PAN AM Artistic Gymnastics Footwork

gymnastics artistic      Even in its familiarity, the balance beam is still a daunting piece of athletic equipment.  Long and narrow, it is raised about 4 feet (1.2 m) above the floor.  Walking on the balance beam is where beginners start. Elite-level gymnasts jump, turn, run, kick, flip, do cartwheels, pirouettes, mount and dismount with seemingly effortless precision.  The riveting repertoires in this sport demonstrate creativity and control like no other.

Advice for First-timer’s Feet on a Balance Beam:

Stand at one end face the beam’s length.  With chest high and abdominal muscles contracted, place left foot in front of right. Turn feet out slightly and distribute weight evenly on balls of feet. Keep toes on top of the beam to prevent ankles from rolling. Align kneecaps with feet. Point arms up above head toward ceiling or extend arms like airplane wings. Looking straight ahead, step forward with right foot. Point toes and place the heel of right foot securely on beam. Continue forward, alternating feet until reaching the end of the beam.

Feat Footwork’ – Olympic Gold-Medal Balance Beam Routines:

2012…..split leap mount, front tuck, two flip-flops to a layout,  swing down, split leap, switch ring leap, front walkover, swing down, side aerial, sheep jump, back tuck, wolf jump, split leap, full turn, two flip-flops to a double pike dismount.

2008…..two flip-flops to a two-foot layout, front pike, standing full, switch leap, layout step-out, two-foot layout, switch leap, split jump, pike jump, back tuck, full turn, cartwheel to sit, round-off, full-in dismount.

2004….. ‘Onodi’ which is a jump backward, then a half twist into a front handspring, then a flip-flop, one-armed flip-flop, layout step-out, split leap,  ‘Kotchetkova’ which is full-twisting back handspring, then a front walkover, flip-flop, back pike, full turn, ‘Omelianchik’ which is a back dive with ¼ (or ¾) twist to land in a handstand, then a round-off, full-in dismount. (1)

[Please check source for winners’ names and countries.]

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/gymnastics-artistic

http://livehealthy.chron.com/walk-beams-3645.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/148109-balance-beam-activities/

http://fulltwist.net/olympic-difficulty-part-3-balance-beam/ (1)

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM

Lego Leg

prosthetics lego leg

As a child, Christina Stephens filled her parents’ basement with Lego castles and pirate ships. When she put her Lego-building skills to work last month making a prosthetic leg out of the children’s toy, she became an Internet sensation.

Stephens, 31, lost her left foot in an accident this winter and decided to combine her clinical expertise as an occupational therapist with her own experience of losing a limb to help others dealing with amputations. Stephens began a series of YouTube videos and a Facebook page under the name “AmputeeOT,” in which she addresses issues that many new amputees struggle with. Among them are how to swim with and without a prosthetic, deal with phantom limb pain, and clean an amputation site and prosthetic liner.

But it was her construction of a prosthetic leg out of hundreds of Lego pieces that made her an Internet star. The YouTube video has more than 1.3 million views since it was posted in early July. Stephens plans more videos, and she has a second Lego leg — “Lego Leg 2.0,” she called it. This one has moveable pieces — but it’s still for show only.

“Part of what I want to do with my videos is de-stigmatize amputation and make it less scary,” Stephens said.

Quoting: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/womans-lego-leg-video-hit-inspires-others

Deceptive Gait – Smart Analyses

Gait deceptive bank robber

Bank robbers in face masks may think they can escape without being identified.  But not so fast… Thanks to automated gait analysis, there might be a way to track the perpetrators. Security systems in commercial establishments may soon incorporate technology which identifies a person by their walk.

Gait energy image, a computer vision technique uses video images of a person to create a blurred silhouette that is characteristic of their gait. A human operator links this gait “signature” to a person’s identity, allowing the system to automatically spot that person when they are next caught on film.

And phone thieves, beware! There is an Android app for smartphones that analyses and records the gait of the phone owner.  If the phone is stolen, the change in walking pattern is registered and could be used to shut the device down.

http://www.dnaindia.com/scitech/report-now-cameras-can-identify-thieves-from-their-walk-1743650

Photo Source:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=bank+robbers&biw=1366&bih=667&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=Jk1SVNLFCoyLyASQ04GIDg&sqi=2&ved=0CDcQ

Re-inventing Disability: A Standup Comic

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On stage and off, Henry Holden aims to dispel stereotypes of people with disabilities. He says “humor can relieve people’s awkwardness about seeming disabilities or disadvantages.”

