow in your class’s one-hour time slot.  And with so many versatile activities to practice and hopefully some day master, it is amazing that you don’t ever leave there exhausted!  You are quite agile little one and it is only a matter of time before all the gymnastic moves become comfortable to you.

Poppy and I saw a movie last night about the life of Stephen Hawking, a physicist and cosmologist who was riddled with a motor neuron disease.  The movie ended with a great quote of his and it is definitely great wisdom to live by.  He said, “ However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”  How true Ellie… All we need to do is practice.

Love you Ellie jellie-gumby-bean!

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