alternative conditioning suggestion
by Cristina Hoover
(Collingswood Park, N.J., U.S.)
One of the few (other) sports gymnastics *does* have a surprising amount in common with is, actually: DIVING.
When I was around 12 years' old, I spent a summer at a platform diving instructional day camp. I couldn't believe (then) how a lot alike the body formation skills between the two REALLY ARE. Just being out of a dingy, cooped-up gym during the summer months was icing on the cake enough(!) --- but, also: it provided/provides an environment where you have the ability to incorporate handstand strengthening as well as trying to perfect your tuck rolls in flight (for Arabians!) or sharpen your pike form for better lines on bars.
It, obviously too, is sooo much more relaxing to know you're going to just hit the water on the way down!