A Salute to My Little Gymnast

Last October 25, S attended her first gymnastics ranking meet.  She was among the 33 girls chosen from over a hundred students of the academy to be assessed and ranked.  The top 15 girls will participate in the ucoming competition in December.

S became interested in gymnastics when she learned that her friends were taking lessons for their summer activity.  We did not enroll her right away because we were going away for vacation and I wasn’t also quite convinced that she really liked gymnastics.  I was thinking that she just wanted to join to be with her friends.  How wrong I was!

We went in for a trial class one fine Saturday morning last June and has since then, been spending our Saturday mornings there.

Trying her hand at the forward roll

Trying her hand at the forward roll

Going into training, S knew that it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. The exercises, tumbles and rolls were anything but easy. Gymnastics required physical strength, flexibility and balance and I saw that as a beginner, she was struggling with some of these.

While trying to do a cartwheel or a handstand, she would sometimes fall (and I would squirm in my seat). But always, she would get get up, ever so determined to try again…and again. S takes her training sessions very seriously. In fact, she used to incessantly ask me if she can have an additional training day. I said I will think about it…

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During the ranking meet, I saw her perform by herself in front of a crowd for the first time. She was poised, confident and self-assured. Her routines weren’t perfect but there were glimpses of perfection — like when she did a flawless cartwheel that she had been practicing for weeks or when she executed a good jump during her balance beam routine. She was ecstatic that she waa able to perform these stunts. Me? I was just beaming with pride. My baby girl has come a long way since our trial class.

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At the end of the meet, S ranked 22nd. With only four months of training, she kind of expected this result. She knows that there are still more skills to learn and a whole lot of room for improvement. S just takes this all in and embraces the challenge with open arms. With this kind of resolve, the least we could do as parents is to fully support and cheer for her…and yes, agree to that additional training day she was asking for. 🙂

With her gym friends

With her gym friends

So see you at the next gymnastics meet!

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