Thursday, September 9, 2010

Watch Her Fly!

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I've talked a few times about how Mister Man does Tae Kwon Do - including class tonight, for that matter. He isn't my only child involved in an activity though. Little Miss loves to be active, too.

She's my gymnastics girl. She's incredibly strong through her core, and she has no fear (as long as she feels like she's in control). When going to open gym, she figured out how to do a flip into the foam pit. Needless to say, she's enrolled in an organized class now so she can learn to do these things - preferably without killing herself.

The gym we go to does flexible sessions during the summer, so you sign up for a number of classes and then just drop in whenever works for you. When I went to sign her up halfway through summer (she was in summer school and not able to do the classes before then, I promise!), they suggested we enroll her in the five year old and up class even though she wasn't quite five to keep her challenged.

To say she loved it would be a bit of an understatement. She was so proud that she was in a class that now required her to wear a ponytail and a leotard instead of the more flexible little kid class she was in before. With the drop in classes, we never knew how many people would be with her, but we quickly discovered that Monday nights was the class to attend.

The first week, Little Miss had one other girl with her. After that, it was always her solo with two available instructors. A one on one class where she got all the attention? My little peanut was in heaven.

I finally brought my camera one Monday to take pictures of her, and after the first few minutes, the instructor invited me out onto the floor with them so I could take close up photos (my not fancy camera doesn't do florescent lights and distances well - Nikon D3000 is on my birthday/Christmas wish list!).

She loved practicing her skills, and by the end of the summer, she's getting close to moving up to the next level.

She can do handstands, although she still needs to work on coming down from her handstand one leg at a time instead of bringing them both down together.

Her cartwheels have improved so much from the half jumps they used to be, although again, she needs to work on having her hands and feet land one at a time instead of clomping down - but she'll get there.

The beam is probably her best piece of equipment right now. She's learned to walk forwards and backwards with proper form, as well as jumping and landing on the beam in both big and little hops. She's working on a cartwheel on the beam (with the instructor), which is something she'll need in future levels.

She's also a fan of the bars, although she prefers to do her monkey swing. The teachers have finally gotten her to instead do the proper skills, including kipping and starting to do rolls on it - with their help.

The skill on bars that was hardest for her was holding herself with her chin to the bar for three seconds. Apparently even with all her strength, arms and shoulders weren't her - ahem - strong point. Over the course of the summer, she built up enough strength to do that, as well.

She's also perfected the forward roll - something she's been working on since she was probably 18 months old. The backwards roll was much harder for her, and it wasn't until this summer that she really figured it out. I'm exhausted just watching her!

But my favorite part is seeing her in her cute little leotard standing proudly with her arms in her air and a huge smile on her face - showing that once again she finished a trick!


Tara R. September 9, 2010 at 4:00 PM  

I give her a big 10! Just looking at those photos tired me out.

septembermom September 9, 2010 at 6:53 PM  

Awesome!! She looks so cute and professional doing her exercises. Jillian loves her outfit :)

Patty@NYC Girl at Heart September 11, 2010 at 7:58 PM  

Wow! I'm impressed! As a kid I was always scared of gymnastic when we had to do it in gym class. Bravo Little Miss!

Patty@NYC Girl at Heart September 11, 2010 at 7:58 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle September 12, 2010 at 8:57 PM  

Tara - You aren't the only one. When she had her solo classes where she was moving nonstop, they ended them 10 minutes early because she was so exhausted. And sweaty.

Kelly - Yeah, she loves that leotard, too. Go fig :)

Patty - I always loved gymnastics, although I didn't do it long. I'm amazed at what she can do - and she is ALWAYS practicing her handstands and cartwheels now. I love that SHE loves it.

Pat September 13, 2010 at 3:48 PM  

What a cute and strong little athlete! The activities your kids are in are great for keeping fit, becoming disciplined, persevering, developing self-confidence, and lots more things, I'm sure! Bravo, Little Miss and mama Michelle.

Michelle October 1, 2010 at 8:01 PM  

Pat - Those are the traits I'm hoping they develop from them, but we'll see how that works. I do love seeing her do it though; she practices at home all the time.

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