Canadian Men’s Gymnastics Team

gym team

The boys from Calgary, Canada are on a roll.

They won the Commonwealth Games last month. And now stepped up to defeat the States, China and Korea at Pacific Alliance in Hawaii. That’s a first.

CONGRATULATIONS!

In fact, they were only 0.2 away from Olympic Champions Japan. (They need to improve Rings.)

History in the making! Silver medal for the Men’s Team at the Pacific Alliance Championships

Olympic Floor champion Kyle Shewfelt reminded the world that he is still the man to beat. He brought home gold on Floor and Vault. In fact, Canada and China split the available individual gold medals.

Alberta Gymnastics Rec Retreat

The second annual Alberta Gymnastics Rec Retreat was a blast. People who love recreational gymnastics are some of the most fun, most energetic, I know.

The whole weekend was super. But the most memorable part was not my presentation on Coach Team Building. It was the high ropes course.

straddle jump on a log

See 50 more photos of the Recreation Retreat by jumping to the permanent webpage in Rick’s travelogue archive. OPEN icon

Rick McCharles – consultant for Cirque du Soleil

Cirque has 12 shows worldwide and is more popular than ever. Over 7 million people will see a performance this year.

Cirque du Soleil has 2,400 employees and is hiring every day. I am contracted with Cirque as a travelling consultant helping them find the most talented gymnasts, divers and “extreme sport” athletes in the USA. Coaches tell me there is a big demand as Cirque continues to expand.

I am proud to be even a small part of an organization like the Cirque du Soleil.

conditioning – CrossFit exercises

CrossFit is an advanced strength and conditioning program used by police and military. It is popular with the martial arts community.

Firefighters, too, like CrossFit because it does not use weight machines, preferring free weights. They use many gymnastics exercises in which body weight provides the resistance.

Many video clips and photo sequences are linked from their exercises page:

CrossFit excercises list

log sit-up
team sit-up using a log for resistance

La Nouba, Cirque du Soleil – Orlando

La Nouba is an independent production built right into downtown Walt Disney World, Orlando.

It has been a big hit. In fact, Disney is considering building more specially-made Cirque venues at their other giant amusement parks around the world.

I loved the show. Their trampoline act is the best I have ever seen.

The current poster girl for La Nouba is one of the most popular Cirque performers, Natasha Hallet, member of the 1992 Canadian Olympic Team.

Natasha

Yoga is better than nothing

I have friends whose dream vacation is spiritual, doing yoga for hours every day on the beach.

yoga on the beach

Historically we in the gymnastics community have been suspicious of Yoga. If you asked me to locate a fraud, I would look first in ashrams.

I am embarrassed by my lack of knowledge mastery of the musculoskeletal system. (I have no memory syndrome.) Still, my understanding is better than 90% of Yoga teachers. Their explanations are not as science-based as I would like. Where are the chakras? Exactly?

But my Tulum beach yoga teacher Sarah swayed me. I really enjoyed her sessions.

Joe Laughlin convinced me too. Joe is a professional dancer and a former National tumbling champion. A serious athlete.

Joe retired at age 37. Then made a comeback a couple of years later. He said that by doing only Pilates (something of a Germanic evolution from Yoga) he was restored to the best shape of his life. Many serious athletes I know have embraced pilates. It works.

I now, finally concede that yoga can improve fitness and is not simply trendy posturing. Not just an excuse for sipping latte with your yoga-mat-toting friends.