How Do You Know You’re a Gymnast?

I think I am addicted to gymnastics and working out. I am over here in London and I cannot wait to get back and train with coach on the 29th. Kenny and I are heading back tomorrow and I am itching to get into the gym and work out. I have been stretching and been doing slinkies in the tv room. I just feel so tight having not stretched for seven days.  All I can do is review footage, check on YouTube to see what Rajna (in the Czech Republic) and Leadina (Russia) and now Lauren Mitchell (Australia) are doing at their latest meets.

I have been watching some videos on YouTube and one of my favorite was “How do you know your a gymnast?” Here are some of the way you can know if you ARE a gymnast!

1- You own more leotards than normal clothes. (YES)

2-  Your forgot what you look like with your hair down. (YES)

3-  You use more chalk than soap. (YES)

4- You sleep in your leotard. (OFTEN)

5- Your coach reads you like a book (YES)

6- Your best friends are all gymnasts (YES)

7- You remember every routine you have ever done (YES)

8- You dream gymnastics (YES)

9- Your hands are tougher than your feet (YES)

10- Managing pain is a way of life (YES)

11- Everything you see is a beam or bars (YES)

12- Any long corridor cries out for a tumbling pass (YES)

I can answer Yes to nearly all of these and I have difficulty thinking of life without gymnastics. I can’t believe I stopped it for five years from 14 to 19. While I took the Encino Eagles Cheer Squad to local champions and the Heroes to National Championships there is something different about the discipline about gymnasts. We need the running speed of a sprinter, the strength of a weightlifter, the grace of a ballerina and the flexibility of a contortionist. There is always something to work on and there is always someone  better than you at something. Each day we do our best competing against ourselves and how great we can be. We celebrate the achievements of anyone else because we know how hard they worked to get there. We also know that luck can make the difference between Gold and nothing. Our life is about aiming for perfection knowing it is unlikely. We our assessed on every single technique we do and we have to be the perfect example of sportsmanship and maturity. Talk about tough for a young girl. So much pressure. Most of us who are competing at higher levels have been competing from the age of 5. That is 9-12 years of competition to get to the top level and by the time you are 21 you are considered old and by 25 ancient. Is it any wonder we get this good after training for 6-8 hours a day for so many years.

You ask any competitive gymnast what sacrifices they have made and the list will be long; holidays, boyfriends, spending time with friends but I will eill tell you this even for the girls that were hurt on this journey; none of them would change it for anything. And I agree!!! For me Life Is Gymnastics and Gymnastics is Life!!!

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