Thursday, December 16, 2010

Elite Bloggers

Kyle Shewfelt, Canada's '04 Olympic floor medalist wrote a blog post that really resonates with what a lot of people in the world are feeling right now.

To read more follow this link:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Leap of Faith...

It's amazing the type of people you find in your area, in your sport, that you had no idea have a physical disability. More inspiring is the people who don't let anything stop them.

Lola Walters, of Black Hills Gymnastics is legally blind. Not only that, but she is already a level 6 competitive gymnast. At 11 years of age, by gymnastics standards, that makes her quite average. However, this makes her achievement HUGE! There are hundreds of other 11 year old, level 6's that don't have a disability and are not even at her ability level.

Her accomplishment has put her on national news. To hear more about this incredible story, click the link below or watch the video.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Late Thanksgiving!

Not much is going on that I know about in the gymnastics world at this present moment, but in only a few weeks, the JO gymnastics competition season will be under way!

This year will be the first in two years that I will once again be at the very first gym I grew up in for the first 16 years of my life. I am excited to once again be training and competing there. And for the first time at this gym I will get an level 9 team to compete with! I am fired up and can't wait to start posting footage of this season!

More to come in a few weeks...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cirque Le Masque

Last night I was thrilled to get to experience a fantastic performance by cirque! It was the second one I had ever seen live. The show was captivating and exhilerating, not quite as incredible as the first one I had seen, but still a performance I will never forget!

Over the past few years I have thought about following a career path toward performing in a circus-like atmosphere, mostly due to the fact that I have been training my whole life in a gym. Since gymnastics is something I want to be doing my whole life and the chance of me getting to do so is not very likely, then why not follow a similar dream? However, getting the chance to follow such an epic career is going to have to take some sacrifices. Unfortuantly, there is nothing nearby that would allow me to learn any form of circus acts. Plus performing in the circus is definintly no easy task in any way, shape or form. In other words, I'm gonna have to want it more than anything! And another issue will be the injured wrist I've developed that wont seem to heal.. :/

We'll see where my life leads. For now I am content with gymnastics training, coaching and being a barista. Maybe one day I will write a fictionalized story about the circus too. :)

Life has no limits!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Chalked Up"-Have you read it?

Lately I have been busy reading the book, "Chalked Up", a memoir of gymnast, Jennifer Sey. Not only is the book an honest reflection of how elite gymnasts had and are still being trained today but much of the story mirrors my own life. The way Jennifer writes of her personal struggles, partially caused by outside influences and partially by her own personality, brought back some of my own heart-breaking memories growing up in a gym.

As a child, gymnastics was what I did for fun. I never could seem to get enough of it; I always wanted to be in the gym. There is nothing compared to the feeling of flipping off of a 10 ft. bar and landing as soft as a cat on a mat beneath, the magic in being able to stick a dismount from a four inch wide, 4 ft. tall beam, the feeling of springs beneath you, throwing you high into the air. Everything about gymnastics is both exhilerating and yet terrifying. It is definintly the most captivating sport for any dare-devil child, but gymnastics is no longer defined by women. Once you hit puberty and learn that the body is not as limber as it was as a child, gymnastics becomes something different altogether. For some, it can become a nightmarish sport of eating disorders, constant training, injuries and addiction. Even though I never reached elite, or even level 10 for that matter; the psychological, emotional and physical issues Jennifer writes of, have all been a part of my past and still linger with me to this present day.

There is one anecdote she writes of, at the beginning of part III, in her memoir that particularly tore at my heart. The reason soley being that I too, have felt exactly as she did in my own life. In fact, I am still recovering from my own personal experiences of being a high level and considerably good gymnast, to literally feeling as though I had fallen from the face of the gymnastics world. Her story writes of returning to one of her earlier gyms, somehow still holding onto what was left of her Olympic dream yet inside she knew that there was no way of recovering, both mentally and physically, to get her back to where she left off at. She discusses her struggle with trying to remain thin at that time as well as feeling her own personal desire of continuing gymnastics thwarted by everything she has been through.

