Gymnasts work hard, but don’t have it easy
You could spend hours picking up a cloth napkin with your toes or practising somersaults, with a break every three hours. The life of a young gymnast revolves around beams, mats and hoops, with no time for Twitter or Facebook, movies or parties. With few fully equipped gymnastics academies, it’s even tougher in India.
In the ‘gap hours’ between sessions, instead of resting and relaxing tense muscles, many end up rushing off to school or college, returning just in time to resume practice in the compulsory second session. “Parents enrol children in gymnastics classes like they enrol them in a dance or painting class. But only those who are truly passionate stick around for more than a year,” says Kshipra Joshi, 22, a former gymnast who coaches at Dharavi Sports Complex. “And for them, gymnastics becomes their life.”