So, this evening after at least twelve years--maybe 15 of not having done a cartwheel or round-off I decided to try my hand at them again. I had a good reason for trying. Carly needs help advancing in her gymnastics class. In order to advance you have to be able to do both a cartwheel and a round off.
Jono is built like a gymnast and that makes it easy for him to learn and do nearly everything they teach him. He was able to advance to the next class without problem. Carly did well at most things but hasn't quite gotten her cartwheels to the stage where they want them to be. And she is still struggling to perfect her round-offs, as well.
I decided that since I used to be really good at both I could help her. So, after dinner tonight we went out back and started cart-wheeling. I quickly found out my arm strength wasn't what it used to be and landed unceremoniously (and uncomfortably) on my bottom a few times. I got to the point after several times that I was afraid to try again. I mean, really afraid to try. I would hold my arms up and try to go forward and couldn't make myself move. Literally!
Jono would come over and tell me my arms weren't quite straight enough or Carly would tell me to adjust my body differently -- obviously, they've been listening to their teachers. Still, I couldn't make myself move. Then, I'm not sure if I saw one of the kids do a cartwheel the opposite direction or if it just occurred to me to try but all of the sudden I wondered if I was trying to do with my right arm when I should be using my left. I am right handed but I wondered if maybe on cartwheels I had always started off left-footed and left-handed for some reason. I figured it was worth a try.
BINGO! That was the problem. I can't make sense of it because I'm not left-handed/sided for anything else I can think of. It seems like being right-handed that my right side would be the strongest but when I came down on my right side in a cartwheel tonight it would give way like I had never used it that way before. When I did the cartwheel left handed it felt natural and I could do the cartwheel and the round off. Now, I wasn't perfect after that many years not doing them, and I did have to practice a few times to get it right, but I was able to do well enough to help Carly start doing hers better. There will definitely be more practicing for both of us!
Not too shabby for a chick in her 50's eh? :p