|A photo of me spinning around in the air like a horizontal hurricane|
When I’m at the gym, I’m surrounded by a multitude of sprung surfaces, soft mats and a floor just bouncy enough that I can land on it and not shatter every bone in my body simultaneously, and I give in to the temptation. As an 18 year old, I should be getting excited about going out and getting so drunk that I leave the lining of my stomach all over the pavement, not getting energized by a few soft rectangular bits of foam. My maturity level in this circumstance is below that of a toddler being allowed to roam free in a ball pit. Pity me.
When I arrive at the gym, the mats and other pieces of equipment seem to have been meticulously placed in position, probably with a spirit level, in an apparent use of Feng Shui. But then, like a sadistic moron purposefully removing the bottom bricks of a Jenga tower, I leap into action, throwing somersaults with varying degrees of success in every dimension, turning the graceful order of the gym into a swirling vortex of entropy. The way everything goes from organised to a mess is a bit like watching How Clean is Your House in reverse without the unnecessary shot of the inside of a toilet bowl.
I’m not an amazing gymnast by any means, I’m just someone who can somersault relatively effectively and likes to exercise his ability frequently. Compared with some of the amazing stunts and tricks that many people can do, I’m a man with a Zimmer frame trying to do a forward roll but just landing on my face. It’s just a sport that I really enjoy taking part in, and that’s why I do it. I'm not in it for glory or fame, I'm in it for the fun factor.
I’ve extended my love of the sport, by becoming a coach and inspiring the younger generation to enjoy the sport as well. In truth, I’m either trying to control and discipline a group of young children with so much energy that they’ve probably been force fed Red Bull at the door, or shouting at older gymnasts to do a few press ups so loud that my larynx nearly explodes and ejects itself through my neck. Every so often though, I do get to do some real coaching, and experience the joy on a gymnast’s face when they finally achieve the move they’ve been trying to learn for ages. I’m pretty sure that makes up for the low points.
Whenever I do gym, I tire myself out incredibly quickly, due to my huge lack of cardiovascular stamina. My face goes bright red and I'm sweating buckets. I'm like a tomato in a shower. And that's the image I'm leaving you with.