This Year’s Goals

Last Monday I was at the gym when Nick was there, one of the coaches I don’t see as often because he works with the morning classes. We were talking about plyometric exercises and other jumping drills, and I said I wanted to be able to spring up onto the pommelhorse with both feet as I’d seen someone else (much younger) do. A month or two ago I had practiced by jumping onto higher and higher stacks of mats until I reached hip level. It seemed I should be able to jump onto the pommelhorse because it’s only an inch or two higher than that, but because of its curved top and its narrowness, I couldn’t make myself try it.
Nick said I could and should do it, and I couldn’t really refuse, so at his suggestion I got three mats and stacked them on the floor, then jumped from there. I removed them one by one until I jumped onto it from the floor. It was fun! I didn’t land fully enough on top of it to stay on, though, so all I was doing was springing up and right back down. I need to pull it out from the wall a little and land a little more forward, and I’ll be able to stay up there soon. I was pretty proud of getting up there at all because it had seemed so stunning when I saw somebody else do it.
Another goal for this year was a five-second unsupported handstand. Lately I’ve been able to do that if I first use the wall, then pull my feet away. I can often tighten up enough to hold a nice straight handstand for five seconds–not always, but often. It’s going to take a while longer to be able to snap into one without first overshooting to the wall.
I still half hope to do an unassisted muscle-up on the rings this year. Not too many women can do those that I know of. I have the strength for pull-ups and for at least a few ring dips. I can’t seem to make the transition from the pull-up to the pushing up from the bottom of the dip position. But this goal hasn’t been a high priority. There are several guys at the gym who have elbow problems that seem to be affected by doing or attempting muscle-ups, and I don’t want to try so often that I strain my elbows. When I do try, even though I don’t make it, it really makes my elbows ache for a few minutes.
And my other goal for 2005 was to be able to climb the rope by March, which I did.
Some next goals are: sub-10 on “Helen”; a 30-second L-sit on the parallel bars and other core/abdominal strength gains; and with that core strength, to be able to do the belly-grinder and the glide kip (the gymnastics move where you mount the bar after swinging out under it).