Lockdown as an elite gymnast during weeks 8-18. Now after 4 months it’s back to the gym!

Hello. It’s been eleven weeks since my last blog and now a total of 18 weeks in lockdown! I can’t really believe it. During this time I have done so much running, cycling and hours and hours of conditioning every day, daily challenges and lots of online school work. I’ve been so busy everyday. I feel fit and strong, and so excited to be getting back in the gym to do ACTUAL gymnastics after four months. But I need to take it slowly as I don’t want an injury and I think it might be a bit difficult and take time to get my skills back. I think the beam with look very high! I will stay positive and motivated. โ˜บ

During four months of lockdown I have:

Cycled 170 miles ๐Ÿšด, Run 150 miles ๐Ÿƒ, done about 90 daily challenges, held a Handstand Hold (without moving) on camera for 2 mins and completed 10 Straddle Levers (without coming down) on camera ๐Ÿ’ช. I am proud of what I have achieved in this strange time.

I have made a poster collage of my memories during lockdown.

I have four key words – Patience, Determination, Positivity and Family.

Here’s some of my activities and thoughts during the last eleven weeks of lockdown.

Week 8

Weds 13th May. The Government eased lockdown a bit, and so now we can drive to the beach. Yay!

My sister and I learnt the routine set by Nicole artistry, the Quatro dance, in our garden, which was fun to do together. It took us about an hour.

One of my daily challenges was leg holds on the bar, which I did for almost 1 min.

My Dad through work entered into a ballot and we won some special tickets to go to a picnic in the garden at Buckingham Palace, but because of the coronavirus it was cancelled. It was such a shame. I might have met the Queen!

More cardio! Run, run, run…

Week 9

I am starting to get a bit fed up as the coronavirus situation seems to be getting worse and I want to get out of this. ‘I’m a gymnast get me out of here!’ I don’t want time off gymnastics. It’s frustrating and going on so long. I don’t want it to be like this until Christmas.

Mon 18th May – my sister Bella’s birthday. We went to the beach!

Weds. I did such a fun daily challenge today! My Dad and I made up a pairs routine dance, and my sister helped too. It made me laugh so much ๐Ÿ˜‚. It is good! โ™ฅ

Another daily challenge this week was one at a time calf raisers over a step. I did 108. Ouch, it killed.

I had some zoom sessions with my gym friends.

I am learning to skateboard! It’s really good for my balance and it’s exciting and fun.

Week 10 – Half Term

Monday was bank holiday and it was very sunny and hot, so we went to the beach for tea and a swim. My daily challenge was squat trusts leg lifts and chins.

Tuesday. Today the challenge was to create perspective gym photos. This was cool.

This week we have cycled in the countryside a lot! I am so glad that I get to do this with all my family.

My sister and I are logging all our runs for the Devon School Games (Virtual School Games) and we want to reach at least 40 miles in 4 weeks. Because of our ages, Bella would get a Gold certificate and I would get a Bronze. I am doing hours of hard conditioning too, so I don’t need to run any more than that!!!

Saturday. It was a gorgeous day today and we got up really early and went to the beach with our breakfast and lunch. It was so quiet and the sea was really blue and calm. We went in the sea and played games, and it was so nice.

Today I was finding my challenges really hard. I have a target to reach but I am frustrated as I can’t beat my score. I just can’t do it at the moment. I need to try again tomorrow.

Sunday. I tried again with my handstand hold and managed 1min 57s. That’s not bad! I find that I need to count the time in my head and not look at the timer as it gives me something to do and think about in order to pass the time. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Week 11

The postman came and I received a certificate in the post! It was such a surprise. Thank you Falcons. ‘ Cardio Queen’

I had to create a poem all about gymnastics. I quite liked doing this. Here’s me speaking my poem.

I was feeling a bit sick one day this week, but I still did my daily challenge!

Saturday 6th June – This afternoon my Mum, my sister and I did some ballet together. It was really nice. We learnt Nicolesartistry’s challenge routine. Nicole posted our routine on her Instagram.

I also did some yoga balances with my sister.

Each weekend I am doing conditioning testing and trying to beat my point scores each week if I can. I am challenging myself to try to!

The testing involves straddle levers, handstand hold, sit ups, chin ups, leg dips, upper body and lower body and leg lifts. The bars we made in the garden are so useful!

Week 12

Every week I am taking a picture of my splits and all my leaps, to see if I can improve.

My knees are a bit sore, as I think my quads are tight. I need some massage! Mum will massage me, and I have also bought a massage gun, which is really useful to keep my body well.

For one of the daily challenges I had to hold a handstand on the floor bar. I did 10s. Another challenge was tuck lifts.

Another was handstand walks in the room. I walked for over 1 minute.

I think it’s going to be a bit scary back in the gym trying to get my skills again. I know it’s important to do conditioning but I want to do more than conditioning now. I want my gymnastics skills. I want to get the feelings that I used to feel doing them again! I want to see my friends. I miss hugs. I just have to keep myself busy doing fitness and making up lots of dance routines. At least my family can give me big hugs.

I have so much school work to do. Sometimes I am working late at night to get it all done. I always finish everything I am set as my education is very important to me.

Sunday. To cheer me up we went on another really long family countryside cycle ride, which was really really great. We even bought some yummy strawberries along the way. They were perfect. I LOVE strawberries. I would have strawberries instead of sweets!

