Tumbleweeds

We are on our way to becoming superheroes. No, we haven’t been bitten by a spider, or received experimental super soldier drugs. We’ve joined a gymnastics class. Anyone who’s watched our Calamityville episodes is probably laughing right now. We can barely stay on our feet when walking, how would we cope with somersaults? Faceplanting in the foam pit is our common method of landing. Our sister did gymnastics when we were kids. We weren’t interested. It was too girly for us and we didn’t want to wear leotards. So what, at age 34, convinced us change our minds?

Polefit.

4 years ago, Cat was strong-armed into joining a 8 a.m. physio class to help her back into exercise after her third knee operation. At first, she refused – 8 a.m. is too early to be so active, so her physio played on her desire to heal and said “if you want to get back to exercise quicker, join the class.” Whilst there she met a guy called Ryan, who taught gymnastics. He tried to persuade us to join his class back then but we were still quite anxious and weren’t confident enough to join a class. Plus Cat’s knee wouldn’t have coped with the impact. Fast forward 4 years to Cardiff Comic Con. Ryan came to our table and after catching up, he uttered the fatal words “you know what will help you with Polefit? Joining my gymnastics class.”

We are highly competitive in sports and we’re completely obsessed with Polefit. Most of our Instagram is filled with Polefit ladies and men and we watch all their videos, wishing we could be that good. And one of our goals is to do flips on the pole. So when Ryan said he could help us achieve that, we swallowed our fear and joined the class. A month later. It takes time to summon the courage to do something scary like joining a new class full of strangers. And every single aspect of gymnastics terrified us. It took us 6 months to conquer our fear of being upside down on the pole! And yet we were going to be doing somersaults, asymmetric bars, the beam and back flips. There wasn’t a single part of gymnastics that appealed to us, apart from using it to be good at pole.

But in April, we fought against our natural instinct to back out and we went to Planet Gymnastics. We sat in the car park for a while, psyching ourselves up. Then we did it. And we were terrible. Beyond terrible. We’re probably the worst gymnasts the sport has ever had. But we didn’t care. We’ve never done a handstand, forward rolls terrify us (for fear of breaking our necks) and we’re as graceful as an ice skating spider. But we kept going. Every week, we showed up, kept trying and kept failing. But we loved it. Now we can hold a handstand for a few seconds, forward rolls don’t terrify us so much (but we still don’t like them) and we’re still as graceful as an ice skating spider. We won’t talk about the asymmetric bars. We can’t even get on the damn things. The first time Ryan tried pushing us backwards into a spin, we fought against him and resisted for as long as we could. We’re not easy to teach.

We faceplant all the time but we’re having fun and we’ve made new friends. We even convinced one of the guys to don a dinosaur suit and do some tricks. And we’re learning somersaults, back flips and aerials (no-handed cartwheels). The gym is now filled with our shrieks, laughter and “I can’t get out of the fucking foam pit!” Each time we learn something new, we have to conquer our fear all over again. Hell, each time we do something we’ve already learned, we still have to silence the fear. But we’re doing things we never thought we were capable of doing. Scared? Absolutely. Enjoying it? Most definitely. And we are finally becoming the superheroes we always wanted to be.

We just need to learn to land on our feet…

Watch our first three months here.

4 Comments

  1. I’ve loved seeing your little videos on facebook etc. Looks like you are having so much fun! Forward rolls still terrify me after 2yrs of Aikido, Let’s cross our fingers and hope we all get over that sooon.

    • thanks! We’re having a lot of fun, even if we constantly tell our instructor we’re not doing things because they scare us. We whinge a lot! It’s good to know we’re not the only one who hate forward rolls. That makes us feel so much better 🙂 though hopefully we will all conquer our fear.

  2. Always wanted to do an aerial. And you know I love your instavids.

    • thanks 🙂 most things in gymnastics terrify us! Then we remind ourselves how cool the moves are and it keeps us determined to conquer our fear and master the moves.


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