Entries Tagged 'books & manuals' ↓

Letters to Nowhere – a review

I finally managed to finish reading my review copy of the gymnastics coming-of-age romance, Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross.

It has a 4.14 / 5 rating on Good Reads.

That’s an 8.28 / 10 … old code. :-)

I’ve yet to come across a negative review. If you like Young Adult, this book is for you.

For example, this review by John Jacobson:

Two dead parents and a life turned upside down. Karen, lifelong gymnast with ambitions as strong as her resilience, has to try and survive after her parents are killed in a car accident one night. Her grandmother is her only real family left, yet said grandmother lives across the country. Moving across the country spells the end for Karen’s gymnastics career. Switching up coaches could mean stalled training, adjusting to yet another new coaching style, and maybe losing her chance at competing in international competition.

Karen’s coach doesn’t know her too well – he’s fairly new to the gym, replacing the old coach that left to coach college gymnastics at UCLA – but he’s willing to take her in for the year so she can complete her training without upsetting her progress. Her online schooling could continue on as usual, and Karen’s grandmother would still keep track of all of the financial and legal decisions. Her coach would simply take on the role of legal guardian for specific cases. He has no intention to infringe on Karen and become her new father; he just doesn’t want her to lose an opportunity she’s wanted for years.

Letters to Nowhere coverLiving with her coach proves to be as awkward as it is convenient. His son Jordan is a surprise, to say the least. Karen’s devotion to gymnastics has kept her out of the dating and social scene. She’s no introvert, but it’s hard to search for teenage boys to date when you’re spending a huge chunk of your time conditioning for gymnastics. …

read more – REVIEW: Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross

I’m not the target audience for YA. Therefore I’ll restrict my review to the Gymnastics content of the novel.

It’s strong.

I cannot recall a TV series, film or fiction where so many of the gymnastics references are correct.

Like Brenna Dowell and Elizabeth Price, Karen (17yr-old gymnast protagonist of the novel) is struggling with whether to accept an NCAA scholarship — or stay Elite.

Like other USA elites, she fears USA Gymnastics Coordinator Nina Jones (Marta Karolyi) and National Team camps.

I believe mature female teens would enjoy the book. Don’t give it to young girls, however. It has sexual content and some profanity.

The Kindle edition is only $3.99.

Julie Cross lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA.

The Garden Trampoline: Basics

New book by Peter Marino:

Garden TrampolineGarden trampolines are excellent for learning basic trampoline skills at home. In this handbook you will learn the fundamental skills needed for the trampoline, such as tuck, pike, straddle, seat drops, back drops and much more. The handbook contains chapters as diverse as: safety, body positions, warm ups, skills, and challenges. With topics including: arm circles, straight jumps, tuck position, pike position, straddle position, seat drops, back drops, and front drops.

eBook (ePub) $2.99

Acrobaddict – Joe Putignano

Publisher’s Weekly:

After reading former Olympic gymnastics hopeful Putignano’s sinister yet intoxicating memoir of addiction, recovery, and more addiction, you wind up feeling like one of his closest friends.

The first-time author, who now portrays Crystal Man in Cirque du Soleil’s traveling production of Totem, divulges what must be nearly every significant detail of his journey from the basement of his parents’ Massachusetts home, where as an 8-year-old he taught himself flips using old couch cushions; to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs …



(via FIG)

mechanics of Giant swing

Dr. Gerald George. Adapted from Championship Gymnastics.

click for larger version

click for larger version

Jim Stephenson Illustrator

kid’s book – Tina Tumbles

Danielle Soucy Mills is getting close to the $8000 she needs to publish and distribute a new children’s gymnastics book.

But she needs people to preorder over the next few days.

Click PLAY or watch the promo on kickstarter.

Details on kickstarter.

book – Little Girls Dream Big

Yet another gymnastics fiction, this time by Nicole Angeleen.

The story is darker.

