Fresh from international competition in Bogota, Colombia, local trampoline gymnast Nathan Shuh is already getting ready to jump his way onto the national senior team.
He has just returned with a fifth-place finish in the 2016 Pan American Trampoline Championships. It was his first go at international senior competition.
“I was pretty happy with it. It was my first international senior meet and throughout the week I was feeling incredibly sick. I was pretty happy that I got through all of my routines. There are a few things that are added together,” he said. “They start with difficulty scores, they have an execution score and it is all added together.”
He tried his best not to be intimidated by the other trampoline gymnasts.
“I thought they were very talented. Some of them had a lot of international experience at the Pan Am Games and at the Olympics and things like that,” he said. “I just had to remind myself to focus only on what I can control and what I can control is what I showed the judges.”
The trip wasn’t just about trampolining, however. Shuh had a chance to take a look around Colombia while he was in South America, and he liked what we saw.
“We had about three days out of the week where we could go out into Colombia. We saw a cathedral, we saw the touristy area of Bogota, the Plaza de Bolivar and then we got to go up to the top of the nearby mountain and got a really nice view of Bogota,” he said.
Leading up to the Pan American Trampoline Championships, Shuh said he was having some challenges with his prepared routine. He got some advice from well-known gymnasts and everything turned out alright.“This month, I somewhat hit a bit of a rough patch. I had a bit of a mental block. That was a bit nerve-wracking going into this competition. I credit a lot of getting through this competition to my coach and also bronze medal trampoline gymnast Karen Cockburn. She gave me some really good advice going into this meet. She said it was always important to have a backup routine. Just in case the first routine isn’t going the way I want,” he said, adding that he took her advice. “I actually changed my routine a week before the competition, and that was the right move. The funny thing is that the mental block wasn’t even on my hardest trick. It was on one of my easier tricks. It is just a front flip with a twist in mid-air. It was weird. My double and triple flips were unaffected, just over-thinking on the easier stuff with the competition nerves.”
Next up for Shuh is a national competition, determining who gets to stay on the senior team, competing for Canada in 2017.
“That will be the last one this year, so I am looking to go out with a bang,” he said with a laugh.