Recently I have wanted to explore how different activities have been meeting during COVID so for this week I decided to share some of my findings. It is very interesting to see how different activities work in these new conditions. I decided to look into the gymnastics arena since I know there is normally a lot of traveling involved and that is obviously not very easy to do. To gain information I asked my sister Cathryn (level 7 gymnast at Gymnastics Revolution) a few questions regarding how it works.
What does your schedule look like/how has it changed?
Another girl named Harper and I attend morning classes by ourselves since our normal class times in the afternoon are normally packed and not very safe COVID-wise. Since both of our parents expressed concerns in the beginning of the season, it was easy to work out a time where we could be separated and safe. I go Monday, 11-1:30; Tuesday-Friday, 9:30-12:00; and Saturday 12:45-3:15.
What is the protocol when you arrive at gymnastics? (temp checks, hand washing etc)
When we arrive at the gym temperatures are checked in the waiting area before we can go into the gym. If it is over 98 degrees they take it again just to be on the safe side. Once you are safe to go into the gym you can put all your clothes/supplies in a cubby area (specific for each gymnast) and head to whatever event you are working on first. At each event there is disposable hand sanitizer available for you since all gymnasts are using the same equipment. (For those who are unfamiliar with the gymnastics world, there are four events for the female gymnast: Bars, Beam, Floor, and Vault. At Gymnastics Revolution, you typically work on each event and do some conditioning each class.) In the larger groups, all equipment used is sanitized after each gymnast uses it but since it is only me and Harper, we can stick to our own thing and clean after class.
How does it look when you have to go virtual with not all the proper equipment at your house?
It was hard because we didn't do too much tumbling/flipping since no one has the proper mats and supervision. We really focused on conditioning and stretching to keep our muscles engaged until we could go back. There was a lot of running and the like. We were also able to learn new exercises and expand out of our comfort zone which was frustrating at times. However, now that I am back I can really tell a difference in my technique and I really feel like I have excelled.
How do competitions work during COVID? How has that aspect of gymnastics changed for you?
At my gym, we normally go to meets (competitions) all over CT, Boston, RI, and NY. Most of these competitions were still held but my gym opted out of going to them to keep everyone safe. Gymnastics competitions are always crowded and chaotic and we couldn't be sure all gyms hosting meets would host safely. Actually, Gymnastics Revolution hosts one of the biggest meets in the year called Team Challenge. This is one most of the gymnasts look forward to because when you are not competing you are able to volunteer and help out over the weekend. We obviously were not able to host this meet unfortunately. We are going to do home meets (only for people from gymnastics revolution) so that is something exciting to look forward to.