Hello. Thank you for reading my blog. Since the last time I posted, it’s been a strange start to the year as we have been in lockdown again (lockdown 3.0) due to Covid-19. It’s been ten weeks now. I’ve been trying to stay fit and as motivated and as positive as I can through the winter and while the dark nights have been here! Hopefully we are now looking to more sunshine outside and being back in the gym soon. I hope! Here’s my journey over the last ten weeks.
Monday 4 January 2021.
Boris, our Prime Minister, gave an announcement at 8pm. He announced to the country that we have to go into a national lockdown like the first one in March last year. We must stay at home, no school, online learning, only to go out to exercise and to get food. This will be until Feb half term, so that’s 6 weeks. But I think it will be until March. Oh dear, here we go again. It will be ok. We can keep going. On the bright side though, it’s easier for me to do some learning at home as with my hand in a plaster cast (due to my broken thumb) I can type so can use my laptop. At school I can’t write! I think we’ll be fine and work it out. I’m going to go for a run with Mum tomorrow morning before 9.30am and then do my online work. My favourite song is ‘Prisoner’ by Miley Cyrus and Dua Leper. I love this song. It seems appropriate for tonight’s announcements. 😂 Staying well and happy, and taking care of one another, is the most important thing.
Tues 5 Jan. It was the first day of full lockdown for the country this year. Mum, Bella and I went for a run at 8.45am to start the day! Jack decided to cycle, not run today. We did 40mins of hilly running, then school work and then conditioning with my friend online at 2.30pm.
Weds 6 Jan. It was zoom conditioning at 9.30am, then online schooling. We put some new desks up in the lounge as it’s warmer near the fire!
The rest of the week was more of the same! Running, school work, conditioning on zoom, my home workout program and dancing. My thumb was a bit sore.
Mon 11 Jan. I could do my zoom conditioning in our kitchen as we have put down a new floor. Our kitchen has a very high ceiling and is a bigger area so I can jump, leap, and skip without hitting the ceiling, and have a lot of space, yay!
Tues 12 Jan More conditioning program at home and more online school work.
Weds 13 Jan. I went back to the hospital today and the fracture clinic. They used a saw and cut off my plaster cast! Yay! It felt so weird. My thumb looks longer 😂 My hand is all yellow from the bruise. The doctor said it has healed and thinks it is aligned and he is happy. I am young and so I heal quickly. I just have to be careful for a couple of weeks and not put any pressure on it. I have to train my muscles again. I was looking at my thumb and willing it to move up when the doctor asked me to do it. It was slow but it worked! The skin is all dry and peeling. It’s great to be free! I am wanting to protect it and I just cannot wait to put it in the bath.
The Wifi hasn’t been that good this week, so it’s been a bit difficult with my online work and online conditioning!
Saturday – conditioning testing, I can’t do two of the jobs yet because of my thumb, and I can only do handstand holds on my elbows which is very difficult 😂. Another 4 mile hilly run in the countryside with Mum in the afternoon, which was muddy! We did 349 ft in elevation gain today, and tried to run at a quick pace.
Outside I am running as I can’t cycle quite yet because of my thumb. I am trying to run and do strength and conditioning as much as I can to fit around my online school work. I quite like being able to manage my own time.
Mon 18 January. It was a group zoom at 4.30pm today and I was so hot and sweaty, which I think is good! It’s quite busy in our house as my sister or my Mum are doing dance and acro zoom or online sessions in other rooms at the same time as me!
Tues. More workouts at home after all my online work. I did a good double crouch spin today. ☺
Weds. Work, work, work! Another really hot and sweaty zoom session.
It’s Joe Biden’s inauguration for US President and the first woman, Kamala Harris, as Vice President today.
Thursday and Friday – More zoom sessions for bars, and strength and conditioning, home programs, and even more sweat! I received a nice certificate today about working hard.
I’ve been communicating with my friend in Brazil whose an elite gymnast like me. She’s 15 and still able to train with a mask on. She always does online schooling, as she doesn’t have time to go to school due to gymnastics training. I really hope to meet her one day, maybe at a competition! The World Championships or the Olympics?!
Saturday. After a run, I tried to do my conditioning testing and I got better results this week!
2.30pm – I learnt a dance routine with Nicole Artistry on Instagram live. Mum and I did it together while Bella was doing her other dance classes. ☺
Sunday I recorded Nicole’s dance and received a Falcons house point for my team, yay.
In lockdown we have been trying out some new healthy food recipes, which has been fun, and it keeps meal times interesting! We are actually able to sit and eat as a family due to lockdown.
Monday 25 January
We were able to do a family run and cycle, as my Dad had a day off today. All five of us plus Dash. It was the first time cycling since I broke my thumb. I thought I would actually be able to hold on to the handle bars today! It was sunny, very cold and beautiful but very icy and slippery in places. So only a slow hilly route today. It was just good to get out, and be back on my bike.
