So.... this is awkward. My last update was in May 2018. (Insert cringing awkward emoji here.) Needless to say, things have changed. In a very short amount of time, all of this happened:
But gymnasts? Nah, gymnasts are used to this stuff. Being a gymnast is an experience of near constant disappointment (don't stop reading, this is a positive post I promise). You're never good enough for yourself. You're always just ONE toe point away from beating someone else (or losing to them), from making the national team (or not), from whatever it is a that a toe point separates you from. And it's hard. In a sport filled with awards for perfection, Code of Points level of judgment, and physical and psychological injury... it's almost hard for non-gymnasts to fathom that YES, on top of all of that, sometimes it gets worse.
So what's the difference between being down and out and hitting the ground running? Contrary to popular belief, it isn't a question of how you handle it. Do you break, do you cry, do you give up, yell, fight, scream, all of the above? NOPE, it's not a question of how you react because YES, you do all of those things. Gymnasts are (on some level) humans, too. The question, then, isn't "How did you react?", it's "Did you keep going after the fact?" And for a lot of us, superhuman gymnast or not, it's really, really hard to keep going.
But thankfully, this isn't a sad story. This is a happy one! After a few months of struggling to make sense of what happened and feeling like I lost gymnastics all over again, I met the CEO of our local YMCA and said, "Hey, we should start a gymnastics program." And shockingly, he agreed. Fast forward to Spring of 2019 and we had started the first gymnastics program at this YMCA in almost 30 years. It was very modest set up with its initial success being entirely dependent on me running from my full-time job to the Y to jump up and down for a couple hours to try to engage kids that had never done a gymnastics class before. It was A LOT of work. It was exhausting and a huge difference from coaching team gymnastics, but it reminded me of two really important things: 1) I love gymnastics and 2) I love teaching gymnastics.
And so that's the long story! Now, we're just kicking off the Fall session with brand new equipment and a thriving program. I couldn't be happier or prouder to be working with the YMCA to bring gymnastics into the life of kids who would otherwise never get the opportunity to try this wonderful sport. With so many wonderful, amazing, fantastic gymnastics-related successes I've had, the work I'm doing at the YMCA is easily one I'm most proud of. So stay tuned... we've got some really exciting stuff coming out of the work of GymnastiCity and my never-ending pursuit of making gymnastics my entire life.
Thank you for your support!
- Coach Ashley