My next goal was to overcome my fear of toppling, I should explain that there are certain moves in pole dancing that require the body to turn in a way that my brain does not like, walkovers generally terrify me so every Thursday night at 8.30pm I'm off to train at Swallows Gym aka Plymouth Gymnastics club. My first session at Swallows was, as expected, terrifying. I went with the lovely Megan Hookins who unfortunately for me is a gymnast, let me set the scene; Swallows is huge and is full of every bit of kit you can imagine. After a brief warm up everyone in the room, apart from me, started somersaulting, vaulting and generally doing things way beyond my ability. As I watched in awe a lady arrived and explained that it was also her first session, brilliant I thought. My happiness was short lived as Tasha then explained that it was her first session after a 2 year break but that she was a former Kent county gymnast, Megan and Tasha then disappeared off across the mats triple somersaulting as they went.
I decided to start with something that might be within my remit, we have a set of gymnastic rings at the Art of Dance so the rings at Swallows seemed plausible. The first hurdle was the height, the rings are several metres of the ground and I wasn't even sure how I could reach them, I managed to shimmy up one of the crash mats and balance precariously before jumping on to the rings, after a few poses and turns I landed rather ungracefully on the crash mats below and then watched as one of the gymnasts lowered the piece of equipment that allows you to get onto the rings with ease! According to Dave, one of the coaches, I managed a German Hang and a dislocater (I felt the dislocater and it's name perfectly described the sensation I felt through my shoulders)) and the German Hang was actually a case of me hanging on for dear life as I became aware of exactly how high the rings are.
Next up was some rope climbing, this should be easy I thought, one of the guys showed me the basic technique and off I went however the gentleman failed to inform me that climbing a rope in bare feet is not such a good idea, I left most of the skin off the top of my foot at the bottom of the rope but did manage to climb a few metres.
Despite being completely out of my depth I loved every minute of it and now on week 3 there is some progress in my ability even if it is very small. This week I got one rotation on the baby pummel horse which may not sound very good but trust me the pummel horse is ridiculously hard work so much so that the first time I tried it with the lovely Vicki Terry we spent most of our time either falling off or laughing. Laughing and falling off things was pretty much the theme of my second week at Swallows.
Week 3 of cross training had one additional element - Zumba! My Mum has been doing Zumba with the lovely Emma Newton-Bates for some time now and I have been wanting to try it for ages, I have never liked traditional aerobics (that is why I hated doing the practical element of my YMCA ETM course) as I find it too restrictive, Zumba allows more free flowing body movement and expression which is much more appealing to me. I expected to be rubbish but wasn't quite as bad as I was expecting, perhaps after being so pathetic at gymnastics anything was going to seem easier?
So if you want to see one of my failed attempts at gymnastics just check out Megan's videos of my springboard faceplant and my first assisted walkover (this one worked - the second one which thankfully wasn't videod involved missing the mat and landing on the back of my neck). Oh and here's Megan showing me how it should be done.
They don't get paid - PCC you do and you don't listen!!”
"RESIDENTS could have much wider grounds to object; Under the new legislation, however, residents are able to object to licence applications on much wider grounds – for example, if they feel a club is not in keeping with the character of the local area or is too close to a school or church; It covers issues such as hours of opening, health and safety requirements; we have consulted with residents' groups and associations"
Just like you did with the incinerator proposal...even after a 6,000+ petition, hundreds of objections you still IGNORED us. The incinerator site is too close to homes and schools, the hours of opening are not acceptable, health and safety still a grey area due to research still being carried out....consulted with us-that means nothing!
Bet these clubs employ more people than an operational incinerator and are probably monitored more stringently.
Double standards again in this 'fair' city!”
“Last time I looked (oops) these places weren't open during the school day, and if you took a bible you could be catered for, and there were lots of interested parties.
There are far more alleged illegal sex acts committed outside of these places than within.
One particular brand of church has been in court worldwide over this.
Keep your curtains closed if you don't want to see who frequents these places - unless it is your fed-up partner of course! :)”
Anyway back to the point in hand - we have been seriously let down by the current conservative administration - the same administration that have refused to take pay cuts at a time when they are happy to cut front-line services. Just read some of my previous blogs to get more examples of the council's failings:
Vivien Pengelly is missing the point, Have they lost the plot, incinerator is wrong, angry.
I do not think we should have to wait till the May elections to get rid of those who are letting us down. If Vivien Pengelly and her cronies really cared about Plymouth they would do the right thing and resign now - preferably without a golden handshake.