At my college now we have lastly made it to the time of 12 months once we can think about writing and analysis. It’s a clear change of tempo; from the relentless chitter chatter and interplay of educating and evaluation to a shorter, typically extra reflective, time. It’s over all too shortly, and although I really like my time with the scholars, more and more I might reasonably be studying and writing. It is extremely vital to plan my work so I do not waste the approaching couple of months when now we have just a bit extra respiration area.
After I started my weblog I to start with noticed it as a channel for my writing, secondly as a path to self-understanding: what on earth is it about gymnastics, Russian gymnastics specifically, that I discover so compelling? After three and a half years of running a blog (769 posts!) and a pair of.6 million web page views … Properly, I’m somewhat wiser, however no much less hooked to my topic. In truth, if something, I’ve dug myself deeper and deeper right into a multi-layered world. There will not be sufficient hours within the day, weeks within the 12 months, years in a lifetime for me to cowl this topic in adequate depth. I wish to thank all of the journalists, bloggers, translators, photographers, entrepreneurs and followers who’re without end contributing to my private image of Russia, its gymnasts and its wider context of sport, friendship and worldwide relations. This ever-changing image, typically flickering and vague, usually clear and exquisite, sometimes unhappy and painful, is what provides me the stimulus to maintain on writing.
I’ve additionally slowly begun to grasp that it’s not simply gymnastics that fascinates me. With out Russia, gymnastics can be meaningless to me. Russia is solely intoxicating. The wholly completely different philosophy of sport. The gorgeous colors within the amazingly ornate structure. The best way the language seems to be and sounds. The folks. The woody odor – is it fennel, is it sandalwood? Gymnastics and Russia is an ideal match of thriller, tradition, sport and politics … gymnastics is a window right into a world that I’ll by no means actually know, however cannot cease exploring.
My self-knowledge nonetheless has an extended technique to go. I do know now, for instance, that being learn means way more to me than the tortuous technique of writing! Feedback and discussions are fairly often essentially the most fascinating a part of this weblog. I do not write as a lot as I would love; usually I’m merely reporting occasions, or offering summaries of what’s being stated within the Russian press. One factor I had not envisaged when starting the weblog is that an entire group of folks would construct up round it; 3076 followers on Fb is excess of I ever anticipated. However in fact, this makes for a duty in the direction of the weblog’s followers; I attempt to present an outline of all the primary issues, however cannot do every part. Different blogs, comparable to the superb Movies of Russian Gymnasts, are higher at protecting observe of the up and coming juniors, the Russian Gymnastics Federation web site is more and more helpful for its hyperlinks to information tales and temporary profiles of workforce members. The gymnastics teams in VK.com hold us updated with the gymnasts’ lives so far as is respectful to them as folks, and the varied Tumblr blogs give some helpful insights.
I say I do not write as a lot as I want to, however it is important to chronicle the occasions of Russian gymnastics and to collate the central occasions in its developments if I’m to have the ability to write something significant in regards to the sport. This weblog subsequently tries to be a repository for the important thing sources. A few of the most under-used sources listed here are the tabs to the appropriate of the weblog’s residence display, the place hyperlinks to articles, a bibliography and an inventory of video documentaries might be discovered. There’s additionally an archive of all of the previous posts on the weblog, accessible by date. You possibly can search by label to seek out all of the articles on a specific topic.
So I’m now trying ahead to a different 12 months of running a blog and studying about Russia, its creative gymnastics and its sports activities system. I’m going to jot down one other publish imminently – within the subsequent few days – speaking in regards to the completely different areas of data that I may develop right here. I wish to attempt to add depth to my work greater than breadth, so count on just a few surprises.
When you have learn this far, and have ideas and concepts on the route this weblog is taking and will absorb future, please go away your concepts in a remark or two – I really like studying them and they’re at all times helpful.