Wednesday, August 8

My 9th grade gymnastics routine

My freshman year in high school, we had a P.E. unit on gymnastics. We learned various techniques and tricks each day, and the unit culminated in a floor routine. Our hard-nosed teacher allowed us to set the routines to music, which meant the inevitable Linkin Park/G-Unit soundtracks that perpetuated the mid-2000s. Except mine.

Let me walk you through the greatest routine in Lutheran North P.E. history.

Note: please click this link to begin soundtrack for dramatic effect.

Picture a 14 year old, 111 lb. version of myself dressed in grey cotton shorts and a yellow t-shirt which is frayed and torn from Joel Booth's excessive roughness in our disc golf unit. The floor is covered in blue mats and the air smells of competition. The music is cued. "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" by John Williams surges through the axillary gym. A young boy steps to the mats. He would leave them as a man.

Turn and face the floor.
Hands in the air.
Somersault.
Somersault.
Another somersault.
Yet another somersault.
Eggroll.
Reverse eggroll to somersault.
Eggroll.
Valiantly attempted cartwheel.
Somersault.
Eggroll
Backwards somersault to standing position.
Arms in the air.
Turn and face the judges.
Crowd goes wild.
Roll credits.

Actually, I got a D on my routine for failing to properly execute or even attempt about half of the techniques. None the less, I made up for it in the mile run, as I somehow managed to jog a sub-8 minute mile for an A+. What did I learn? Not much. Maybe that two weeks of pretending to do gymnastics cannot prepare you for a cartwheel? Or that the gym mats probably haven't been washed since the brown and gold LHN era? Yes and yes. Eggroll.

By Aaron Brandt, writer of three GVSU rowing articles for the school paper. Instant Olympic writing cred. Eggrolls for days.