Summer Somersaults

When I was a child, my sense of balance was pretty good, and I was (still am) pretty limber.  So there was a brief period of time where I took gymnastics, and not toot my own horn or anything, but I was pretty good at it.

On top of this, I was the second best gymnast in my 7th grade physical education class.  I was second only to a girl who was “junior Olympics” material and who had actually met Mary Lou Retton.  And not to toot my horn again, but I was better than her at most things except she got more points for being able to the aerial stunts better than me.

Lately, Haruka has shown an aptitude for being a gymnast.  She’s got very good upper body strength (for her age of course), she loves climbing on things, totally oblivious to heights, fearless, and pretty limber, which are all ingredients that make for a good gymnast.

The other night, we were watching a TV program featuring a private pre-school in Kagoshima prefecture, that teaches a somewhat unconventional, yet advanced curriculum to 2 to 3 year olds.  Part of the curriculum consisted of gymnastic-like activities.  They showed children, who are only a year or two years older than Haruka, doing really hard core gymnastic stunts like round offs, one-handed round offs, and no handed round off, not to mention other gymnastic stunts that even the hardest core gymnasts have a hard time doing.  It was nothing short of amazing, because most of these children were only 3 or 4 years old.

Haruka, being the impressionable kid that she is, was also watching this, and was amazed by it as well.  As a matter of fact, she was so amazed by this, she decided that she’d attempt to do some of the stunts for herself.  She immediately got into a somersault (or more of a head roll -since she’s touching her head) starting position, and tried to roll over, but of course being that this was her first attempt ever, and the fact that she’s only 18 months old, she wasn’t too successful.  But being tenacious as she is, she didn’t give up.  So she tried it over and over and over and over and over again.  She did it so many times, that she was actually starting to get the hang of it, so my wife and I encouraged her.

Since that evening she seems want to do somersaults whenever and wherever.  Apparently, she even attenpted to do one outside on top of concrete.  So maybe this is the avenue she should pursue.  Afterall it is something I can teach and demonstrate (to a certain degree) so it may be something that she might be able to get into.


playing with bubbles with her friend Anri


in the middle of toilet training

sharing a tomato with the dogs

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