The short three pages of this peice of the story also sums up exactly the way I felt after my first initial wrist injury in the year, 2008. Both she and I will forever have a deep wound in our lives, the realization that nothing went as planned and we can never go back to the way things were. She couldn't let go, like I wouldn't let go. The desire to be the best was much to great, etched in both of our hearts and minds. Erasing it continues to be a struggle in my life, as I'm sure it is in her own. The difference I think is that even though both of us remained sucked in our addiction to the sport of gymnastics, she eventually let go when she realized she couldn't go back. I cling to the sport still, at first it was to solidify in myself that I could get back to where I left off at. Now that desire has left, I have come to terms with my heart and my body. I cannot go back to the way it was, but I can still have fun in gymnastics. I know now why I fell in love with gymnastics. It wasn't soley to become an Olympic athlete or to be the best, instead it is that incredible feeling of being able to do what so few can do, the joy of flying through the air, denying gravity of it's existance for a brief moment. Gymnastics is the one peice of heaven that I can hold on earth during my lifetime and I'm gonna hang on to it for as long as I can.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Region 2 Gymnastics Clinic-Day 1

I have gotten so behind on blogging. Life has been crazy! Here is a glimpse into what happened on day 1 of region II's first gymnastics clinic of the year.

Most of the footage is of my teammates but there are a few other level 9 and 10's thrown in there.

We had some awesome clinicians there including:
Tammy Biggs
John Carney
Todd Gardner
Yulia Hancheroff
Guennadi Komissarov
Nola Ayers
Patti and Neil Resnick
Tom Koll
and many, many others!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


This week I have increased my hours in the gym, (in both the "gymnastics" arena and at the YMCA).

My Schedule=
Mondays and Wednesdays I train 6.5 hours a day: 1.5 in the pool in the morning, 1 hour of cycling and 4 hours doing gymnastics.
Tuesdays and Thursdays I am for now, just training 4 hours a day at gymnastics, I might increase it in a week or 2.
Fridays work outs depend on how I feel that particular day. Eventually though I will probably be doing 4.5 hours: 1.5 hour swim, 3 hours at gym.
Saturdays and Sundays are also different all of the time. Saturday is mostly my recovery day where I only do swimming for 1.5 hours and maybe some rehabilitation conditioning.
Sundays are cardio and conditioning day. Either biking, swimming or running (when my heel heals all the way), and some strength training sometime later in the day.

Also I am vegan 6 days a week. I am allowing myself to go back to vegetarian on Thursdays and see how that goes, (since Thursday is always the day I struggle through gym training). On a sad/annoying note, I re-injured my wrist...Well I think I just started training to fast on it. Yesterday I made the mistake of vaulting. However, I did do a couple of decent tsuks! But now I am paying for it. It'll probably take another couple of weeks to get back to where I was last weekend... *sigh*. I just want it to heal all the way so I can start training full out again. However, on a good note, despite the fact I have been unable to do a lot for over a month, I still have everything and strangely enough, my bars seem to have improved.

I just need to be ready to go by December. I plan to compete this year and make it through Western Nationals. I am going to break the cycle I have been going through for the last 3 years. This year's gonna be the year! I am so blessed to be at a gym with girls and coaches who support me and don't try to push me in or out of the sport. They are all very patient and that makes my journey and struggles so much easier to overcome.

This is where I need to get back to! Also, since I wont be doing a lot in the gym these next two weeks I am going to really be focusing on my training elsewhere. Last Monday, I made 22 miles in cycling and today's swim practice was:

4x400 w-up (swim, kick, paddles/bouy swim, swim)

50 Easy kick
50 Medium kick
50 Hard kick

Repeat 4x but each time add another 50 to the hard kick. (It hurt!)

