An update on Full Twist

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You might have noticed that over the last few months we are posting less frequently, on the blog and on Twitter and Facebook. This may appear to readers that we care about or like the sport of gymnastics less, when in fact it is quite the opposite.  Recently we touched briefly on some recent changes for us, with a promise to going into more detail.

5 years ago Full Twist started off as a one man show and continued as this show up until 2013 when Anna Rose Johnson came on board as a contributor. Anna has been fantastic asset to the blog and we love her contributions. We can’t thank her enough for her contributions to Full Twist, securing great interviews with the likes of Aly Raisman, Shannon Miller and Dominique Moceanu, Claudia Fragapane, Rebecca Tunney, Lauren Mitchell, and Ellie Black (to name a few).  Many of these have been some of our most read posts on Full Twist to date.  Anna’s Elite and NCAA update posts have been most insightful and hugely popular with our readers. We are so honoured to have Anna contributing to Full Twist and are so glad that she is on board with us.

The domain hosting, WordPress theme etc is all paid for out of my own personal money, I earn nothing from posting on this blog.   This made it a little easier on me to take a little break over the last few months.

Where have we been?

The background

The last few months have held some big changes, both personally and professionally.  August saw the beginning of a whole new world, as I bid goodbye to the corporate world and to sitting behind a desk, something I had done for the last 9 years. Those 9 years were busy, balancing a personal life, professional life and my biggest love of all, gymnastics.

I worked a 40 hour week in the office and then three evenings a week I left the office, jumped in the car and drove (/sat in traffic) for 40 minutes to coach for 2 to 2 and a half hours each day. I left the house at 7.45am and arrived through my door between 8.30 and 10pm depending on what classes I was teaching on those evenings.Not to mention Saturday training which took up the bulk of my day.

My Saturdays have always been taken up with gym, my weekend never began until after 2/3pm on a Saturday, that was if I didn’t have a competition or squad training to attend. Often I would finish in the office on Friday at 5.30pm and drive across the country for a competition, arrive back late on Sunday night and head back into the office for 8.3oam on Monday morning. I do recall a time when I worked 4 weeks straight with back to back competitions at the end of each of my work weeks (Oh… I did manage to make time to see my friends and family at some stage too!).

All the while I single handedly kept the blog going, often working  (without pay or credit) with a gymnastics National Governing Body (NGB) having content featured on their website, sacrificing my personal holiday time to travel to competitions to report for the blog or for the NGB. One highlight in particular was attending the MAG 2012 Europeans Championships to report for Full Twist and the NGB, an opportunity I am very grateful to have been given.  I was lucky that I had some down time while sitting at the desk in work and could have Twitter open in the background to catch the latest gym news (also lucky for the NGB and it’s representatives who relied on me for updates while they were in the arena at competitions!). Many days I functioned on about 5-6 hours sleep as I would stay up late after gymnastics coaching to get work done on Full Twist before working in the morning.

Time has always been very precious but I always managed to give as much effort and attention to Full Twist as I could. I have always enjoyed working on Full Twist as it has brought me some other great opportunities such as meeting some fantastic people and even having work of mine aired on national television  in a documentary and on one of the biggest tv shows on national television.

 

So…where have we been?

As I said, in August I left the corporate world and began a life wearing trainers and tracksuit bottoms, having my hands covered in children’s snot, my clothes in chalk and who knows what else on a daily basis. I love it. I wouldn’t change my decision. I’m enjoying my life so much more and am fitter, happier and healthier too.

My job now is teaching gymnastics to children from aged 2 to adults in their 40’s. When asked what I do, I no longer say “I coach gymnastics”, I am now a teacher. It might not seem that these two words have different meanings, but to me and in relation to my job role they do. Up until August, I would say I “coached” gymnastics, mainly because 90% of my hours in the gym were spent with competitive gymnasts who had the ambition of making a National or Squad team or competing in high level competitions. In fact in the last year, I only spent just over 2 hours a week coaching recreation standard and hadn’t been involved in coaching / teaching Summer Camps for 6 years. I started into my “new” job with a bang, straight into a Summer camp, no better way to do it!

My job fascinates me, I find it hard to type the word “job” when I relate it to my gymnastics. I still find myself saying “I have gym tomorrow” instead of “I’m working tomorrow”. It sounds like a cliche but everyday there really is something new, something that is interesting, heart warming or exciting. Whether it’s discovering that some children at the age of 4 are unable to physically jump and have missed that developmental stage  or to the child who says something so innocent and nice that it makes your day! Of course, don’t get me wrong, every day isn’t rainbows and unicorns teaching gymnastics but it really is a rewarding job, I feel so lucky that after holding on for so long, knowing all along what I have wanted to work at, that I can finally do what I love.

 

Onwards and upwards

Bear with me, Full Twist is getting there and will be back. I’m adjusting to my new life and trying to find my feet with my new lifestyle, while as such there is more free time available to myself, I have been taking the opportunity to do the things I sacrificed a lot like seeing friends and family, travelling and doing things for myself such as putting off appointments (and catching up on some well deserved sleep!) so Full Twist has taken a back seat for the last couple of months.

Saturdays are always spent in the gym, so we catch up with the latest competition news on Saturday evening when all of the other blogs have posted the information. There’s lots of gymnastics blogs out there now, many more than years ago when we first set out. No one likes the exact same information being posted several times so sometimes we hold off and wait until we have something more exciting to share or can spend more time on more worthwhile posts.

New writers are always welcome. If you are passionate about the sport and have a knack for writing opinion pieces or happy to contribute competition reports then please get in touch to discuss contributing to the blog: info[@]fulltwist.net.

Thank you to all for your patience and for those who have continued to visit and support (whether it’s reading, retweeting or linking to us)  Full Twist on a regular basis.

 

 

 

7 Comments

  1. The Liukin says:

    I remember reading about your changing situation a while back. Frankly, I’ve been impressed that you seem to handle everything in and out of the gym so far. I still see plenty of life here.

    I always enjoy visiting the blog, so I hope to enjoy more posts in the future.

  2. Admin says:

    Thank you! It was a big decision to do it but much happier for it 🙂

  3. I read every post. THANKS.

    I especially appreciate the updates on Gymnastics in Ireland.

    No problem if you post less frequently. Do as much as keeps you happy.

  4. Admin says:

    Thanks for your comment Rick, it was lovely to read. Of course, very grateful that Full Twist has given me the opportunity to meet you 🙂 We’ll get back on track soon!

  5. Maria says:

    Nice to see you back! It’s tough trying to maintain regular working job with trying to maintain and cultivate your blog. Props to you for doing all that you can. I feel a little better knowing that someone else struggles with this too. I work 40 + hours per week and sometimes, I just don’t have the energy or time to want to post on my as regularly as I want to, especially after a particularly mentally taxing day.

  6. Admin says:

    Thanks Maria! I’m glad someone understands! Keep up the good work on your site too 🙂

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