A while back, I posted a video on my social media with the caption “Moments from the Geriatric Gymnast.” It’s a compilation of some of the fun flippy stuff I do, set over an existing motivational audio that I found to be inspiring. The text of the audio follows:
This is a really important one, cause people have this idea that somehow, I’m 30 years old, I shouldn’t be doing this anymore; I’m 50 years old, I should have learned by now. That’s all bullsh*t – throw that away. Toss that aside. These ideas of numbers that people have in their head that by a certain age you should…. STOP. You are alive. And it you’re alive, and you’re thinking, all those numbers that you keep attaching… ‘You know when Einstein was thirty…’ shut the F— up – stop doing that. That is a waste of your time. And stop saying to yourself I should be better by now.Instagram shared audio
The audio really resonated with me, in light of the head games that being an adult gymnast provides. Not that I need permission to do what I want, but there is a latent stigma against people doing gymnastic activities once you leave your adolescence. I picked it up for the first time at 36 and have been training consistently for over 15 years (I’m 51 now), and I STILL get qualms when I talk about being an adult gymnast. It’s like I’m not supposed to call myself that because at my age, I shouldn’t be tempting fate or something.
Anyway, I posted my reel on all the socials I have, including the two Instagram profiles I maintain. For the most part, it’s gotten anywhere between 200 and 900 views, depending on where you go. But on one of them, the thing blew up. At the time of this blog post, it was almost at 100K views. That doesn’t happen to me every day.
While that is very nice, something about it has resonated with people, which is ultimately most important to me. I have gotten so many comments (you can read them in the link below) and messages talking about how inspiring it was, how they needed to see this, how they want to start training themselves.
This is just one example of many messages I’ve gotten over the past few weeks. It energizes me to know that this thing that I do for fun really inspires other people. No matter what doubts might crop up, messages like this are a reminder that what I’m doing is special, is out of the ordinary, and can help others to discover new pathways for themselves.
The sad truth is how many adults would love to start their gymnastics journey, only to find that there isn’t a gym near them that will take on the liability of teaching adults. I suppose that if anything, sharing my experience can open some people’s eyes so that they might start to inquire and implore gym owners to consider allowing adults to train. I joined a Facebook group called “Like fine wine…adult gymnastics group” and there are literally over 10.2K people in the group; and it’s still growing!
It’s time for adults, grown children that we are, to find our adult playgrounds.
In this Geriatric Gymnastics blog, I talk about so many different aspects of being an adult gymnast: building courage, overcoming fear, training in an older body, dealing with failure, building community. I also interview some of my close gym-rat-adult-cult friends and hear their perspectives about their journey as gymnasts and coaches. My YouTube channel called The Geriatric Gymnast is where all the video content is posted.
I hope that any adult looking to explore their inner Olympian can find a place to realize their childhood dreams. My goal is to help encourage them to take the leap.
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