Then I did backstroke for the next set:

25 Hard
25 Easy
> Rest <

50 Hard
50 Easy
> Rest <

75 Hard
75 Easy
> Rest <

100 Hard
100 Easy
> Rest <

Then we did the same set with Freestyle. Lord it was hard! But I feel great after so it's all worth it! :) My goal this year is to do a 1600 at a meet which equals 4x16= Ummm, my math is pathetic...I think that's 64 laps. Is that correct? Lol, and also to qualify an event to Y-Nationals which is in Florida. How funny would that be?! To miss out on getting to do Y-Nationals in gymnastics because the first year I was injured and the 2nd year I was considered "too old"! It would be cool to make it, even if it was in swimming. ;)

Likewise, in the gym arena I have some goals, but basically my outline plan is to get healthy by season and peak during State, Regionals and Westerns. Qualify to each and get to compete all events at each.

My final goal is to do a triathlon this year. Even if it's just a sprint triathlon, that is better than nothing and will give me a starting point.

That's all for today!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


It's been just over a month since I re-injured my wrist, yet again, for the 5th time... Since then, something has happened inside of me. I have become so much more aware of my thoughts and where my body is on earth and in the air as well. Diligence and persistence to overcome this one injury has changed me mentally. I feel spiritually changed as well. I began looking for answers immediately after my wrist was re-injured... And answers I did find...within me. I also learned of different alternative healing methods, practices outside of the Western medical field. Also getting injured again made me realize how much my diet needed to change. About a week after I was injured I became a vegetarian. Within the last couple of days, I became vegan. I not only feel better, lighter and healthier; but eating so naturally has made me feel closer to the earth, the sky, the plants and animals. Everything feels so real, like I have been re-born. Maybe I have awoken from a deep sleep. I haven't been this happy since I was probably 8 years old. Gymnastics is a beautiful sport that can change a person into something unbelievable. I have learned more in this lifetime than I could've ever learned without this sport. I plan to keep going as a gymnast for as long as I can!

I also saw this a couple of days after my injury and it really motivated me in many ways. I want to be better this year than I've ever been before in my life, and that is my plan. One day at a time...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Barefoot Running

I began reading this amazing book this year that inspired me in many, many ways. Apparently, many others are becoming interested in what it has to offer. The book is called, "Born to Run" and has impacted thousands!

Author Christopher Mcdougall creates an astonishing read that incorporates real live people who are changing running history as we speak. The book is of the journey Christopher takes to discover why he was continually getting injured only running a few miles a week, while others could run marathons and remain uninjured. His journey leads him to a virtually unknown tribe, called the Tarahumara, who dwell in Mexico. This unique group of beings are known for their ability to run amazingly long distances and with little resources to propel their strong running abilities. Throughout his journey, Christopher meets many people who all have seemingly inhuman qualities about them.

One character that Christopher portrays in his book is a man named Barefoot Ted. Now if I had known of this man sooner I would've gotten to listen to him lecture at the college I was attending. Unfortuantly, I missed this opportunity but even so I am still uniquely interested in what he has to offer. His story is intriguing and inspiring, and his running method is becoming more of a fad each day! People have become more excited by the idea each day that I finally found a yahoo page that supported the idea that Barefoot Ted has been promoting.

Barefoot running has started to become a trend. Once again, it seems that humans are shifting back to an older method of running that our oldest ancestors likely used.

Incase the link doesn't open, here's what yahoo page says:

Baring It All: The Barefoot Running Trend user by Susan Rinkunas, RUNNER'S WORLD.

Have you seen the alien shoes spotted on celebrities recently? Matthew McConaughey and girlfriend Camila Alves wear them to work out, actor Channing Tatum runs in them, and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George sports them for beach football.

Just what are these funky, rubber glove toe socks? They’re Vibram FiveFingers—shoes that are meant to mimic the experience of running without shoes, yet protect your feet from dirt and debris. Why would people want to run without their cushy trainers? Running without shoes can strengthen your feet, ankles, and lower legs and improve balance. Some say modern running shoes are to blame for injuries. And one man wrote an immensely popular book that concluded as much.

