Gymnastics always seemed like an exclusive sport reserved for flexible, energetic 3-year-olds that would later become cheerleaders and great athletes. But in recent semesters, several of my college friends took the gymnastics course at Cornell and had rave reviews. It seemed like an accessible class and a worthwhile venture.
Taking the gymnastics class ended up being an excellent idea and quickly became my favorite gym class (tied with skating) at Cornell. It’s like this huge fantastical adult playground of dreams with firm yet soft mats to land on, tumble trampoline tracks, a bouncy floor, a foam pit…
As someone severely lacking in upper body strength, I only received a subset of available lessons over the course of the semester. Despite this, I was able to get a decent handstand and much improved cartwheels. I also learned roundoffs, front hand springs (aided with the tumble track), handstand into bridge, handstand rolls, switch leg cartwheels, and one arm cartwheels. By the end of the semester I was doing front flips into the foam pit (which is near impossible to climb out of, by the way).
It was enjoyable enough that I would consider paying for adult gymnastics classes in the future. There’s nothing quite like rolling around on the floor or in the air in a safe environment.
I enrolled in Large Boat Sailing because of the hype. I figure I won’t have many chances to pretend to be filthy rich with a private boat so any opportunity now to learn how to sail such a boat seems like a great one.
Now that I know more about the classes I wish I took Small Boat Sailing, as those boats are far more maneuverable and are typically self-managed. There’s nothing wrong with having a crew, but it’s super nice to have all lines (ropes) within easy reach.
Large Boat Sailing was a good experience overall, although it tended to be inconvenient to attend. There’s a shuttle that gets you to the lake, and it’s a 3 hour class. Nevertheless, I learned a ton of terms, a couple knots, and got permission to take out certain boats by myself by the end of the semester.
There’s something super nice about being in the middle of Cayuga Lake, with water all around and in view of the distant shore with its quaint toy-like houses. The first time I went sailing was in perfect weather, with the baby blue sky and feathery clouds and warm late spring sun. The later classes were all cloudy and rainy and strange-wind-patterns-y but were no less educational. I hope that I’ll be near some freshwater in the future so I can rent out a sailboat and put these skills to use.
Thank you Cornell for the awesome PE classes! I never really considered myself a particularly outdoorsy or active person, but these classes have really opened my eyes to the possibilities.