travel, hike, eat. repeat.

my adventures are often on a budget… and always clumsy.

the secret lives of gymnastics enthusiasts: the kellogg’s tour

as excited as the gymnasts meeting POTUS. Yep. #perspective

If you saw my twitter or facebook feeds at all yesterday evening, you know that I spent my night at the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. I’d decided to write this great, ironic post about it all – how Matt (my roommate) and I were so cool at this show with an average audience age of 11 (irony, irony, more irony). But about 10 minutes into the show, this came out of my phone:

I geeked out. I really geeked out. And all irony went flying out the window, never to be seen again!

For whatever reason, gymnastics isn’t a socially acceptable sport to really love and appreciate and know, unless you yourself were a competitive gymnast or are under the age of about 12. My best guess is that it’s because most female gymnasts are young themselves – 18 is considered getting up there – and often retire before they’ve finished high school, that adults feel strange watching the sport. Is that it? The truth is, though, that male gymnasts typically don’t peak until college-aged or after, and there are an increasing number of adult women gymnasts.

One of my favorite gymnasts of all time is Ariella Kaeslin, a Swiss gymnast who hit her stride in 2007, sweeping the Swiss nationals and competing well internationally – at age 20. She competed for several more years before retiring in 2011. She once said, “I’m taller, I’m bigger than the normal gymnast. I’m proud to be a good gymnast as a woman.” Then there’s Oksana Chusovitina, The Great. This woman is a powerhouse, a world class vaulter and placed 5th in the vault finals at the 2012 Olympic Games at age 36. I have no greater respect for a female athlete than for Chusovitina.

I love this sport. I think it’s beautiful and powerful, at once. It’s a testament to what the human body is capable of.

Now that I’ve written a love song to gymnastics… let’s get back to the show.

I took a NUMBER of pictures. And I mean, I warned you – I geeked out. All I can say for myself is this: while it was great seeing the “Fierce 5,” as they’re called, live, I got really excited seeing the veterans perform: Alicia Sacramone and Chellsie Memmel. I almost wrote another diatribe on them and why they’re great, but I’m stopping myself! 😉

Matt got us the tickets for my birthday back in September, and ridiculous, ironic, FIERCE and all – it was a fun night. I laughed until I cried – AT LEAST twice, and we got to see some great gymnastics, including almost all of Jonathan Horton’s Olympic high bar routine. So thanks to Matt for a most memorable birthday gift. Let’s do it again in 2016, yeah?

THE END. Gymnastics fan girl out.

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