After Saturday, we shall be leaving this environment (gymnastics) – hopefully not for ever! – giving it all up for a new job by the sea. We fly on Monday – although we will be back in US for six weeks to cover ‘summer camp’ training as previously committed. We won’t make any money on that of course, by the time we’ve paid for flights from Europe, but it’s a commitment, and it will be time with the kids. And, although they don’t know it for sure, we’re working on them coming back with us for the final two weeks of their school vacation, and possibly a couple of their friends too.
We’ll be enjoying the outdoor life much more, given both the new environment (vacation complex) and the southern European coastal climate…
Task no. 1 is equipping two gyms, partially open air. We are informed that the equipment is now arriving!
Sunday is going to be a busy day. Four groups of people are basically telling us to clear our schedule! First, our very young trainees twins Stevie and Josh plus their friends Alvin and Bryce… all four doing handstand push-ups on a bar now, their bodies developing nicely in proportion to their age… we shall really miss them. Their training will continue with Leo and Jaymee under the supervision of Pete and Ivo and sometimes Zach too. The parents are coming with them to our cabin on Sunday morning and we fear some kind of emotional ceremony!
After lunch, we have been ‘ordered’ to attend the private gym, basically for the rest of the day. Our ‘morning pre-school training teens’ led by Leo are planning something, probably involving ‘beating us up’ – considering that this is a group of powerfully-built teen boys (eight of them including Jude’s new partner Korben) plus Jaymee and Karla, all comfortable ‘in their skin’ when training, this could be “interesting”.
When they’re done and have left, leaving just the ‘adult’ environment, apparently we are to be ‘initiated’ as life members following our 17 years of dedicated service” (!!) which will undoubtedly involve a lot of pain and a lot of “fun” – see the books for details of what these things involve! Maximum body contact, working out under stress to the point of exhaustion, nail beds without a doubt, maximum sweating…
When they’re done with us (and if we’ve survived the ‘hazing’), the entire Tuan Jie ‘band of brothers’ takes over – our eight close mates with whom we share our love around – plus Clare and Karen, the lovely lesbian mums of our two kids. Since those two have been working professionally as fakirs ever since we’ve known them, I think that more pain will be involved as well as the obvious gay pleasures. What’s for certain with all of the activity at the private gym is that a lot of sweaty effort will be involved, with every part of our bodies being worked to exhaustion!
…yep, wrestling is a sure way of sharing out the sweat, which is the currency of our sports. Required effort = very sweaty chests and backs!
I begin to suspect that we shall be ‘dead on arrival’ at the new place after spending our last day enduring the physical onslaught of so many excellent friends and colleagues. Definitely a ‘bleary’ arrival, with sleep never guaranteed on planes…
…two flights to get to Lisbon and then a slow train journey involving two trains. Not exactly looking forward to that!
It is going to be fun to see our own gym designs come to life, of course. And one idea we had for another part of the complex – the ‘family’ pool – is going to be taken up… a ‘slack line’…
…huge fun trying to balance on it, walk along and, of course, fall off!
It’s quite scary actually just how much notice the organisation seems to be taking of our inputs – just keeping our fingers crossed now that we don’t screw up!
And meanwhile, some more random fitness inspiration for you: