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  • Paul Davidson

I Could Be Your Gymnastic Coach

Wanna get into the Olympics? Well, if you do you’re gonna need dedication, athleticism, pure gutteral energy, lots of money, an American Express card (cause I don’t take Visa or Mastercard) and my superior gymnastic coaching ability.

Yes, that’s right. I know gymnastics.

What started out as a desire to touch my toes quickly evolved into a desire to hang from the rings, doing flips and contorting my body much like those in Cirque du Soleil have done. But from there, my desire outweighed my skill, and so I did what all Olympic hopefuls do when they cannot cope with the pressure — they coach.

But the change of goal surprised me in more ways than one. Instead of gaining weight and eating Twinkees all day long, I found that I had a knack for coaching pretty young thangs in leotards. Where the motivation was coming from, is anyone’s guess, but get me next to a Russian beauty who can ride the horse, and I’ll show her how to make that horse, her plaything.

My skills are limited, that is true. I can teach you how to run and jump, how to ride the horse, how to hang from the rings, how to run from one part of the room to the other with the theme song from Hill Street Blues playing and show you how to choreograph your flips with the sirens of the police cars. This I can do.

But ask me to teach you how to be a star, as many have asked, and I will have no answer for you. For I can be your gymnastic coach but I cannot be your inspiration. For that, you must look within.

My young students often ask me, “Coach Pauly, I am really good at running and jumping and flipping but how do I turn that into Olympic gold?”

To such a materialistic question, I often respond, “Get your head outta your ass Missy — and do it for the passion, not for the gold. If all you care about is the gold, you might as well go back to that job at Hot Dog on a Stick and leave the Olympics to the trained professionals. And by trained, I mean those who have trained themselves to look to goals that better themselves on the inside, not on the inside of the pocket-book!”

As a coach, I’m a bit long-winded — but aren’t all inspirational leaders? I mean, c’mon, do you really need to sit in Church for 45 minutes and listen to one sermon? They could Cliff Notes those sermons easily if they wanted to.

But if you were able to look past the gleaming gold and concentrate on your passion and physical stamina, I could so be your gymnastic coach. And in inspiring you and helping you push yourself to the limit, I would use my trademark phrases which would cause you to reach inside for that extra bit of energy, just when you thought you were going to collapse. Such trademark phrases would include:

Go get ’em, sparky! What are you, Carrot Top? Flip! Flip! Flip! Flip! Flip! Now twist! Hang! Keep hanging! I see you hanging! Peek-a-boo! You are the Clubber Lang of Gymnastics, baby! Schwoooosh! Yabbadie Yo!

Of course, there are other inspirational/motivational phrases I am currently working on which would only be for usage with second-tier students of mine. The first tier don’t need trademark phrases. Because, by that point, they are already living the dream.

Can the dream be yours? Can you reach for the gold? Can you learn from the “almost-the-best” in the form of me? Could I be your gymnastic coach?

Girl, you know it’s true. (Which is not to say I wouldn’t train men either. Just so you know.)

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