I had very hot and sweaty legs doing my zoom conditioning for an hour and half today.
The rest of the week’s zoom sessions were hard work and it was good to have some different ones including HIIT. I am working so hard at strength and conditioning every day. My school working is still online with a live tutor time each week.
It’s so sad that there have been over 100,000 deaths nationally from Covid now.
We’ve been receiving some England Squad emails, as they are planning more zoom activity sessions soon.
At the weekend it was more conditioning testing, and I am improving every week! 💪 . I’ve managed more running, lots of walks and workouts, plus lots of dancing and choreographing dances with my sister. ☺ 🎶 We love choreographing together. Our Aunty Helen gave us a challenge this week, to her favourite song ‘Levitating’. My thumb is getting much better. Hopefully I can do proper handstand holds next week. ☺ I have to keep working very hard. This week I had to choose my GCSE options for school. Apart from being a gymnast, I want to be an interior designer, so I chose the subjects that would help me on my road.
It’s February! We made it through the first month. ☺
Mon 1st Feb. I had to have two vaccines (not Covid ones) at school this morning. One in each arm. I didn’t feel very well for the rest of the day and I couldn’t do my online school work 😔 I was just not feeling 100%.. I had to just sleep and laze on the sofa today.
Tues 2 Feb. I was the ‘Star of the week’ in English! The teacher said that my work online has been fantastic and high quality work, and that it showed that I had been putting a lot of effort into the work I had been producing. Yay! I have been trying!
Weds The zoom conditioning workout was really hard and sweaty work. I had my new adidas crop top and leggings on today. It’s the first time that crop tops and leggings have fit me properly! Adidas love.
It’s the World Gymnastics Championships next year 29 Oct – 6 Nov 2022. Max Whitlock and Beth Tweddle are ambassadors, and I really hope we can get tickets to watch some of the competition at Liverpool.
I also got awarded Geographer of the half term for the whole of Year 9 today, whoop whoop!
I received in the post this week a really lovely postcard from my coach Kelly, and some encouraging words.☺
It was good to do some beam work!
Saturday conditioning testing! I could do my chin ups and an actual handstand hold. I managed one minute, not my normal two minutes or so but that’s good on my hand I think.
In the afternoon, Mum and I did a more of a cross country run around the hilly lanes as I wanted to go through muddy woods and wet fields today. The sun was out which was nice! I can’t run everyday, because otherwise my knees hurt, but it’s good to run as much as can to keep my cardio up.
Sunday. I did some hill sprinting today in the cold.
Another week of online learning, hours and hours of gym conditioning zooms, home program workouts, conditioning testing, dancing with my sister. It has been bitterly cold this week. On my run on Thursday it felt like -6 degrees! It was so cold on my bars outside too!
Sunday. We went on another family run (Jack wanted to cycle instead). It was a very muddy four miles, and it felt like a good leg workout! We managed to see my friend at the end of her Falcons marathon challenge. It was milder today with a bit of drizzly rain and lots of mud. Did I say mud?! 😂
I improved on my conditioning testing scores from last week again and attempted my straddle levers (first time since breaking my thumb).
Half term week – so no school work to do!
WEEK 7 of lockdown
Mon 15 February. This week Falcons was running a zoom camp of activities. Today I did the HIIT zoom which was really hard work and had a burpee challenge. I was a sweaty mess at end. I did full pressups for each one of my burpees. I also had a flexibility session. I had two awards today (excellent zoom and burpees challenge).
At the end of the day I had an England Squad zoom. It was a lovely yoga session. It was so good to see my England friends again and to do something relaxing and mindful. It was a chance to breathe, go at a slower pace and do different types of stretches. It relaxed my mind and body. ☺ Parents could join in too, so Mum did.
Weds. I am always choreographing with my sister. This music and dance challenge was set by our Aunty Helen!
More zoom conditioning and flexibility, but we had a special guest coach, Marissa King, today! I had a few problems getting on to zoom, which was frustrating, but once I got there, it was great. Marissa Petra King (born 20 April 1991) is an English gymnast who represented Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, as well as the 2007 and 2009 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Marissa is the daughter of a British father and Thai mother and began gymnastics at age 8. During her elite career she trained at the Huntingdon Olympic Gymnastics Club and currently competes for the University of Florida Gators NCAA gymnastics team. In 2011, she became the NCAA National Champion on vault with a score of 9.875 as well as being an 11-time All American.
Thursday. More conditioning zooms.
We had a fun choreography zoom session with Danusia Francis today. I learnt this gentle lyrical routine.
Fri 19 Feb. It was a day of hard workouts – core and tabata – then we had a Falcons Gymnastics Family Movie Quiz zoom which was in fancy dress, and good fun!
To finish off the week we had another long family cycle and run (Mum and Dad ran so Dash could come too).
