The best reason to take gym class

bad at cartwheels

How many of us have attempted similarly terrible cartwheels? …too many.

This one time I was playing a ‘wide game’ which is what people call a game that is outside, slightly dangerous and involving physical activity. This one was pretty much an elaborate version of tag. We were put in 2 teams – one to hunt and the other to run into a forest, hide and then eventually make it back to base without being tagged.

I was part of the hunted group and in this round I’d been caught out. A hunter had found me and trapped me on a hillside with a  stream at the bottom and a fence covering the other exits – he was closing in. I knew I had to pull off something impressive to get back to base in victory.

Without too much thought, I ran to the edge of the stream bank. Knowing it was about a 5ft drop to the actual water, I was going to stop at the edge and lower myself down – to then climb up the other side and escape. Unfortunately I was being competitive so I sprinted to the stream, tried to slow down but failed and ended up face down in the water with a bruised elbow and ego.

I got up, let my hunter tag me and walked back to base a defeated man.

The point behind that story is that I don’t like to compete in situations that mean I have to reign in my competitive nature in order to not die.

I get a similar feeling about gymnastics. Like what if I go for a triple somersault for the win knowing full well I can’t do one of those. I would have an awkward, mid-air realisation that I was in trouble – I would take on too much.

But that’s just one reason that I don’t do gymnastics…

Others include my complete lack of flexibility and my unwillingness to dance. But perhaps the main reason to not do gym for me was that, at school, it was largely terrible.

My football coach would be forced, by the curriculum, to make pairs of pubescent boys stand on 2x1m sponge mats and perform gymnastics routines. Every week we’d come in and work on our sequence of poses and transitions – we would normally have to devise them ourselves.

But we didn’t put in the effort. Our routines were basic: forwards rolls, standing on one leg, pencil rolls, a spot of hand holding in communal balances and maybe a clap thrown in for a bit of flair.

The lesson where we had to watch everyone’s routine was awkward to the extreme.

So why would you ever want to take a gym class?

That’s a fair question to ask at this point. I’ve been pretty negative.

And if you don’t know the answer, you need to get yourself on YouTube. And don’t stop watching the best videos until you’re educated.

Gymnastics, at it’s peak, is incredible. Almost beyond belief. But don’t take my word for it, check out this instead:

I hope you’ll agree that that is some impressive stuff. Especially this moment:


Take some time to appreciate the insanity of what is going on here…

That’s your best thing for today – surely this or yesterday’s turnip prize has changed your life forever…