Monday, July 30, 2012

Baby Steps

video
The video above shows you, Dear Reader, my relative strength in doing calf raises.  You will notice that I still don't have the strength to do the calf raises without holding on to a chair or bench for support.  Thankfully, though, my left calf has returned to chicken leg status after having a I-can-make-a-circle-with-my-thumb-and-index-finger-that-is-bigger-than-your-lower-calf-status for many months.
My jumps today?  You won't mistake me for Blake Griffin or Kyle Lee Watson, but now you may be able to get two encyclopedias under my feet...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Jumping In

So, now that I've officially jumped (not high, and not many times, but jumped nonetheless), when is the right time to "jump in?"  I'm wondering how to best go about ramping up my training, getting back on the tennis court and basketball court a few days shy of a year since my injury.  It reminds me of watching my classmates do Double Dutch jump roping, and figuring out the right time to jump in...I mean, so I've heard...(clearing throat)
When do I jump in?  How do I jump in?  At the risk of being too minimalistic, I guess I just jump in before I freeze from indecision and the jump rope ends up wrapped around my waist.

Bring on the Gymnastics Vault!

video
The above video-shout out to my videographer, Abraham Zapruder?-chronicles my first real jumps since August 9, 2011.  Whoa.  Nothing special, and you would definitely have had trouble slipping an encyclopedia under my feet, but I'm semi-proud to leave my feet in such a way.  The video quality being poor and off-center, it may be hard to determine, but my afflicted left Achilles tendon left and arrived on the mat in a peaceful manner.  My calf and foot did not break apart like last time...small victories!
A Google search for "US Gymnast Achilles" led me to Alicia Sacramone, as well as my primary Google target, John Orozco.  My mom had told me about Orozco's story, and I saw him yesterday competing at the London Olympics, at the world's highest level. I vaguely remember Sacramone from Beijing 2008.
Both Sacramone and Orozco suffered Achilles tendon tears, Orozco at the 2010 US National Visa Championships, and Sacramone in 2011, as she prepped for the World Championships.  Sacramone didn't make the Olympic team this year, while Orozco has been competing well in early gymnastics qualifying.
I cannot imagine competing at the top of the sport, doing jumps and vaults and dismounts at such high speed and such high intensity.  A big reason, I guess, why we don't see 36-year-old gymnasts.
Good for Sacramone and Orozco.  Guess who I'll be rooting for in men's gymnastics?