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Reseña personal en inglés de las SWUB V


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A PERSONAL REVIEW OF THE SWUB V

I am a proud intermediate, not only in my calisthenics abilities, but in any kind of skill I have tried to master. The thing is that, believe it or not, everyone (but the best and the worst) is. Are you the best? Either the worst? Welcome the the i-group. When I took my van from Marcilla (Navarra) down to Leganes to watch one of the best world calisthenics competition you can be at, I didn’t know many subtle stuff you need to fully understand what was happening there. 

You may think this is a disadvantage, but sometimes, not to know everything gives you an out-of-the-guetto perspective that is useful too. From this position, I’ll review this terrific contest in order to reflect over what calisthenics means to me and may mean to the uninitiatied, so that the community built around this sport becomes more open and wide. 

The positive points of the swub were many: 

-A park close to the theatre

The very first positive thing was the location. Rain risking though, the Egaleo theatre was awesome. The view was perfect from every seat and the closeness and belonging feeling were promoted by its semicircular shape and the verticality of the grandstand. No car-parking problems (we know cars aren’t the most efficient means of transport but for those narrowed by a friday-monday workdays it was the only way to conveniently come from 500km away), and good accesibility. But as many of the spectators were also athletes, the proximity of a complete kenguru park was perfect. 

I went there at midday, after having assured entrance time and gate asking a guy while Bioco and the rest were apparently fixing last details. After my mandatory saturdary 100 unbroken burpees, I went with my portable rings to the bars, where a couple of dozen of athletes were training. The atmosphere was beautiful to me, since in my village we rarely meet more than 6 people at  training in the park. However, due to my first-moment-introversion, I kind of burpeed some thirty mettres away from the park and only there I started the set. I got a full upper-body workout including some ring-muscleups, chest flies, l-sit pull-ups… During my rest time I delighted myself with those youngsters performing their front-lever and full planches as if it was their warm-up. There were also a high pole bar around which some girls turned around with an amazing strengh and the flexibility many males will allways lack. 

I then saw some freestyle trainings, among which a kid kept my attention. That little monkey was able to perform spectacular comboes including relatively hard moves like 540. I have never done any dynamics, which may have made me more impressionable. I couldn’t help, before leaving, ask the kid’s parents about his age and time training (basic questions in the parks..). He was only twelve. Envy. 

While I was there training, the referent youtuber Yerai Alonso came up and got the attention of everyone there. He’s been one of the first promoters of the sport in the Spanish speaking world, with a channel plenty of useful tutorials and consistent monthly reports of the best calisthenics events. He seems an honest vegan guy, with an ironical sense of humor I connect to whenever I watch his online contents. I had the temptation of approaching to say hi, but I barely think it would have been natural enough to me. I kept training (by the way not with his calisteniapp, lacking the timer that would make it the best, but with my beloved-also-intermediate fitify), and continued to take pleasure in being among those people.

Not too far from this park there was another one in Getafe, where some of the famous ahtletes that had taken the SWUB came to mix with the crowd the next day, which represents well what this sport is about: community, closeness, humility… 

-The selection of competitors

Being an intermediate doesn’t mean, in my case, that I am completely ignorant of some of the best athletes in the world. I knew Laizans and Ortiz, who where the couple of sufficient reasons that made me take the road that weekend. But thanks to Yerai’s channel I had known Hristov, which I don’t think it’s the GOAT (as the video I’d watched suggests) but probably being the G right now. Once I had taken my tickets, I then realised that there were other guys I had been astonished at like Scarlux. It was a pity that some of the otherwise suporters of the SWUB were missing, like Kamenov or Larossa, but those present were anyway enough. 

Is this the best worldwide calisthenics competition? I don’t know. Since SW is a popular phenomenon, I feel it’s difficult to officialize it, and I suspect many of the federations that have tried to have not a unanimous support from the community. Good or bad? I dont’ know. When I see skating or climbing in the olympics I somehow miss calisthenics, which partially overlaps gymnastics, making it even harder for the SW to be included in the five ring event. 

I anyway think that, being things as they are, if you want to be the best you have to come to the SWUB. I had seen Kamenov and Larossa competing in the past, and I can understand you have to be in a very good shape to take part, but this makes Laizans and Ortiz’s presence even more praiseworthy. These old school men were brave and accepted the challenge of facing fresh-flesh beasts like Adrian or Gusta. Poor Eryc was paired with the bulgarian witch, but although we can only enjoy him once, the last honourably-loss-accepted full planche in the banister tattooed all present retines.  

I am not experienced enough to tell wheter or not better athletes could have been there, but I figure out that there is not any clearly superior competition worldwide. Even FIBO, whose level is as high as SWUB’s, dind’t seem to even aspire to creating the powerful emotions we all breathed in Madrid. 

-The good atmosphere

I went there on my own. I didn’t know anyone. That’s why I decided to choose an unavoidably locally-anchored t-shirt of the Osasuna football team. I wouldn’t be able to show off any six-pack (as eighty per cent of the male there tried to), but if any close people were there, the possibility to be spoken and the connection to them was not discarded. And what? The impressive 12year-old kid I had met in the park just a couple of hours before was there with his family, who inmediately asked about my origins. They were from Tudela! where I had been the previous week visiting a UMC (MENA, in Spanish) called Rawad, an amazing young who I trained with sometimes when he was living in Marcilla. I was happy to meet them and share some words there and in the park on Sunday. 

There are also improvable aspects as well:

-Was VIP pass worth?

Many people had paid the VIP pass. I decided not to, as the fan aspect of the advantages weren’t worth to me. I heard almost the same from people who had paid. I don’t know what the reasons for the two-kind passes are, so I cannot judge it. However, since the soul of this sport is its opennes to everybody, I don’t think the tickets should be more expensive than they were.

-Redundant performances

Being aware about the difficulty of being part of a pannel, I consider that anyone out of the calisthenics world might have got bored after just one hour of competition. The way the points are given promotes performances too homogeneous: combos at freestyle and mandatory planches and fronts in their multiple variants. I guess it would be a good idea to add a scale of “originality”. Scarlux was the only one who touched the rings but it was not at all any kind of advantage to win battles given the scoring system. 

-Speaker inconveniences

One of the things that annoyed some of us was the moves of the speaker. You can like or not the way he spoke, the comments he made and so on. However he many times occupied a possition that prevented part of the public from seeing the performances appropiately. If he had just been somewhere behind the bars all the time any athlete was there, the inconvenience would have been inside the style-like, with all having enjoyed all the show. I also know that  playing that role is far from easy (I would never be able to do it). 

Conclussions

This is only a personal review of what one of the experiences of the year was to me. All the comments and the descriptions are just a n=1 assessment. None of the improvable aspects makes for the positive sensation the event made me feel. I hope SWUB VI will be as awesome as the V. 

I wrote this in English because I was then practising my writing, which I think still is, as I said in the very first sentence, intermediate. I consider it understandable for many basic English readers and that’s why I post it. If this is an only-Spanish foro or it isn’t interesting enough, I’d understand the removal. Thanks anyway!

Aupa la calistenia.  

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