Henry’s career has been an uphill climb on crutches. He has learned to throw off the hindering, self-defeating images so often portrayed in the media. He has walked through closed doors to become a first grade teacher, an insurance salesman, a motivational speaker, and an actor.  Acting is his true vocation, the one he pursues. Being a standup comic has trained him to act truly ‘present’ in his body. Humor makes this happen. 

On stage, or even just out around town, he wears a tuxedo with a ruffled shirt, accessorizing with variously styled crutches. He opened his comedy club act by standing stage center, leaning on his crutches, and saying, “You’re looking at the pope’s most amazing miracle: I went to him with a speech impediment and he cured it.”

Harry’s wit and wisdom carries the day.  He was interviewed for the longer article cited below.  As a serious actor, he awaits the role that will earn him an Oscar for best supporting actor.  When receiving his prize, he plans to walk up onto the stage without anyone’s support.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/jobs/an-actor-and-comedian-aiming-to-dispel-stereotypes.html?_r=0

What Was the First Spacewalk Really Like?

 

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About six and a half hours after the landing, Neil Armstrong opened the hatch of the four-legged lunar module and slowly made his way down the ladder to the lunar surface. His initial footprint was photographed. A television camera followed his every step.

Buzz Aldrin joined Neil Armstrong on the moon surface.  The men bounded like kangaroos in the low lunar gravity, one sixth that of Earth’s.

The moonwalk lasted 2 hours and 19 minutes, long enough to let the astronauts test their footing in the fine and powdery surface — Mr. Armstrong noted that his boot print was less than an inch deep.

Human footsteps are noiseless on lunar soil; never to be erased for perhaps a million years.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/science/space/neil-armstrong-dies-first-man-on-moon.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.bl.uk/learning/histcitizen/fpage/moonlanding/moonlanding.html

Photo source:

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrB8pWwuGtTxBoAKGSJzbkF?p=neil%20armstrong%20footprint%20on%20moon&fr=mcafee&ei=utf-8&n=60&x=wrt&fr2=sg-gac&sado=1

Dragging Your Feet or Cooling Your Heels?

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You probably refer to feet more than you think you do.  When you start paying attention to speech and writing patterns, you find feet – usually fitted out as idioms or expressions – deliver all kinds of messages.

Here are ten expressions that refer to feet or legs.  Check out the meanings. Have you heard or used one of these idioms recently?

1. One’s Achilles’ heel is one’s weakness.

2. To be bound hand and foot is to be literally or figuratively tied up.

3. To bring one to heel is to subdue someone.

4. To go somewhere by or on foot is to walk or hike there.

5. To cool one’s heels is to pause to calm down or think before doing something rash.

6. To dig in one’s heels is to be obstinate.

7. One who doesn’t have a leg to stand on is unsupported by evidence or corroboration.

8. To drag one’s feet is to delay.

9. To find one’s feet is to become accustomed or oriented.

10. To be fleet of foot is to be fast.

 

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/50-idioms-about-legs-feet-and-toes/

Photo Source:

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0LEV1rG5HBTVWYAtDVXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0ZDFnMjIwBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDQxOV8x?_adv_prop=image&fr=mcafee&sz=all&va=cooling+your+heels

Kenyan Marathon Training in Kansas

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Can a marathon runner from Kansas City train like a Kenyan?

         Here are some tips for that cultural transition:

 Workout Recovery 

  • Do extra slow warm ups
  • Do extra slow cool downs
  • Do extra slow recovery runs

 Diet and Rest

  • Eat local fresh food
  • Sleep 10 hours per night
  • Nap 1-2 hours per day
  • Spend lots of time off-feet

 Live Simply with No Distraction

  • No TV, internet, cell phones or technology
  • Read or go for walks
  • De-clutter your mind

Train in Tough Conditions

  • Run on soft ground for strength, flexibility and efficiency
  • Overdress in extra layers of under clothes, also wear baggy clothes and heavier shoes

Mental Outlook

  • Believe you can win and a break world record
  • Don’t limit yourself; dream big
  • Don’t complain about life or a workout