WEEK 8 of Lockdown 3.0
Monday 22 Feb. Boris gave another announcement today. Schools are going to be starting back on 8 March (so two more weeks of online learning at home). The gym can hopefully open on 12 April. ☺
It was a gorgeous sunny day so I could get the airtrack out in the garden again after my school online work! Yay. Then it was more zooms…
Tues After online work we had a beam work zoom. It felt so enjoyable doing just basic walkovers, split flics, free cartwheels, flic tucks etc on the beams in the kitchen. I felt like a gymnast again, and had a big smile on my face. We also worked on our kicks and holds for leaps. (I like the photos of me, and I can’t believe I got so much height on the beam before lockdowns.)
Weds 24th Feb Today I had live school lessons and online lessons then zoom conditioning and my home program. I used a lot of chalk for my handstands. It looked like the chalk monster had been! 😂
Thursday was just my home workout and a run, and on Friday was zoom conditioning as well.
Sat 27Feb – It is the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Olympic Trial #1 and Adam Tobin from Falcons is doing the Olympic trial!!!!! Good luck Adam, and coach Mike! It’s really exciting.
I’ve got Devon Squad training on zoom at 9.30am.
Sunday. It was a gorgeous sunny day!! Another 2 hours and 30 mins of hilly family bike riding with my brother, sister, Mum and Dad in the countryside from our house. The lanes were nice and quiet and I was determined to power up the hills! There were daffodils in the hedges and beautiful views. It was so lovely.
WEEK 9 of lockdown
This week was the last week of online learning. On Tuesday I had my Covid test at school. It wasn’t as bad as I thought and was really quick. Some of my gym conditioning zooms this week have been really hard work, and at one point I thought my head was going to explode! It’s been lovely doing beam work, spins and leaps, using my airtrack in the house and making a chalky floor opps!
I’ve been running and cycling and doing lots of school work. I actually felt tired on Thursday. Over lockdown my positives have been spending time with my family, and just having more time at home. These have all been very special to me. My Mum has received some lovely emails from my teachers about my work and my attitude, including this message from one of my teachers… ☺
‘I just wanted to say how impressed I have been with the way Felicity has worked through lockdown on her maths. It is not easy to study at home, and she has kept going and done everything I have asked her to do. ‘
On Saturday we had a specialist zoom session with Nicole Artistry doing leaps. I then went for another run (it was hilly as normal (!) with an elevation gain of 360 ft)
I could get the beams and airtrack out in the garden to train in the sun today, which made me happy.
WEEK 10 of lockdown
Back to school!!!! I feel excited and a bit nervous because we haven’t been there for ages.
It was good to be back today but I had to race home to get on my zoom conditioning sessions. I had my Falcons squad one and my England squad one on Monday 8th March. My England zoom wasn’t a physical one this time though, it was a psychologist talking about emotions and motivation and dealing with feelings and pressures. (I looked a bit hot after my normal training!)
This week I have had braces fitted on my top teeth. They feel a bit weird. I can’t eat my favourite seeded bread now, while my braces are on. There are some other foods I have to avoid too! I eat apples all the time, but now I have to cut them up! This week I’ve been doing running, dancing and my gymnastics zooms and workouts after school this week.
Kelly told us that they have announced that the postponed British Championships for Women’s Artistic Gymnastics will be 28/29 Nov at Guildford. Now I have a date on my calendar! I hope we can get back in the gym on 12 April, so that I can train to be ready for the British Comp. I have written down my goals and my thoughts about lockdown and how I’m feeling about my return to training.
My teeth are hurting!
This Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun would have been the British Championships in Liverpool. (Now we know just the women’s postponed comp will be in Nov). On Saturday (13 March) at 10am British Gymnastics streamed on YouTube a 30mins film of some of the best British Championships routines over the years. Max Whitlock’s pommel from 2019 was on, the year I competed at the British and when we were also there spectating. I saw myself in the audience on TV with my sister and our friends! 😂 We were sat in the front row above the Lottery Funded words. I’m in yellow and my sister in pink!
It’s Olympic trial number one for the womens artistic gymnasts today. Good luck to everyone. Just more conditioning testing for me, haha!
This week Bella and I have been trying to selling some of our leotards…at last we have decided to pass them on to others! Hopefully we can try and raise some money for Falcons (20% of our sales) and also for new leotards, as I have grown so much in the last year!
I heard today that my lovely gym friend has decided to train to be a coach instead of training as a gymnast with me. I will miss her so much, but I think she will be brilliant.
Sunday 14 March. It’s Mother’s day and I went on a great 5 mile run with my Mum, Dad, sister and brother. All five of us ran together today, plus Dash too.
Thank you for reading this and for any comments that you give me that really help me on my gymnastics journey. I can’t wait to do proper gymnastics skills again in the gym and to push myself onwards.
4 thoughts on “Start of 2021 : Ten weeks as an elite gymnast in lockdown 3.0 🏴 🤸♂️”
Well done Flies and all Team Ayres! You are an inspiration and deserve to do really well.
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Thank you very much, Jan. I will keep trying to do my best. X
Sorry spell check changed your name!