There is a new show on BBC One called Tumble.
A warning: I was wearing trousers that did not fit.
The previous night, while packing for this assignment, I realised that I didn't own any running shorts, so I contemplated wearing my swimming shorts for this instead. Thankfully, I was reluctantly lent some trousers by my photographer, Matt.
First, we were told to do some warm-up exercises.
Including this stretch in which you look like a crab.
And this. Apparently, this is a warm-up move.
My flexibility generally? Not that good.
Meanwhile, Amelle Berrabah and her partner, former acrobatics world champion Doug Fordyce, were able to do this.
My attempts to do a cartwheel were not good.
But then, under instruction to aim to do a cartwheel over a corner, I *just* about pulled it off.
Next, a forward roll. The last forward roll I attempted wiped out half the people in my primary school class, so I was apprehensive, but willing to try it with precise instruction. And after a few minutes of "don't do that, do it like this"...
Holy hell, I could pull it off...at an angle.
Next, a handstand. Less said about this the better.
Nope. This wasn't awkward at all.
Finally, I had a go at jumping on a vault.
The vault is higher than it looks in the photo above, and the only way to get on it is by jumping on a trampoline stationed a couple of metres nearby.
Gymnasts touch the vault with their hands (or if they are doing it wrong, their face) before flying over to land on their feet.
Left to right: Amelle, Doug, and Bobby.
The biggest obstacle? Your brain. "About 90% of it is all mental, so it's just playing with your brain," Doug told me. "You'll learn something, you'll get it, and then you come in the next session and you can't do it any more. You have to re-teach yourself, break down those barriers in your brain, and make sure that your body is in charge."
The other great obstacle is pain. "People only see the nice stuff: the skills, the cartwheels, the handstands, the somersaults if you get to that point," added David-Roy. "It's the body preparation and the things beforehand – the hard graft that Amelle and Doug have been doing – and the pain of your body after doing condition and after doing stretching, and knowing that you have to come in all over again."
Then I met H from Steps doing the splits.
And the outfits they're going to wear are LOUD.
The sense I got from everyone I talked to is that gymnastics is hard. As Amelle said: "It's the first time I've actually understood that on Strictly Come Dancing and stuff, when [the contestants] go, 'Oh, please don't send me home, I'm not ready,' they've been working their arses off for two months before the show. No way, I do not want to go home in the first week. Like, no. I have been working too hard for this."
Tl;dr: Gymnastics is difficult. Don't turn up in your swimming shorts.