Training

  • Listen to your body, back off if you are tired or something hurts
  • Otherwise work hard, increase intensity or duration to point of exhaustion
  • Practice block training: build up for 3-4 months, then completely rest for 2-6 weeks before starting next block
  • Train in groups – ‘iron sharpens iron’
  • Do lots of lower leg drills and stretching with little to no upper body, do some basic core work
  • Add uphill running drill with resistance band 1-2 times a week. 
  • Take Sunday off for studying the Bible, going to church and completely rest

Workouts

  • Run up hills and stride back down
  • Do tempo runs: conservative start, pick up pace to finish at fast pace
  • Do ‘Fartlek runs’ (Swedish for ‘speed play’) http://runners-resource.com/training/fartlek/
  • Do interval workouts, adding repeats
  • Do periodic long runs at a progressive marathon pace
  • Do two runs per day with a recovery run

Kenyan’s Stance on Shoes

  • They go barefoot by necessity, not by choice. 
  • Those in Kenya will wear ANY pair of shoes without complaining, preferring shoes to going barefoot.
  • Those who have run outside Kenya prefer a simple, lightweight trainer given their well-developed feet.

For more details, read:  http://www.runnersedgekc.com/pdf/how_to_train_like_the_kenyans.pdf

Photo source:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/02/sports/iten-a-kenyan-town-made-for-marathoners.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

“Walking with Storks” on Portugal’s Rota Vicentina

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The southwest coast of Portugal’s Alentejo region is a new destination for walking vacations. Complete with meadows, valleys, stunning views of bays and sand dunes, it is sure to please. There are turtles, eagles and storks for company.

The 350 km Rota Vicentina Trail features two main footpaths:

  • The Historical Way, the inland trail
  • The Fishermen’s Trail, the coastal section for on-foot travelers only

 http://www.rotavicentina.com/the-route/como-percorrer-a-rota-vicentina/?lang=en

 

For a travel writer’s description of day-long walks along the well-marked trails, check out:  “On foot in unsung Portugal – walking with storks”  by Roger Bray (www.thematuretraveller.co.uk)

 http://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/index.cfm?v=Roger_Bray_StarWriter&fkArticleID=97&fuseaction=pubDsp.dspStarWriter

 

Photo source:  http://www.rotavicentina.com/?lang=en

Green Pedestrian Crossings in Shanghai

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Pedestrians walk into a crosswalk and plant green leaves with every footstep.  A campaign by DDB China Group uses street art to promote walking.  While there is no guarantee that awareness will shift in a country that now boasts 500 million cars; it is an advocacy movement taking one step at a time. 

“We decided to leverage a busy pedestrian crossing; a place where both pedestrians and drivers meet. We lay a giant canvas of 12.6 meters long by 7 meters wide on the ground, covering the pedestrian crossing with a large leafless tree. Placed on either side of the road beneath the traffic lights, were sponge cushions soaked in green environmentally friendly washable and quick dry paint. As pedestrians walked towards the crossing, they would step onto the green sponge and as they walked, the soles of their feet would make foot imprints onto the tree on the ground. Each green footprint added to the canvas like leaves growing on a bare tree, which made people feel that by walking they could create a greener environment.”

After an initial deployment on seven Shanghai streets, the award-winning Crossing was later expanded to 132 roads in 15 Chinese cities. DDB estimates that 3.9 million people participated. Predictably, it blew up across Chinese media channels, and was even featured in the Shanghai Zheng Da Art Museum.

 

http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680511/amazing-interactive-street-art-turns-pedestrian-footsteps-into-the-leaves-of-trees

Deep Travelling on Foot

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To walk in the world’s poorer countries is to enter the orbit of their inhabitants. An attachment to the earth—to the vital soil or rock underfoot—is still the lot of most of the world’s population.

Colin Thubron has walked most happily in small countries—Cyprus, Lebanon, Kyrgystan—where the regional changes are close and intimate. The footpaths and goat-tracks thread a network of sites—villages, fields, wells—whose genesis belongs to a time before tarmac. Sometimes they give you the pleasing sense of walking through the ancient character of the land.

Shorn of the steel straitjacket of aeroplane or car, this might be called “deep travelling” if only your feet were less transient on the track.

 

Quoting Colin Thubron  who is an award-winning travel writer and the president of the Royal Society of Literature

http://moreintelligentlife.com/content/ideas/simon-willis/best-way-travel-walking

 

Picture source:  https://www.google.com/search?q=walking+on+rural+path+in+ethiopia&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=OKX6UpTMHJOrqQH-nYG4BA&ved=0CFsQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=566