@ Zen:

Seriously.....Anyone can ride a horse & at any age.....Yes it takes practice, just like anything else, but anyone can jump on a horse and ride it. Now for Gymnastics.....NOT just anyone can do this. For example.......Get up right now & do a back handspring..........How did you do? Get it? & that is a basic trick.

Gymnastics takes years of training. Just for fun.....Lets say you followed the age requirements for this sports. You start competing at age 6 for level 4. Lets say......You spend 1 year in each level 4-7. Now you are 9 years old. From this point, you may spend 2 years in a level.....That's an additional 6 years of traing & now your at Level 10 & 15 years of age. This rarely happens, but its possible. At this point, you now go Elite.....Which only a couple hundred girls a year go Elite.......This is not very many.

For the most will see girls drop from gymnastics at around Level 8-9. Why?......Because it beomes too hard. At this point in time.....These girls (& boys) are at the gym for a average of 20 - 25 hours a WEEK.....And they are just children! That is equivalent to a part-time job!!! And lets not forget.......This is a year-round sport.......It does NOT stop. And if you take a vacation.......Lets say.....2 weeks..........You will come back to the gym & have lost some strength & perhaps a trick or 2 & will have to re-work them.

This sport is so time demanding & extremely hard on your body. You will always be able to tell a gymnasts. Their arm muscles say it all! And as far as injuries.........Broken backs & necks are common in this sport. Try doing a double layout dismount off the bars. IF you slighly bend your arms....You will pull the bar into you & will hit your neck on the bar & then drop right to the floor. Now, you have hit your neck on the bar & now are free falling at full speed, right to the ground. Not fun!!

Point being......Gymnastics is EXTREMLY HARD & NOT for the light hearted. It does not get the credit it deserves. Try it & you will see.