Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Weekend with the Manjaks!

After the Toronto Gold Medal Plates event, Melissa and I spent 4 days with Kelly, Sue and Barrett.

For those of you who don't know, Kelly was my coach from the time I was 6 until the Athens Olympic Games. We have a very close relationship and I consider him and his family a part of my family. His friendship is one of the most important friendships in my life and I call him often for advice and to keep him updated. It was awesome to soak up his optimism and have some time to catch up.

Kelly is now coaching at the Oakville Gymnastics Club and I had a chance to go into the gym and do a little workin' out. The amount that I can do is still pretty lame, but I did some good core and upper body conditioning. It felt awesome to move and to be inspired by my old coach.

One of the things that I admire so much about Kelly is his desire to produce good people ahead of good athletes. I might be a little biased here, but I think he is the best coach this country has to offer. He can take any kid and help them reach their full potential. He instills a love for gymnastics in the kids and believes above all else that gymnastics should be fun. I had to laugh when he told me a story about one of his girls who finally went for one of her skills and he gave her free time for a week! This is just the type of guy he is. Calm, relaxed, funny and passionate about gymnastics. He could probably teach a giant or back flip to anyone off the street, as long as they were willing to learn.

Kelly and Sue have a lot of really talented girls and the atmosphere that they create in the gym is phenomenal. It's productive, fun and ultra motivating!

Spending time with Kelly really uplifted my spirit. He was constantly thinking of every little thing that I could do to help myself heal faster. He asked me how far I could bend my left knee. I showed him how far and then he told me to do it 20,000 times! I gimped around the house as much as possible and hot tubbed in the backyard. Every day Kelly would remind me that I was going to heal fast and that everything would be OK.

It was so nice to have a change of environment. I feel like I am back on track. I am starting to believe that this comeback is possible again and I am excited about attacking it! I can only do so much, but I am realizing that it's up to me to take initiative and do it.

Thanks to the Manjak family for the great weekend. I feel revitalized and ready to get to work!


1 comment:

Fiona said...

I was working for Gymnastics Ontario when Kelly first moved to Ontario and was working for Alex Bard. I met him a few times and he was my favourite coach in a mean, and competitive gymnastics community. His son was just a tiny baby...I can't believe how big he is now...how time flies. I am so happy to hear about their work at the Oakville club and to hear of your renewed motivation.