It was inspired by the terrible, terrible tragedy of 11yr-old Romanian gymnast Adriana Giurca. Her coach, Florin Gheorghe, killed the girl in a rage during Beam training. He was convicted of manslaughter, sent to prison.

(Romanian) gymnast Trixie Dalca’s world is destroyed the day her sister Ileana falls during training, slips into a coma, and dies.

To cope with the loss, Trixie turns to her best friend, American gymnast Shaye Sylvester. Together with Shaye and amateur documentary filmmaker Abby Vicari, the three unlikely investigators question whether Ileana’s death was merely a tragic accident or murder.

Fire and Ice


Kindle $5.99

(via Arabian Punch Front)

How Gymnastics Continues to Inspire, Long After We Throw in the Grips

guest post by Danielle Soucy Mills:

I can distinctly remember my last college home meet and the sinking feeling in my chest that gymnastics was almost over for good.

One of my coaches expressed her consolation: “I know it’s tough to finish something you’ve been doing your whole life, but there are so many other exciting life events that follow,” she said. Finding your career, getting married, having kids—it was something along those lines, and as great as they sounded, in that moment, I could not imagine my life without gymnastics in the years to come.

As much of a relief as it would be on my body, the thought of no longer being able to do what once came so easy plagued me. And so when I graduated college and moved 3,000 miles away from my family and friends to pursue graduate school in creative writing, I found a side job doing something that felt like home to me—coaching gymnastics. After all, it was pretty much the only job I’d had since I was 16 years old.

But after I was forced to quit the daily workouts due to “gymnastics old age,” I realized very quickly that although we no longer slave over skills four hours a day, five days a week, gymnastics never really goes away. Many things that I had learned throughout my time in gymnastics stuck with me—things that did not just involve flipping.

First, I had learned so many self-sufficient strength exercises during conditioning that I found myself doing them around my house when I no longer had a coach to push me. To this day, I continue to work out on the floor in my home office with only a few accessories—an exercise ball, some free weights, a pull-up bar, and a list in my head.

I found more inspiration upon meeting a woman in her 50’s at open gym, still doing back tucks on floor, giants on bars, and even doing timers for Geingers. The myth that gymnastics skills disappeared after 23 years slowly dissolved in my mind. Somewhere in between the constant workouts, occasional open gyms, muscle memory, and hard-earned confidence, could our skills really remain with us indefinitely? I began to believe it was true. They were never really lost, out the door, or left at home like we always assumed as kids.

It was all about self-discipline, another important life skill we were taught in gymnastics with having so little time to balance everything. I think back to the endless hours of school, work, practice, homework before finally fitting in a good night’s sleep and I wonder how I actually did it all while pleasing my parents with good grades. I knew that my work had to be done well, or there would be no gymnastics. I remember working so hard to finish my homework, only to lose myself in the gym, where the world’s woes disappeared around me.

Even with its revitalizing escape, practice sometimes brought with it its own woes. No matter how hard I wanted to work, exhaustion, mental blocks, and fears set in; potential left untouched. But all of the awful things I wanted so badly to forget, or go back in time and do over again, actually pushed me harder, inspired me more. As a coach, I sought to find ways to eliminate these troubles for my gymnasts; to somehow teach them that our mind does not have a mind of its own; that our fears belong to us. They can be gone and filled with inspiration if we can release them, focusing on each skill one single moment at a time; that our goals truly sit in the palms of our hands, within reach, so long as we work hard and believe in them.

Then came my favorite inspiration of all: writing my love for this sport into a book. I loved it so much that practicing it and coaching it was not enough. So I put my two favorite things together—writing and gymnastics—and my picture book, Tina Tumbles, was born. The inspiration came first and foremost from my mom. I would always ask her why she started me in gymnastics and the number one answer was always: so you didn’t hurt yourself on the furniture. It seemed like this was 99.9% of the reason why most parents signed their children up; that somewhere in most gymnasts’ childhood stories existed the energy-bursting kid who tore apart their bed doing flips, or bounced from one couch to another until Mom and Dad couldn’t take it anymore.

