While most people from the North East of the USA were spending their vacation week in Florida or Caribbean, I headed up to Whitehorse in The Yukon Territory of Canada to run a clinic for the local club, Polarettes Gymnastics. It was an AMAZING time. I worked with their pre-competitve gymnasts and coaches up through their competitive gymnasts and coaches. There really is nothing better than working with eager gymnasts and enthusiastic coaches.
The Yukon is a pretty large and sparsely populated province. It’s pretty far North with Whitehorse being about as far North as Anchorage, Alaska and pretty far inland. While I was up there the temperature did not get above zero. Although COLD it was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL and I have never met a nicer group of coaches, kids and parents.
Being a small town it was pretty easy to be spotted as NOT being a local. Perhaps it was my lack of flannel or that I was wearing a purple cashmere sweater and a Boston Bruins (Toque) hat. I am a big believer in BUY LOCAL so I made a point of walking by Starbucks to go to a small local bakery, Baked Cafe. At night I would go catch some local bands and have a beer at PADDY’s PUB. By my third night when I walked into Paddy’s, I felt like a regular!
Back to the Gym: The gym was just loaded with equipment. Their biggest issue was finding a keeping staff as many former gymnasts coach for a while before moving away. The director of the gym, Cat, had a great core staff. Tessa, Anna and Andrew took a ton of notes, asked a ton of questions and we all had great discussions on what to do next. The gymnasts all worked so hard to meet my expectations, to show me what they could do and to try every drill and progression I showed them. The girls had solid basics and were ready to try some new skills.
Embarrassing comment of the trip: Cat had sent me a text telling me the Northern Lights were out. I texted back asking which way to look. Answer, “UP”.
Best Gymnastics Memories: Reena’s 1st double pike! HUGE. Fayne’s Improved down swing on giants! I could really name something fantastic that each gymnast did. Megan’s improved shoulder angle, Emily and Alexis making great corrections on vault, Anisa’s double back!! Caitlyn and Sydney’s drills on floor and Bianca and Matisse’s work on developing swing on bars. I was so proud of all of them!
Best NON Gymnastics Memory: They had a big weeklong celebration called RENDEZVOUS. There was snow sculptures and all kinds of out door activities. Now I am not sure WHO thought it was a good idea to plan all these outdoor activities when it is WAY below zero outside- But- It was fun.
If you ever get the opportunity to travel up to the Yukon. Take it! You will not regret it. Look for information about a possible Training Camp 2015!