Need More Power!

The weather has  been pretty weird lately.  We had a pretty strong typhoon last week, and the news even reported that a tornado touched down in our area.  The winds were very strong, to the point where we had to close the steel shutters on our windows because there were hard objects starting to hit them.  Luckily nothing important broke.   One of the railing from our wooden deck came loose and broke in half, but it was no big deal.

Last week, I started doing the Atkins diet.  I’ m not horribly overweight or anything, but I did gain about 10 pounds in the last few months, which is not too big of a deal.  The main reason why I started this diet is so that I can lose the 10+ extra pounds so that I can do do some weight training.    I want to be able to get into better shape so that I can demonstrate how to do proper cartwheels and round offs to Haru.   Although there is no way I can do round off  in my present physical state, I can still do cartwheels.  However, I feel very heavy, slow, and off center when I do them, so I want trim down a bit and gain some strength in  my arms so that I can get it right.

The diet so far has been…well let’s just say its been difficult.  After seven days of being very faithful, and strictly eating less that 20 grams of carbohydrates per day as suggested by the program, I have lost a grand total of 3 lbs (as of yesterday morning).  When I checked my weight this morning, I had gained one pound back.  Of course, the one pound gain means nothing and could be just water weight.  I am trying hard not to let it discourage me, but admittedly it was very discouraging considering the amount of effort that I have been putting into this thing.

Last Saturday, I cooked myself a low carb breakfast.  I calculated it to about 2 grams of carbohydrates total.  By comparison, a proper breakfast should be about 50 to 75 grams of carbohydrates (cereal, bread or rice, milk, and some intake of sugar).  So there wasn’t much source of energy there.  Haru, as always, wanted what I was eating, so without realizing that there wasn’t enough carbs for her, I pretty much gave her what I was having (bacon, eggs, cheese, cherry tomatoes, and lettuce)…doesn’t sound too bad on the surface, but it’s hardly a power breakfast by any means, especially for a 4 year old who’s about to do a power hungry sport like gymnastics.

We took her to her gymnastics class earlier than usual so that she had some time to practice. I coaxed her into practicing  her rolls and cartwheels.  She wasn’t able to nail any of her landings and seemed to be easily distracted.  She wasn’t able to concentrated on what she was doing, and seemed to be very sluggish.  Right away, I realized that the low carb breakfast was affecting her performance.  I even spotted her yawning and rubbing her eyes during class which she never did before.  I wanted desperately to run out and buy a candy bar for her but her class had already started.

Aside from being bit sluggish and lacking focus throughout practice,  Haru  was able to finish practice without any problems.  She was still able to nail some of cartwheel although they looked to be a bit off balance.  From this experience and my experience from that week, I learned the what you eat is very important, and does affect your performance throughout the day.  Although I don’t need much carbs in my diet, Haru needs plenty, otherwise she runs like a car running out of gas.  Next Saturday, she’ll definitely will be getting an energy pack breakfast before practice to make sure she can concentrate and perform well.



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Turning Cartwheels

Haruka’s progressing well  in her gymnastics class. She does particularly well with the vault horse.   I know that a lot of elementary school aged and older kids have a hard time with the vault, so I find that being able to clear 5+ levels to pretty impressive, especially for a four year old.

But what I found to be even more impressive is that she can now turn a cartwheel.  It’s not spectacular, nor is she going to win any awards but its still very impressive none-the-less.  I remember that I always had a hard time with cartwheels when I was a kid.  I think I was in jr. high school by the time I was able to do one, and only one or two other kids in my P.E. class were able to them at all.

I’m not sure what prompted her to want to do a cartwheel.  A couple of weeks ago, her class had a lesson on cartwheels, but no one was able to actually do one.  It was basically a lesson on technique and nothing more.  Shortly afterward, I demonstrated how to do a real cartwheel, and surprisingly after that, she was able to do one on her own.  Of course, it took many attempts, and she is still far from perfect, but still pretty good.

Finally, after several weeks of raising her hand in class to be chosen to demonstrate a bridge to everyone in front of the class, she was finally chosen.  Amazingly, she did a perfect bridge.



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