Saturday, March 31, 2007

White Palms

The title "White Palms" refers to the chalked hands of gymnasts -- but as this striking, deeply felt drama illustrates, sometimes those hands are blistered and bloody.

In an unpromising opening sequence that overdoes the shaky handheld camera, introspective Dongo (Cirque du Soleil member Zoltan Miklos Hajdu) arrives in Calgary to coach Olympic hopefuls. The film then moves back 21 years to 1980 Debrecen, Hungary, where the 10-year-old Dongo withstands a merciless schedule of gymnastics practice. When his parents see a welt on his leg, courtesy of the sadistic coach (Gheorghe Dinica) who brandishes a fencing foil, they insist that he must have deserved it. Their response to such rough handling is a stark contrast to the clamor that erupts among Canadian parents after the adult Dongo slaps a boy who's practicing a dangerous routine. Rather than fire him, the head coach puts him in charge of the gifted but recalcitrant Kyle (Olympic medalist Kyle Shewfelt).

Read the rest of the review here: White Palms

I didn't realize this film existed until now. It looks hot. Kyle Shewfelt is a Calgary gymnast who won an Olympic medal for his floor routine, and works out at the University of Calgary where I once did. And soon, I will be living in the same city. He's probably not gay though, but he sure is cute!

I remember my coaches used to work me out until my palms bled. When you're 12, and develop soft calluses from all the bar work, it takes nothing to rip off 3mm of flesh. Even though they were ripped off, he made me chalk up and do it again. I was very angry at him and tearful because it really hurts. But when you're 12, by the next practice day, they've already healed. Then your body seems to build up an immunity to the calluses (for the most part) and all the bumps on your triceps from parallel bars, your pelvis, etc. It's weird when I think about it now. Even from working out, I love developing hard calluses on my hands. I used to like gliding over my partner's back with my calluses, scratching/tickling him. He didn't like it though - I would have. He used to moisturize his hands obsessively so he never developed them.

He developed white palms though, from stroking his enormous big cock.

On another tangent, I found out my L*thbridge coach who I had a big crush on moved to Las Vegas and is now coaching Cirque du Soleil performers. My parents found an article on him in the local newspaper and showed it to me. Good for him. He gave me many painful months of unresolved sexual fantasies, especially when he undressed in front of me, and put his hands all over me. I've blogged about it somewhere on this site.

Gymnastics really does change the soul of a person, for a life time.