The Gifts Gymnastics Brings

Gymnasts on the beam at Gymfinity

I love gymnastics and feel that it is the best developmental tool a child can experience. Gymnasts are not only stronger, but smarter, and justifiably feel better about themselves. These are all skills that they can carry with them through life ensuring success and happiness along the way. 41 years ago, when I started teaching gymnastics, I did it because it was fun. As time went on I was shown time and again the benefits that I wrote about above. I saw the kids I coach become doctors, lawyers, mothers, politicians, engineers, counselors, teachers and more. Every one happy, Every one a success. And every day since my decision to teach gymnastics back in 1980, my mission has been validated.

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How did I ever get here?

J Orkowski's High School Gymnastics Team

I look at those formative years and recall some of my role models. Most of them would not even recognize me if I walked up and shook their hand. If they did, it would be as Harry’s little brother, the quiet nerdy kid who was either reading or standing on his hands.
I was thinking the other day, how so many of the people who influence us in life rarely ever realize the impact they had. I wouldn’t even know if they were aware of me let alone know that after 40+ years, I am still in the sport.

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Teaching kids to be Un-Fragile

I feel that children need to experience a few bumps in the road. Without them the child doesn’t develop any ability to self-regulate or cope. Much like the absence of gravity and how it causes the loss of muscle in astronauts; the lack of challenge can make children weak. It certainly doesn’t prepare them for adult life.

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How to live without fear: make the new year less scary

overcome fear

Sometimes it’s good to be afraid. Fear is an instinct that rears up when we perceive danger. There are some instances when being afraid can keep us alive. “Hey, go wrestle that alligator.” “No thank you, that scares me.”  When we perceive danger, Adrenalin is released, our heart rate increase, or senses are on edge,…

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Making Sports A Better Place to be.

My last post I explained how a recent study done by the Sports Fitness Industry of America noted that the number of kids participating in sports has decreased 8% since 2008. I explained that I feel the decrease is due to 6 reasons: Cost, Skewed definitions of success, decrease in providing children with fitness opportunities,…

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Kids are dropping out of sports!

“Kids are not playing sports the way they used to.”  That sounds like something that my Dad would say, but it’s true. Research from the Sports Fitness Industry of America has shown a marked reduction in the numbers of kids playing sports. In 2018 there are 45% less kids playing sports, both team and individual.…

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Guest Post: Ruby’s Rules for Nutrition

Gymfinity Ruby

This post was written by Coach Ruby Carpenter, an Xcel coach here at Gymfinity. Ruby also competed as a gymnast and grew up here at Gymfinity. She is now a student at UW Madison and studies Community and Non-Profit Leadership. Ruby is high on my list of respected people and when we talked about doing…

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10 Lessons Mom taught me

Oh, if I had a dollar for every bit of wise advice that my mom fed me growing up…. Now as a parent, I see how frustrating it must have been for her to try to get me to listen when, of course, as a teenager, I always knew better, as teens always do. I…

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simple food facts for you.

Sometimes I go off on a tangent on this blog. This is one of those times. I have read many articles on food and food science recently and compiled a bit of what I learned. Here are 10 (people loves numbered lists) food truths that you might not know, I even sited some research to…

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Glory for the Effort

Our society has been extraordinary at giving people who have worked at nothing huge amounts of notoriety. Think of how many names were made famous for no reason at all; Paris Hilton, Omorosa, anyone from the Bachelor, or any member of the Kardashian family. Why do I know their names?I would have no problem if…

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