Time goes so fast !! It is already the last week of my one month in the USA!
Last week we had Thanksgiving, a very fun day. It was cozy with all the people, and the Turkey was very delicious;) The girls from the gym had another two days off, because of the Holiday season. I wanted to continue my training, to keep my rhythm and fitness. In addition to my training in Wildfire, I had a good run, I went to 24hour Fitness and I did Hot Yoga.
On Monday the regular training schedule began for the whole group again. Since my competition season is over now, I have time for things to improve, especially I want to use this time to improve my physical ability. So a lot of my training is about working on my physical condition and fitness. I decided to go for a morning work-out as extra this week, to get in a good shape.
In the afternoon there is one long training session from 15:30 till 20:00.
I made a schedule that I went to gym two mornings in a row, and then one morning to Hot Yoga. I've gotten a free pass to the gym, so I'm training hard with Matt almost every morning. I do a lot of variety exercises for my arms and abdominals and also my regular leg-program, from my physical coach (Ton Leenders). After one and half week of working extra hard on my strength, I can really feel the difference already! At the fitness gym there is also a pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. Super nice! After having worked so hard, I can really relax there. Lovely to drive home and be fresh and ready for the day. Hot Yoga is also much fun, it's more about stretching, balance and static strength. It is quite heavy and because the room is so hot, you sweat a lot. After one and a half hour class I can just wring out my clothes. At noon I'm doing something for school, or I'm going to go shopping. Then I go to the afternoon session to have my second work-out.
After this week I felt more in shape, so I decided to make some progress on the events as well. On bars I train parts of my routine, on beam I do full routines on the lower beam, and I'm working on my yurchenko's on vault. My body feels okay, except my wrists. In China I had torn a ligament in my wrist, and unfortunately it still hurts a lot. I can do my normal grip on bars, but I can't really turn on my wrists, so eagle-grip is still really painful. Sometimes I feel very frustrated about things when it takes too long to heal. Unfortunately it is what it is now, and I try to focus as much as possible on what else I can do. There's still plenty of work besides those elements!
For the rest I'm enjoying my time very much. I went to a sports bar to see an American Football game. We go to the movies, we go out to eat and go shopping. I wanted to make the people at home jealous about the lovely weather in California, but that was not possible last week! It has been raining hard for a few days! They could not even remember when the last time it rained. Fortunately, the weather is getting better these days and I hope I can get a little bit tanned before I return home!
Oh what I also like here is the Christmas feeling! There are lights and decorations everywhere for Christmas. Inside the big malls there are built special houses for Santa. It's amazing.
I won't be here at Christmas, but at least I can feel the coziness of this great season these daysJ
Hey Everyone! 24-11-2014
I have had a good first week here in LA! Let me start at the point where I ended last time: The first day (Wednesday) I went to the gym to see the new building of Wildfire. It is incredibly large and all new, very cool! The gym has a lower and upper floor, a kind of platform / stage. The team gymnasts, train particularly on the platform, except the floor, which is downstairs. They have a tumble track, tumbling track, and also a track that is the same as the floor. Additionally many trampolines and pits. They have everything to train for floor and vault. So it's very luxurious! In USA they train on AAI, I was already a little bit used to that, because I competed on those apparatus at the Worlds in China last month. Especially I like the bars, I would love to take them home with me:)
There are many different levels in the club Wildfire. From Level 3 till Level 10, and after that the girls are ready to proceed through a scholarship to one of the colleges in the USA. So they have mainly focus on college gymnastics instead of elite gymnastics. But that does not affect the ability of the girls. There are many girls with real talent, and it's cool to see how they are motivated to move up a level every time.
I remembered about half of the group from last time. The large group of level 10 is shifted to different colleges. And there is also added many little ones, there is so much talent around!
The first day I did a lot conditioning and stretching, to get in shape after a long trip and to get used to the gym. Also I had these days a little bit of a jetlag. Not really, but sometimes I was dizzy. It seemed wise to train not the difficulty, but to have good intensity of the work.
Thursday I ran in the morning, and in the afternoon I had training for 3 hours. On bars I do a lot of basic elements, to rebuild my bars ability. On beam I do a lot of balance programs and choregraphic exercises. Further I jumped on the tumble track and trampolines, to prepare for floor and vault.
We always have training from 15:30 to 18:30. After the training, I almost fell asleep in the car. It's dark very early here, so you have the feeling that it is very late if you drive back. I slept from 09:00 pm and woke up at 08:00 in the morning (!).
On friday I went shopping all morning together with Hayley and Wendy, and we had a nice lunch. After that we went straight to training. The girls start their rotations directly after 10 minutes warm-up. I do a lot more conditioning and stretching at the start of the training. Today I did only bars and beam, but I worked really hard. When the training was finished, I continued to finish a heavy circuit of conditioning. I always make all sorts of lists and programs, and make it as varied as possible. If I have something in my mind then I'll have to finish it, no matter what. After that hard work it is a good feeling when you drive back home and you've given everything that day. Tired but satisfied.
On saturday we had a morning practice and sunday was free. It was a wonderful day to relax and have fun. In the afternoon I drove to some places with Wendy. She helped me and showed me the way so that I soon can go to the gym whenever I want to. In the evening there was a coaches-meeting, I was allowed to be there as well. It was interesting to hear how everyone gave his input to improve Wildfire, and to let it all run smoothly in the two gyms.
This morning I got up at 05:00 am to go to a yoga class. Together with Hayley we did 1.5 hours Hot Yoga. We were all sweaty after that !! It was nice to be back at 08:00, and the feeling that you have a whole day ahead. It was a good start of a new week!
This was an impression of my first week!
This week I'm going to do more difficulty in training, and I'll also try some new elements here and there!
I will soon update again, with photos and videos! So keep in touch with this blog, news is coming soon!
I wish you all a great week!
First update from America! 19-11-2014
It was a good, but long flight, 9.5 hours to Chicago, then another 4.5 to Los Angeles.
I read a bit and slept, so it wasn’t too bad. Rick came to pick me up at LAX. He is the owner of Wildfire Gymnastics training center, and my “father” here in LA.
The last time I was here we had a great time, even with a busy training schedule, and the work involved in running the gym.
This time it will be even more crazy, since he has opened another new, even bigger training facility.
It is about an hour drive from the airport to their home, and it was great to see his wife Wendy & one of their daughters, Hayley, again. After a nice dinner, I went to my nice room, showered and slept straight through till 11:00am! I woke to beautiful weather, quite refreshed. I decided to go for a short run, but I forgot how tough it is to run in these hills! It really felt great to just get moving after such a long travel day. Later in the afternoon I went shopping with Wendy, and then on to the new gym for a a brief workout. It was so nice to see everyone again! Well, it is 9 hours earlier here, so for most of you it is almost a new day.