Saturday, March 15, 2014

Hooray for Gymnastics!

After years of wanting to, my kid finally started a gymnastics class this weekend! He couldn't be more excited. He's always loved tumbling, cartwheels, climbing, and swinging around on the monkey bars, and he's agile, coordinated, strong, and flexible. Also, he generally dislikes team sports -- he's tried basketball, soccer, and t-ball in the past, none of which took -- but prefers sports that are more individual and involve challenging himself, like karate and swimming, so gymnastics seemed like a natural fit.

About a month ago, a friend here went to an informal gymnastics class for adults at a Thai-Canadian sports center in Bangkok. After she told me about it, I did some research and contacted the center. My son was invited to go for a trial class, which we did last weekend.

Of course, getting anywhere here is never easy, so even though our friend had told us that it wasn't hard to get to, our taxi driver still got lost several times and took a while to find the place (though the second time around this weekend was a little easier with us directing the taxi driver). The place itself is pretty awesome. There are tons of classes for all ages, from toddlers to adults, in gymnastics and swimming. Each class is 1 1/2 hours long, during which the kids do a bunch of different activities, from running and jumping to vaulting to working on the balance beam and tumbling. Obviously, my son is in the beginners' group, but he loves that he already is getting to learn some basic gymnastics skills.

My son had a ton of fun and did really well during the trial class, so we signed him up for 14 classes (once a week). After a month of classes, he will be moved up to an all-boys team if the coach sees progress. Even at his first class yesterday, he already showed improvement in a couple of areas and was already trying new things. These classes will give him something new and challenging to look forward to.
A view of the space where the gymnastics classes took place.
Stretching and warming up.
The kids had to hop from one line to the next. No easy feat for some of them.
Jumping from one mat to the next.
Running to get a head start to get on the vault...
He jumps onto a little trampoline...
...and propels himself onto the vault.
Trying out the balance beam, forwards and backwards!

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