gymnastics, travel, travelogues

love Idaho

June 29, 2003

rick_mugNot just potatoes you know …

I am back from the scenic lakes & rich forests of the Idaho panhandle. I was invited to be a guest coach at a gymnastics camp in Coeur d’Alene.

The head coach Dave Adlard started his career in Edmonton & this year invited to camp a number of coaches from his distant past. We reminisced.

I had heard great things about Dave’s gym in Coeur d’Alene and the experience exceeded expectations.

Dave is one of the most travelled and popular clinicians in the States, many years on the move working for U.S. Independent Gymnastics Clubs & around the world. He has taught in Australia 5 times, for example.

But looks to me like David Adlard is starting to settle down. He remarried last year — he, his wonderful wife Lisa, his Norwegian Elkhound, 2 cats, & 4 tiny kittens hosted us in their log house on a large wooded property.


Like good north Idahoans, we smoked cigars, shot guns & considered taking out the (appropriately named) quad. Dave had me up early every morning exercising; 3 mile run followed by sets of log lifting. I had not known that Dave in recent years had become a gourmet chef, renown for his grilling & deserts. He and entourage put on major dinner parties. I was lucky enough to attend one of them. Fantastic.


Dave & Lisa are coaches at FUNtastics Gymnastics. They have two gyms; wonderful coaches, parents & gymnasts.

Greater Coeur d’Alene has a population of about 50,000. The club membership reached 1001 while I was there. Funtastics is becoming well known too for the excellent competition they host, the Great West Gym Fest.


Dave’s camp, the 6th annual, was unique. The focus is on FUN with a child-centred approach. Funtastics does everything they can to ensure all gymnasts feel valued & avoid injury. There is not an iota of elitism in their system — yet the gymnasts show good difficulty. This club is on the right track! I hate to admit it, but the USA will soon produce the best gymnasts in the world. The efficiencies of a free market system will supersede the focused training systems in the few remaining totalitarian countries. It is just a matter of time. World Championships will be hosted in California this August, by the way.

I have a love – hate relationship with the USA. The gaffs they have made historically make me histrionic — though I am not 100% sure that Iraq was a mistake. Long term it may be good for the world, where Vietnam clearly was not. Short term Iraq looks bad … but I live in hope.

According to Economist magazine, FOREIGN DISTRUST of America has increased dramatically over the past year according to a (2003) survey of 20 countries by the Pew Research Centre. The proportion of people with a favourable attitude towards the United States has dropped from 61% to 45% in Germany, 63% to 43% in France, 61% to 15% in Indonesia and 25% to just 1% in Jordan.

The number of Americans in PRISON exceeded 2m in 2002, according to a U.S. Justice Department report. This means that one person in every 142 is in the slammer at any one time. America’s jail population–the world’s largest–has nearly doubled since 1990.

Sometimes I have doubts. Is the American way working? How large a prison population can a country support?

Canadian Championships Saskatoon — I returned to Saskatoon in May to help the organizers of this the major year end competition. It was excellent in every way.

A highlight was Rhett Stinson winning gold on Parallel Bars in front of his hometown crowd. Photos of some of my friends there


In June I helped out my buddy Rockin’ Ronnie Shewchuk with his barbeque fundraiser at Rouge restaurant in Calgary . Booze, Blues & Barbeque. A good time was had by all.


Mad Cow? Fear No Steer.

The barbecue team was able to buy Kobe beef cheap; it is normally all exported to Japan — but not this June.The team will travel in the Fall to Lynchburg, Tennessee for an all important Barbeque championships at Jack Daniel’s distillery.

I am off to Perth Australia tomorrow to lead athlete camps & coach education sessions down under. I will definitely use some of the Dave Adlard playbook.

– Aussie Rick

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