Week 13

The #DevonVirtualGames running event has finished now. Bella and I completed 40 miles of running in 4 weeks. I got a bronze certificate.

It was my brother’s birthday on Tuesday, so we had a fun day.

I achieved my 10 straddle levers on camera again! Yay! Whoop whoop.

One daily challenge was to get from my knees to a pistol squat. It was hard!

On Thursday 18 June, I joined in with a dance workshop on Zoom with Danuisa Francis. She represents Jamaica at international gymnastic competitions.

Afterwards I taught the routine to my sister.

This week I did some more acro skills on the low beam and did my flic tucks, free walkovers and free cartwheels. I was really pleased. I met up with my gym friends in their garden and we created a conditioning exercise to music.

On Sunday we did a crazy 11 mile family bike ride. The hills were so steep! It was tough work! We saw some ash trees like this one. Mum told me about the Ash die back disease that is killing ash trees. It’s sad. We got back home really late.

Week 14

The weather has been so hot, 30 degrees, but we still keep running and cycling!

Saturday was International Handstand Day. Here are two of the photos that professional photographer Jim Wileman took of me during lockdown. We did socially distance!

The conditioning testing is getting so difficult to beat my scores now, but I keep trying!

I am getting a bit bored of online school work now and not being in the gym.

One of the daily challenges was as many tuck backs in 30s.

Week 15, 29 June -5 July

My photo and a short article about me is in DevonLife magazine! The editor phoned us up and Jim Wileman took some photos. It was good fun doing the photoshoot outside. I had to be brave and balance high up on wobbling logs.

Jim took lots of pictures. Here are a few more.

Three of my daily challenges were ‘d’ roll (I nearly did it!) and frog hold.

Another challenge combination was this. It was too wet and slippery outside so I had to make something inside!

I did my handstand hold for 2 minutes. Yes! It is not the best I have ever done (that is 2 mins 20 secs) but this makes me happy as it’s good.

I felt my conditioning testing went better this weekend. I felt stronger and quicker.

We have been painting and sorting out things at home. Mum found an old diary of mine that I wrote during the summer holidays in 2012. It was so amazing to find this page…31 August 2012, the day the new Falcons gym opened. I was 5 years old! I loved seeing this. Oh my days, I actually look cute! haha.

Week 16

I held my arms out with weights as long as I could for a challenge this week. It killed but I managed over 5 minutes. ๐Ÿ’ช

It was rainy on Wednesday, so we took gymnastics photos in the garden in the rain for the daily challenge. Here are a couple.

Thursday – Oh my days! The Government announced that gyms could reopen on 25th July!!!! Yay!!! I feel so happy to be going back into the gym. I am a bit nervous, and it will feel different and weird, but it is going to be so great.

I did planks in abnormal places.

Sat 11 July. I met up with my gym friends on the beach and we exercised and had fun. It was one of the best days.

Sadly there has been the news in the media about abuse and cruel treatments of gymnasts by coaches. There are many famous gymnasts that have come forward about physical and mental abuse. British Gymnastics are going to get an independent review. It is upsetting and sad that this has happened.

Week 17

The Final Countdown (I really like that song! da da da da, da da da da da) to the gym reopening on 25th July. There are zoom sessions and things for us to know and to do before we can go back in. We all have to be prepared.

I did more of my acro skills on the low beam again this week – free cartwheel, free walkover, flic tuck. It felt scary but I did them again!

More long cycle rides and runs as normal! Bella did some more conditioning training with me.

Sunday – I had so much school work to do today. I can’t wait for school to finish on Tuesday. It took me 4 hours, then I could go and run as my reward! So, I went to say ‘hello’ to the outside of my Falcons gym. โ˜บ

Week 18

For school we had to complete a really long review of lockdown for all the subjects. It was an evaluation of the whole term. I had to try and think of everything we’d done, what I had completed well and what topics were tricky. I also had to say how I’d found my lockdown experience and what I’d achieved or learnt.

I did more flic tucks, free cartwheels and free walkovers on the low beam. Hooray!

On Thursday I had an ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ ENGLAND WAG SQUAD Zoom Training Session. It was about Motivation and the person taking the session was a Psychologist from the English Institute of Sport. I think I am already really motivated but we talked about several concepts. We are going to have several other England sessions. It was good to be involved and to see gymnasts and coaches.

On Friday I played outdoor games with a few of my gym friends, and it was so nice to feel a bit more like normal.

I have been getting my gym kit ready to return to Falcons, cleaning it and sorting it and putting it in my new bag.

I’ve been thinking about songs I’ve listened to over this lockdown. I loved the Queen song, ‘Flash’, that Dad and I danced to. It was so funny. But I think the song that reminds me of the whole of lockdown the most is ‘Blinding Lights’ by the Weeknd. It was been on ALL the time, and we’ve done conditioning to it, dances to it, cooked with it on!

We watched a TV programme about Britain’s Best Olympics Moments, as it should have been the Toyko 2020 Olympics. It was so inspiring to see these athletes, and their dreams come true. When I was watching it there were other sports that really interested me and inspired me so much – rowing and athletics.

Never lose sight of your dreams. I never will.

Thank you for reading my blog, and supporting me on my gymnastics journey. (I am going to go to gym tomorrow!!!)

Fliss x

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