I also continued to receive the same feedback from parents: there were just not enough storybooks out there for young gymnasts. I took my inspiration and ran with it. And then I took a tumble. After a small publisher picked up Tina Tumbles and the illustrations were done, things did not work out. I parted ways with my publisher. But Tina still had very important lessons to teach her author, and many young gymnasts, too. Work hard. Set your goals high and release your fears. Reach until you cannot reach any further. Never give up. Giving up was not an option.

My illustrator and I boldly chose to take the path of independent publication. A few days after we were introduced to Kickstarter, a website dedicated to bringing creative projects to life through crowdfunding, I found another inspirational gymnastics picture book called Kika the Upside Down Girl which had just recently been funded via the website. I immediately contacted the author, 1984 Canadian Olympic gymnast, Jessica Tudos, who supportively advised me on how to put together a successful, heartfelt Kickstarter campaign. Jessica’s adorable book about upside-down Kika following her heart, went on to be printed and published—and with our book completed, the same Canada based printer selected, and pre-orders currently being accepted, we are now well on our way to reaching this goal for Tina Tumbles, too!

Through my book, I hope to extend a lifetime of inspiration on to children for generations to come. And even when I someday choose to put my grips away for the very last time, I will know that it is never over. Our love for this sport lasts forever.

Learn more about Tina Tumbles and pass this inspiration on to your children by February 10th!

Please visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/tinatumbles/tina-tumbles. We thank you greatly for your support!

WAG J.O. Rules in iBooks

JO 2017Version 1.2

The official “rule book” for 2013–2017 for the Junior Olympic Optional Levels 6 through 10. Includes a listing of all skills, complete with their value plus illustrations of each skill. A”must have” for all Junior Olympic Optional coaches and judges. …

Available on iPad and Mac. $39.99

related – USAG – Women’s Junior Olympic Code Of Points Available On IBooks

Barbara Anne Elliott asks whether iBooks updates automatically when revisions are made?

Leave a comment if you know.

Zoe and the Beam

Goodheart Books:

Our first book tells the delightful story of an 8 year old gymnast Zoe (that name is not totally by coincidence!) who learns about having a peaceful balanced mind by walking eyes closed on a practice beam on the floor.


Zoe and the Beam

Kindle edition $7.99

Courtney McCool – 2004 Bars

I’ll grab any excuse to link to the beautiful form and presentation of McCool.

There’s a dramatic story to this routine, as well.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

That was one of the favourite memories of coach and author Julie Cross as linked by Arabian Punch Front:

Author Interview: Julie Cross Part 1
Author Interview: Julie Cross Part 2

Download Julie’s novel Letters to Nowhere from Amazon. ($.99 Kindle edition)

>Her family may be shattered, but her dreams aren’t…

A Mature YA contemporary set in the tough world of Elite Gymnastics.

Kika the Upside Down Girl

Olympic gymnast Jessica Tudos looks to have reached her Kickstarter funding goal. 168 backers invested $11,168 to print, distribute, market and promote her entertaining and empowering story about a gymnast-in-the-making who loves living life upside down in a right side up world.

Click PLAY or watch it on Kickstarter.

I’m looking forward to buying a few copies. :-)

Lance Ringnald, Trent Dimas

Fluff piece from 1992.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Trent was the 1992 Olympic H Bar Champion. Lance made the 1988 and 1992 Olympic teams.

Click PLAY or watch Trent’s Gold Medal routine on YouTube.

Lance has a book I’ve never seen.

It’s Not Just Gymnastics; It’s Life by Lance Ringnald and Stacey Lake (2012)

Leave a comment if you’ve read it. Lance was a very likeable gymnast.

Thanks Emilio.

worst Gymnastics books ever?

Dvora Meyers of Unorthodox Gymnastics is researching that topic.

She send me a link to (genius) David Foster Wallace’s take on “breathtakingly insipid” sports-star-with-somebody autobiographies.


Turns out there’s a book titled …

worst gymnast

That one looks pretty good. :-)