Well, okay - it's not meet season for me just yet, but my little ones are heading into their first meet of the season this Saturday at the Gymnastics on the Grand Invitational hosted by GRG and we're super excited about it. Okay, probably mostly just me is excited about it. :)
It's funny how your perspective on competitions can change if you're lucky enough to spend enough time in the sport. When I was a kid, I wouldn't let my parents film anything, I didn't want anyone cheering for me, I just wanted to do my thing and be done with it. Despite my mom telling me that everyone was only watching their kid, I was hesitant to believe her - especially when I ate it on a Pak salto at States and I learned that everyone was, in fact, watching. But for the most part, I believed I was in my own little world and my gymnastics was none of anyone's business, except the judge.
After a few years passed and countless injuries prevented me from competing, my perspective on competing changed. I was so honored and excited to be able to show off my hard work in a competitive arena. I realized just how rare and special it was to be able to do what I could do and I also realized how limited my opportunities to experience this were becoming. People who saw me perform or even just practice would comment on the pure joy I had while doing gymnastics. And it made me so happy that through all the injuries, the heart breaks, the disappointments, people could still see how much I loved to do what I did.
As the little ones get ready to compete for the first time this year (and many of them for the first time ever!), I wish I could convey to them just how lucky they are to be able to compete. What an honor it is to be able to show your parents, your teammates, your coaches all the of the hard work you've put into this. Because while having a bad meet feels like a big deal, it's not. But having the amazing opportunity to be able to compete at all is one of the biggest deals there is for a gymnast.
So enjoy it, silly!
GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF THE GYMNASTS COMPETING THIS WEEKEND AT GRG!
So in a tragic update error, my ailing Macbook Pro is toast along with everything on it. Not a huge deal except my old floor music was on there and I have not been able to locate another copy of it. Nor do I have any idea what it might have been called. So I spent the morning cutting my new music which is Linkin Park "Faint". In Level 9, your routine has to be a minute and 30 seconds and obviously no words, so it took a little effort, but here it is!
I'm planning on pulling the majority of my choreo from my last routine but to be honest, I don't remember much of it. So let's add choreographing to the list of things I have to do to be ready to compete. Why not, right? I obviously don't have enough to do. ;)
As I said in the last post, I'm a couple weeks into this adventure so a lot went undocumented. The purpose of this post is to share where I was, where I am now, and my goals that I'd like to achieve before the end of the year. Some interesting notes before I get into it. 1) Muscle memory is definitely real - I was shocked at where I was when I started. 2) Muscle memory only gets you so far without actual muscles - also, literally every part of me hurts. 3) The things I'm scared of now are new and strange to me, but hey, we're working with over a decade hiatus so I'm okay with that.
WHERE I WAS
Now, I'll be honest - I was never really much of a vaulter. Back in my day, I competed a front front that was hit or miss but mostly miss. It was certainly my weakest event. I remember training yurochenkos and tsuks but I can't remember ever competing them. I'm not super optimistic that I'll be able to compete a vault with a 10.0 start value, and I'm so okay with that. Like I said, this was my weakest event when I was 16 - it's going to be that much harder at 28.
WHERE I AM
Front handsprings over the table
Tssuk timers over the table
Yurochenkos up to resi
WHERE I WANT TO BE
Tsuk into the pit
Yurochenko timer over the table
KEEP READING ----->
As all former gymnasts will attest, you're never really a former gymnast. You're a gymnast. No matter what injury you suffered that took you out of the game, no matter how many years have passed, there's some small part of you that believes, "Yeah, I could still do that." Gymnastics isn't like other sports - it's not like running, you can't just wake up and go for a tumble. So as a gymnast, long before you ever think about, you're already marked with this ridiculously cruel expiration date. It has to end someday. Your aging body, lack of equipment, no access to facilities - something will put an end to your gymnastics career. And the saddest part is that it's almost never by your choice.
Now mine is a long story but it's not unlike any other gymnasts' story out there. You had something you loved, you lost it. And that was hugely traumatic. I suspect my story will come up throughout this blog, but for now I'm all about moving forward. A couple weeks ago, after fooling around in the gym after coaching, I got to the point that I didn't just think, "Yeah, I could still do that". No, I said aloud, "I'm doing this!" And then I ordered grips, just in case anyone doubted me.
This blog exists to document the most insane thing I've ever tried to do: return to the competitive gymnastics world after nearly a decade of leaving it behind. Oh yeah, and if I'm going to compete, I have to be a Level 9. At any rate, I'm a week or two into this endeavor and it occurred to me that I should probably be writing about my experience. Not just for your entertainment, but just in case there's anyone out there thinking maybe they aren't a former gymnast either.
Thanks for reading!