Friday, October 24, 2014

Poem of the Day: Love like Salt

Love Like Salt
by Lisel Mueller

It lies in our hands in crystals
too intricate to decipher

It goes into the skillet
without being given a second thought

It spills on the floor so fine
we step all over it

We carry a pinch behind each eyeball

It breaks out on our foreheads

We store it inside our bodies
in secret wineskins

At supper, we pass it around the table
talking of holidays and the sea.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Way to go, Coach Marie! WestCoast Training Center's Head Coach receives highest coaching distinction

WestCoast's owner and Head Coach, Marie Annonson, has achieved the highest level of coaching distinction: Master of Sport. This puts Coach Marie in the company of a small group of gymnastics coaching greats. The list, found on the USA Gymnastics website, is full of coaching luminaries.

Among Marie's achievements:

  • She has produced world champions and internationally ranked athletes 
  • She's contributed greatly to developing technical aspects of the sport
  • She's ranked internationally herself as an athlete
And she's growing WestCoast Training Center by leaps and bounds, developing the gym into a thriving business and fixture of the community.

Clearly, Marie is an eminently qualified choice for the Master of Sport designation.

The community is rightly proud of her-- check out the support for her on one of the most popular posts on the WestCoast Facebook Page. And fellow blogger dadheartsacro wrote a post in support, as well.

As for me, I'm grateful everyday not only for the coaching skills, but for the community and culture of support and family that Marie has built at WestCoast. There may be no formal award for that (besides our tuition dollars), but to me, there's no better indication of what a healthy, happy place it is.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

AcroArmy: Photos & Video from Finale Demonstrate Technique + Love + Guts for America's Got Talent 2014


An intensely pure expression of love and athleticism on tv. AcroArmy gave everything, everything, and did it with supreme professionalism. And a certain fearlessness about sharing their hearts which I deeply respect. This is my daughters' sport, acrobatic gymnastics.

They are just at the beginning of their journey, but already I can see how they're learning the value of:

  • very very hard work
  • sticking with something even if you're struggling
  • respecting your teachers and coaches
  • trusting your partner
  • earning that trust by meeting your responsibility to catch your partner
  • loving what you do, both the big accomplishments and the small daily triumphs
  • loving others
Let the photos tell the rest of the story.


























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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

AcroArmy: Tonight's the night! A photo retrospective before America's Got Talent finale

In honor of tonight's final performance of AcroArmy on America's Got Talent, I've put together pictures taken throughout the exciting journey of these beautifully hard-working, dedicated elite athletes over the past few months, starting with the most recent triumph.

It has been fun and gratifying to see the acro community as well as the wider gymnastics community come together to support these athletes. Most understand the tremendous commitment it takes to pull off these performances, as well as the level of trust and responsibility (as Arthur Davis III, the choreographer himself, says) to accomplish these skills, all while communicating a sense of joy and love to the audience.

For all they have already accomplished, for all the people they've inspired, for all the beauty they've given the world, we can celebrate right now.

And for the top prize, we'll vote (and vote again!) and celebrate tomorrow!

Howard looks like he truly respects the athletes of AcroArmy. All four judges were on their feet.

WestCoast's competitive team wishes AcroArmy "Good luck!" 

You can watch the WestCoast "Good luck!" video in full here.

















Arthur Davis III explains his vision and love for the sport and the athletes. His steadfast commitment has inspired so many inside and outside the gym.

I think these may be the chalky hands of Brian Kincher.





One step closer! On to the next round.


We took over the hotel lobby in Kentucky during the US National Championships for Acrobatic Gymnastics. AcroArmy was on!
We all gathered around the tv in the hotel lobby to cheer on AcroArmy and the athletes we knew from our home gym.

Three young acrobatic gymnasts with Ryan Ward at the US National Championships for Acrobatic Gymnastics. This photo was taken in July, just as the AcroArmy train was gathering steam. At that point, they knew him more for his accomplishments in Region 1 as much as for anything else.
And though this post celebrates the sport's elites, I love and support every kid who tries this, from the ones who can't (yet!) do a cartwheel to the ones who invent skills the rest of the world has to catch up to (looking at Ani Smith and her G-So). In fact, I have a special place in my heart for the brave ones who are just starting out, just learning their own heart, their own fears and resistances, their strengths and joys via acro. It's beautiful to watch their development.

You can share your support for AcroArmy in a variety of ways, lucky you:


Whatever happens tonight, I think it's safe to say that NBC/America's Got Talent sees value in this sport (maybe not measured by the same metrics we parents use, but still). I think we'll see them in a Vegas show and beyond. I hope so.

Looking forward to tonight and beyond!

(All photos shared here were taken by me. If you'd like to share a "Go AcroArmy!" picture of yours here, leave a comment and I'll get in touch, then add with your credit. Or feel free to add a link to it in the comments! And if you'd like to use a picture here, just ask!)


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