Let’s do the good news first. Smiley face (see above!). This blog passed the 700,000 hits milestone today! Yeee-haw (or words to that effect). Thanks guys: I really do appreciate your support and interest. Don’t forget you can feed back either as comments or by e-mailing me if your prefer to be private: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secondly, ‘sad face’… News that acrobatics doesn’t always go according to plan. Amongst the boys we share coaching in the gymnastics centre is a lad, 11 years old, who has the capacity to be a world-class competitor and has already done one international competition with his partner, coming fourth. Yesterday, he was practicing the one-arm balance positions on his partners head, with the 17yo partner (a previous international champion) squatting to sit and then to turn right around under him to the position we call ‘front support’. They train together at least twenty hours a week. They’ve done this move dozens of times and can be left to practice this on their own. Until…
This young lad’s hand slipped off his partner’s head, his balance arm taking the full force of his weight hitting the gymnastic floor. Major break in the bone… this is a disaster for him because it will be months before he can get back to that quality of balance, or work his other less-favoured arm to do the job. Thankfully, it didn’t occur on our watch. And yes, they are taught how to fall, and never to take the full force of a fall on an outstretched limb… This time, he was so close to the floor (with his partner just reaching the front-support position) that he didn’t react fast enough to save his arm. S***, as they say…
Thankfully, neither I nor my acrobatic colleagues has suffered such a disaster in training or performance… except Dave. He broke his arm years ago during a performance in the UK, but there were rather peculiar circumstances which caused a major collapse, because another performer took a direct hit from a madman in the audience. Fortunately it wasn’t his favoured ‘balance arm’. I’ll leave it to you to discover more about that one, and the events which followed: see
Now we look on the bright side again, and enjoy some great male physiques:
Rope climbing – an exercise which tends to get overlooked in many gyms. Great for the chest.
OK, while we’re sitting down, let me remind you that we are issuing cryptic ‘crossword’ clues based around fitness themes: collect all ten and you could win a free copy of Loving the Boy sent anywhere in the world.
A reminder of the first one, in case you missed it: ‘By putting the effort into his gym workout, Peter became a specialist!’ (6)
And now, ‘Cluedo’ No. 2: Calm gym expert (5)
No hints! Answers will be provided when it is all over! And now, back to the fitness pictures:
This is Epke Zonderland, the Dutch gymnast and model:
By the way, continuing the small debate about retaining chest hair, that guy looks great with what he has, don’t you think? Why shave that off, even if he were an acrobatic performer?
But yes, smooth looks great too, especially with a tan (and some epic abs)!
Here’s another lad who has made good use of the equipment in his garage!
And one who obviously has a gym membership!
OK. Those Zoggs are a good one to end on. Have fun with the cryptic clues – those first two are a bit easy, though… I’ll have to try harder!