Scottish Cali Squad: July Meet-up a Huge Success!

THE SCOTTISH CALI SQUAD were in Airdrie on Saturday for what is now going to be a monthly meet-up at Airdrie Leisure Centre and hopefully other locations around Scotland.

A whopping 23 people showed up throughout the day and it was amazing to see some of Scotland's top calisthenics athletes showing off their advanced moves and skills on and off the bars.

As I correctly assumed last week, I was definitely a novice performer in this company! However, everyone was so welcoming and encouraging and I think I'm really going to progress in calisthenics by hanging out and getting to know everyone in the Scottish Cali Squad. After showing up late to the warm-up led by lead coach, Paddy, I spent my time initially introducing myself and getting to know some of the people I had recently followed on Instagram - shout-outs to Kevin, Ali, Don, Alex, Russell, Laura, Denise etc. that I mainly spoke to, and sorry to everyone else who I didn't get round to speaking to or remembering the name of!

Whilst catching up on my warm-up I was so impressed by the level of ability being shown. I was seeing an abundance of front levers, elbow levers, gravity-defying handstands, planches, ring muscle-ups and everything else you can imagine you'd see when you search #calisthenics on Instagram. Luckily for me, I wasn't alone in being at the lower end of the scale when it comes to what I can do on the bars, but hats off to Paddy, Pamela, Ali and Russell especially who got round everyone to make sure no one felt left out and everyone got a chance to try something new. This was a really progressive and supportive environment and it inspires me to offer whatever help I can to help promote this group and grow calisthenics in Scotland.

Inspired by what I was seeing, I decided to try out a muscle-up on the bar, something I've been working hard to get back on top of, after 4 years since I managed my last one. I had to use a whole lot of swinging and momentum, but after a few attempts I did it! I managed 2 reps, about 15 minutes apart from each other, but it's still a huge achievement for me to get back above the bar without a resistance band and I can't wait to try it again later this week! 

I can only credit the Scottish Cali Squad for helping me do this - without finding them on Instagram and learning about this calisthenics rig and meet-up in Airdrie, I wouldn't have got my muscle-up back so unexpectedly. This is exactly the environment that Paddy McIntyre told me that he wanted to cultivate when he started the group at the end of last year.

"The seeds of this community were sewn in October last year when I started putting on free workouts for calisthenics enthusiasts at Bellahouston Gymnastics Club. Numbers were slow to build at first, but once we hit double figures I knew that we were making great progress and the hard work was paying off.

"July's event has been a huge success and I'm looking forward to see what else is in store for the calisthenics community in Scotland as we move on and get even bigger from here."

Paddy was giving me plenty of tips and tutorials on how to improve my skills and abilities and I'm looking forward to catching up with him again soon to learn everything I can. Cheers Paddy!

The next meet will be held next month on Saturday August 22nd between 1-4PM at Airdrie Leisure Centre. You can find the full details for the event on Facebook, here.

To get regular updates and find out about future Scottish Cali Squad events and meet-ups, click Subscribe to get future posts on this website direct to your email inbox and follow @scottish_cali_squad on Instagram and Facebook. From there you can also find the Instagram accounts for all the coaches, everyone else in the group that I've mentioned above and plenty of more people in the calisthenics community here in Scotland.

All photographs credited to @lord_thomo.


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