The Gymnast in a Bubble

by

The gymnast looked around, trying to find the invisible bubble surrounding her. Where was it?

She reached up as far as she could above her head but did not touch it. Then she stretched her arms out wide but no sign of it there.

The Gymnast in a Bubble - Gymnast reaching for the upper limits of her personal bubble.
Gymnast reaching for the upper limits of her personal bubble.

She lunged forward to try and reach it, but could not feel it. How to reach further?

A bright idea: try doing the splits to touch it with her toes. Sideways? Or front to back? Try both.

The Gymnast in a Bubble - Gymnast reaching for the sides of her personal bubble.
Gymnast reaching for the sides of her personal bubble.

Not there either. Now what?

She thought about how she had moved, mentally going through the motions again. Then she realised what she had done: her reach had created her own invisible bubble around her! She tried doing it again, this time standing on tiptoes to reach higher, sweeping her arms around in a wide circle.

She had discovered the safe limitations of her own boundaries from a static position. This is the basic awareness on which all gymnastic activities and skills are developed.