Chantelle is the first established gymnast I visit and she is eager to show me her skills.
PK: Bit of a silly question for a gymnast but you must be very flexible.
Chantelle: Indeed. I stretch everyday to get my body used to these positions. It’s crucial for keeping supple.
PK: Right. I’ve heard gymnastic routines can be hard on the body.
Chantelle: Yes but the more flexible you are the better your body is able to handle it.
PK: Is gymnastics fun though or more of a chore – just to keep you body flexible?
Chantelle: Oh gymnastics is great fun. One of my favourite moves is what I like to call the crab.
[Lying back on the soft mat, she inverts herself.]
PK: Wow. How long can you walk around like that for?
Chantelle: I don’t know actually. A good couple of minutes at least. It’s funny viewing the whole world upside down!
Thanking Chantelle, I move onto a trio of friends who always exercise together.
Angel, Kiara & Sammie
The three friends tell me that working out as a group helps with their motivation as if one isn’t feeling up to it, the other two will spur her on. As was typical, the girls said they always start out their routines with stretching.
The girls detail that each one supervises the other to make sure they are all performing the stretches correctly so there is no risk of any of them injuring themselves. They explain that communication is very important and that they feel great knowing they are all individually looking after the welfare of their fellow fitness friends.
All three move on to a more difficult stretch. Lying on their backs they proceed to raise their legs completely flipping them over their bodies.
Being concerned that I couldn’t see them clearing, they asked me to move closer so that I could get an accurate view of what they were doing for the special web newsletter.
I mention Chantelle who I interviewed before them and ask them about her crab move. They are eager to show that Chantelle isn’t the only girl who can perform that special move.
Kelsi is more into yoga as a means of keeping fit.
Kelsi: With yoga, the activities may not look very strenuous but they require inner core strength and poise. Yoga is a great way to tone your body and get you fit. Look at this difficult move for instance.
PK: You’re right. I can see that requires quite some upper body strength. I couldn’t do that. It looks exhausting. I’ve asked some of the girls interviewed so far about the fun aspect of their workout routines. Can yoga be fun also?
Kelsi: You can make it fun. I like to combine it with gymnastics.
[Kelsi leads me to another area that was more like a gym but had cloth hanging down from the ceiling. She decides to put on half a gym kit and explains why:]
Kelsi: Just wearing the top part as gravity can play havoc with my boobs. It will make sense in a minute when I show you all sorts of things I can do with this!
[Placing a leg in different cloth sections that were hanging from the ceiling, she does the splits in mid air.]
PK: That’s impressive!
Kelsi: Yeah and very fun. I feel like I’m flying sometimes doing this. Best of all I can do so many different things!
[While still in the air she manoeuvres about without touching the ground into a new position.]
PK: That’s fantastic! I’ve not seen this before.
Kelsi: I haven’t shown many people. I sometimes get a lot of boys suddenly queuing up to use some of the other equipment in here while I’m here using this apparatus. They can be a distraction as they are always offering to help. Sometimes they hold on to my butt to steady me while I’m swinging.
PK: Maybe they’re concerned that you are going to fall.
Kelsi: Yeah maybe. I guess it could be alarming for them when I suddenly change position… like this…
[Kelsi seems to just spin around in the air, again not touching the ground and is now sort of hanging upside down.]
PK: Wow! To be honest, I did think you were going to fall just then.
Kelsi: Yeah. That must be it then. The boys always try to stand really close to me when I’m in this position. I guess they are worried. Well now that I know that, I will not take offense anymore if a boy suddenly grabs my butt while in positions like this as I know they are only trying to help.
Glad that I could help Kelsi come to her revelation, I made a stop at my last appointment – the girls’ gym class.