Monday, September 10, 2012

Our first gymnastics meet

I don't know what I expected, but up to this point in my life, the only gymnastics that I had witnessed at a meet was at the Olympic level.  Which basically means I saw lots of stress, pressure and tears along with big skills accompanied by big smiles when the scores were good.  So, when my daughter decided to join TEAM gymnastics, I was a bit nervous about what we were getting ourselves into.

Then came the first gymnastics meet.  I tried my best to slick her hair back.  She was very sweet, almost like the mommy, telling me that "I did such a good job".  But then we get to the gym and the girls REALLY have their hair tight and braided and we both immediately knew my styling was not gonna cut the mustard.  From the moment she walked into the team room, she was embraced and loved and encouraged.  I left her at that point, with her coaches and teammates,  and sat out in the crowd to watch and take pictures…attempting to document every single moment.

The girls were adorable.  And I honestly don't where they get the courage to do this stuff in front of everyone.  In swimming, I had my cap and goggles on with my head down.  I was in my own little safe bubble.  I had tears in my eyes watching these 6-year-olds run down for their vault with such determination as each jumped, landed, and turned to beam a smile at the judges.

And the JUDGES.  They were amazing.  They were encouraging the kids every step of the way simply with their attitude.  One vault judge would thank the girls after every turn.  At the end, almost everyone got a ribbon. But it wasn't just a trophy or a medal, it was a ribbon for participating and having the courage to compete which made them feel amazing.  After it was all over, Skye said to me with the biggest smile, "I can't believe I got 9th!!!"

I think she just might be hooked and I don't blame her at all.


  1. My 15 yr old daughter is a gymnast and my husband a gymnastic coach. I am a soccer player and coach. Gymnast are the true meaning of team and friendship. Even though they compete against each other they also compete for each other. After 25 hours a week in the gym with each other you would think the last person they would want to spend time with is their teammates but it's the total opposite that is exactly who they want to spend time with. I think gymnastics as also made her a better student. The higher the level the more entertaining and easier it is to watch. Hope she sticks with it and enjoys it.

  2. Summer- thanks for sharing your story. The hair aspect of your story brought back many memories of watching my wife make sure each and every strand of our daughter's hair was perfect before each soccer game. Speaking of memories, I'll never forget watching our daughter stopping in the middle of a breakaway on the soccer field to "pet" a butterfly in the grass. Or, my son hitting a triple and standing on third wiggling back and forth because he needed to go #1... until of course he resolved the issue as only a 6 year old player can and will do... without leaving the base. He went on to score sliding in to home and standing up with dirt caked to his wet baseball pants. He couldn't care less and to this day tells me he'd do it all again :-)