Subscriber-Only Content Starts Tomorrow

Also: Dog photos

It’s been just over two months since I started writing this newsletter and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. I hope you guys have been enjoying it too. And if you have enjoyed what you’ve read here thus far, I hope you’ll subscribe because subscriber-only content starts tomorrow.

I started Unorthodox Gymnastics for the same reason I started writing my blog back in 2007—I wanted a space where I could explore gymnastics in all of its beauty and specificity and weirdness.

In this incarnation of Unorthodox Gymnastics, I’ve gotten to delve into things that perhaps I wouldn’t be able to write about for a mainstream publication, such as the nitty gritty of why Romanian gymnastics imploded; or how wonderful it feels to find your tribe and watch gymnastics with them at a bar; or how gymnastics legend Svetlana Boguinskaia’s iconic floor routines were choreographed. All of these stories are meaningful to me even if they don’t necessarily have mass appeal.

To help support more of this kind of work, starting tomorrow I’ll be charging a small fee for this newsletter. The price for the early birds is $5/month or $50/year for as long as you’re subscribed. The price will increase in the new year.

The profits from this newsletter will go towards Lizzie’s kibble bill. She’s a beagle mix, which means she eats a lot. It will also enable me to spend more time working on the newsletter and developing it further.

I know it’s wrong to use my cute dog to manipulate you into subscribing but these are desperate times. I will not apologize for doing what I have to do.

Here’s a bit of what I have planned: Q&As with folks like 1984 Olympic silver medalists Tracee Talavera and Kathy Johnson Clarke (the latter to talk about the upcoming college gymnastics season); one with Hardy Fink, the man who came up with the idea for an open ended Code of Points all the way back in the 1980s; and interviews with artists who have made gymnastics the subject of their paintings (along with beautiful images of their work).

In addition to interviews, I plan to write gymnastics analysis and essays. It’s an Olympic year so there certainly won’t be a shortage of things to write about. I will also occasionally step out of bounds, so to speak, and write about other topics that pique my interest, such as religion and dumb shit I’m watching on TV. (I watch a lot of dumb shit on TV.) And if you’re very lucky, I’ll let Lizzie answer your questions for an advice column. I think she’ll be great at it; she is wise beyond her dog years. (Send all questions for Lizzie and for me to unorthodoxgymnastics@gmail.com)

Thank you for all of the support you guys have shown me over the years. Without you, I wouldn’t have been able to spend the last decade or so daydreaming and writing about gymnastics.

That subscription button again. Do it!

And here’s another photo of Lizzie. You guys deserve it. (Yes, I commissioned a painting of her. Best money I ever spent.)

See all of you subscribers tomorrow!