On my first return to Barbados back in 2012 my friend Ryan introduced me to Shane De Freitas and the local adult gymnastics class. For the full flash back of those days see the post called Calories… Love to consume them, love to burn em!
Google Shanes name and what will most likely pop up is his participation in the 1996 Olympics back in Atlanta Georgia as the only gymnasts representing Barbados. Along side that, you’ll read of his success with Bimflip Gymnastics and his link with Power Monkey Fitness amongst other accomplishments.
World, meet Shane De Freitas.
Putting all that boring stuff aside (said with sarcasm) this post is about his phenomenal students and our current Tues/Thurs class that more than likely keeps him grounded… or slightly insane. Either way, the photos taken by the incredible Mark Harris will hopefully give you a broad idea of our quirky class!
First task as always, warm up! Some of you may or may not understand the concept of stretching and its necessity to the body, especially with age. Your hamstrings will thank you tomorrow.
Ryan clearly enjoys this stretch. Maybe it’s a hurt so good kind of thing?For the majority of the hour and a half we do random drills according to the events that are desired by the students. Considering we have a huge range of level, it’s always fun to see the variety of skill ability. Since this post isn’t geared towards the sport itself rather just to show how we like to spend our evening, I’ll let the photos do the most the talking.
More often than not, you’ll find us upside down… my happy place.
Yes, we even brave the bars as most adults would be like, “You want me up where? Doing what?!” Shy away from the beam? Nah. Or in Dani’s case, beams. She jumps all three in a row! Out. Of. Her. Mind!Bars, beams and rings… Oh my! Remove the floor, bars, beam, ropes, mats and you’re left with… Air! Our class loves to take flight. I seem to have a mental block that suggests I have weights tied to my feet. Notice I handstand around the world… There’s no elevating involved. Take notice this is a double rotation to a foot landing! I can barely sort out where I am when I roll out of bed. I wonder what caught her so funny mid flight. Gotta love a happy gymnast! I’ll end it with a few photos of us having a miserable experience in this self induced torture of a time.
If you have any excuses for not doing gymnastics, please see the following who have proven otherwise:
“I’m too tall” – Andrew, Martin and Max… All over 6ft 🙂
“You know I just surf, right?” – says Jessica while in her full splits!
“I have a bad knee.” – determination and dedication shown by Abby in a brace.
“I was just a child last time I did it.” – welcome back Ysabelle, Heather, Andy and Melissa!
“I can barely even touch my toes” – …but I can flip, jump, swing and twist like a champ, proves Ryan.
“I’ve never done it before” – most improved with a smile goes to Dani.
“I just had a baby” – watch a press to handstand by new mom Michelle!
“…but I’m a ballerina.” – clearly it helps sweet Lara!
“I only taught the sport, doesn’t mean I can actually do the skills” – till I (me) actually tried!
“Sure I’m the only Bajan Olympic Gymnast, 4 time world championship competitor, 2 time ranking All American and I have a skill named after me… But that was like, 15/20 years ago” – says Shane as he pulls a double front out of nowhere!
Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.