Tumbling through life

At the tender age of just 22, British Power Tumbler, Lucie Colebeck of Pinewood Gymnastics Club in Berkshire, has numerous medals to her name, including what she considers her biggest achievement, silver at the World Championships in 2015. Lucie’s gymnastics journey started when she was only eight and here she tells us a little bit about growing up as a competitive gymnast.

I didn’t set out to be a tumbler. When I was 11 my current coach Vladimir Podobin saw my potential in tumble. So I switched from TeamGym and haven’t looked back since.   

My coach has played a huge part in my life. I’ve had the same coach, the whole way through my career and he’s been with me through highs and lows. In 2017 I competed at the International Tumbling Championships and it was the first time he was actually there on the track with me. That was a really special moment for us both.

I’ve always had a tough training schedule, but it just became part of life. I would train at least 5-6 times a week for 2 hours, sometimes squeezing extra training in during school hours.

I don’t feel I missed out on teenage life. Most of my friends are from the gym anyway so we were all the same boat growing up. Sometimes holidays could be tough because I couldn’t miss too much training, but I’m making up for that now with my huge passion for travel.

I’d tell my 9 year old self to just keep going. I wanted to give-up so many times. Working under a Russian coach was really tough at times and I’d often wonder if it was worth it. But now looking back I can’t imagine how different I would be if I hadn’t stayed committed and worked towards my dream.

The toughest time of my career was during my mental block. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get my full full tuck. Even my coach couldn’t understand it and frustration got the better of both of us. Thankfully I used my mantra of ‘just keep going’ and I got through it. We put it down to a growth spurt, which is a really common cause of mental block among gymnasts.

Everything happens for a reason. In fact it was during my mental block that I was able to really focus on tidying up my tumbling and that helped hugely with increasing my scores on the track.

Tumbling is a crazy sport and is best suited to younger gymnasts. It’s tough on your body and the older you get the tougher it becomes, that’s why I’m so grateful I had so many amazing opportunities at a young age.

I vary my sporting activity now that I’m older. Tumbling is still a huge part of my life but I’m now enjoying other activities such as swimming and I still go to the gym every day to keep up my fitness.

I love to travel. I’m just back from a tour of Canada and I have a long list of countries I want to visit. Tumbling means everything to me but it’s important to have other passions in life and for me travel is definitely next on my love list.

Follow Lucie on Instagram @luciecolebeck