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Hi, my name is Roland Schoemann. I am a South African Olympian. I’ve represented my country at four Olympics and won three Olympic medals, including a gold. I’m a ten time World Record Holder and I’m a very, very humble GymnasticBodies subscriber.
I’ve been using the program now for a year and that first week had me realizing that I was in for an absolutely terrifying new challenge. As a swimmer, just the weighted mobility work to lengthen out my hamstrings was significant. There was so much disfunction in my hips and hamstrings…so it was by spending six months by working on that religiously and trying to loosen up that there’s been a significant change in that muscle tone and I can actually feel the muscle being pliable again. It’s not rock hard and it’s not because it’s a genetic defect or because that’s how I’m destined to be it’s because I hadn’t been doing enough of the right things to loosen up my hips and really work and loosen up my muscles the way they’re meant to be.
Trying to figure out my thoracic extension has also been an incredible challenge and something that gets better on a daily basis. It’s moving towards a weakness that is key and what I’ve been trying to embrace. What’s important to understand is these exercises aren’t easy, so embrace the fact that these are hard. The beauty of this is my understanding has grown. I spent 30 years putting my body into shortened position, into positions that aren’t ideal – and to expect that these changes will take place overnight? That’s not reality and something I remind myself of every day. Change is going to take more than a year. It could be a lifetime to put in the changes. You see all these amazing people doing handbalancing, touching the floor and doing presses. Did that just happen overnight? Probably not. So you have to embrace your weaknesses because that’s how you’re going to get better at them.
When you look at sports and specifically swimming, you can see mobile you need to be, how flexible you need to be, how dynamic you need to be and also relax. To me when I look at gymnasts, and you see the mobility, the strength, their ability to flow it’s so much fluidity and so much relaxation. Then I started being really puzzled by wanting to be stronger. And the stronger I got it didn’t make me faster.
Guys, my name is Roland Schoeman and I’m here on this journey with you. I’m starting this and have started this at the beginning like many of you have. Be encouraged by the fact that even Olympic Gold Medalists, even the best in the world have weaknesses and struggles. It was a fortuitous encounter with GymansticBodies, but it’s glad I’m one that was made.