The 10 laws of injury prevention

Vibram started making the five-toed shoes in 2006, but the trend really picked up steam last year, following the publication of Christopher McDougall's book “Born to Run.” The book describes how Mexico’s Tarahumara Indians have become some of the greatest long-distance runners in the world despite running barefoot or in sandals fashioned from tire rubber. McDougall chronicles an ultramarathon race in Mexico’s Copper Canyons attended by a group of Americans including “Barefoot Ted” McDonald, who either ran sans shoes or in FiveFingers, in case of sharp rocks. The author argues that we’d be better off without the souped-up shoes marketed to us by giants like Nike and Adidas, which he says have done nothing to prevent injuries. The book made “The New York Times” bestseller list, and now TMZ is photographing celebrities in their very own lizard shoes.

According to CNN, the FiveFingers have become so popular that the company is having a hard time keeping them in stock—and stopping counterfeiters from selling knock-offs online.

Some barefoot devotees simply like the sensation of feeling the surface they’re running on while others swear up and down that ditching traditional running shoes has helped them prevent injuries. While there’s no scientific evidence to support the latter claim, we do know that running barefoot or in barefoot-style shoes like the FiveFingers or Nike Free changes one’s running mechanics. When runners aren’t wearing shoes with built-up soles, they tend to land in the middle or toward the front of their feet rather than on their heel and researchers believe that such midfoot or forefoot striking results in less impact on the body. But as Susan Paul, M.S., exercise physiologist and program director for the Orlando Track Shack Foundation says, “To date, there are no studies indicating that running shoes contribute to injury or, conversely, that barefoot running reduces injury or makes you run faster.”

The mechanics of barefoot running

If you’re thinking about shedding your shoes, consider these guidelines:

Barefoot training is not for people who are just starting to run or returning from a long layoff—it’s something to slowly incorporate into an existing running regimen.
If you have persistent or serious foot problems, consult your podiatrist first.
Ease in slowly. Paul advises starting with a few minutes on a flat, relatively forgiving surface once a week. Grassy fields, smooth roads, and soft trails qualify. Running on sand might be tempting, but barefooting newbies should stick to wet sand at first as the unstable soft stuff puts a lot of torque on your joints and is much harder to run on.

Listen to your body. “Barefoot Ken Bob” Saxton, founder of and finisher of more than 70 barefoot marathons, says, “Luckily, your feet are sensitive, which is a good thing. Listen to them and they'll keep you from doing something stupid.”

(No Copyright Infringement Intended)

For more information on "Born to Run" check out Christopher McDougall's blog:

2010-A Year of Change...

According to my mom, the year 2010 is expected to be a year of changes all leading up to the shift in 2012. I think it was the year 2008 when I began learning of 2012 and wondering... Much of the world is very skeptical of the idea of 2012, and I don't much expect many people to read this with belief in their hearts or minds. That is your choice, so I ask that you do not criticize the words I am writing.

Early on in 2010 I experienced my own changes and spiritual journies. Inside my heart and changes on the outside that people were seeing. Likewise, people all around me were experiencing changes as well; both good and bad.

One of my teammates at GGC who had never been injured, tore her acl. She was one of the top gymnasts there, after the injury she choose to quit gymnastics. I also decided to take time off because of a wrist injury which was continually getting re-injured since February 2008. I didn't know if I would come back, I had decided I was going to wait 6 months before training again. More or less, I made it about 6 months before I started training full time. I only managed to take off two months before I started working out at another gym nearby. I could not train at Grace after I told them I was likely done with the sport of gymnastics, but I still wanted to train and compete. That's the way the sport seems to work, it beckons you back in. So that incorporated my next change, I began training at Metropolitan. I was not training very much though. After two months, I was only going in one to two days a week for a couple hours at a time. Likewise, I was coaching my very own team for the first time in my life, and it was quite an experience; both good and bad.

Mentally my thoughts shifted as well. Being without gymnastics, living in the world as an adult, not having anyone to go to for support changed me. It humbled me and gave me every reason to feel blessed for any gym training I could recieve. I learned what coaches liked coaching. I learned that sometimes the gymnasts who trained the hardest got the least amount of feedback because coaches simply "expected" perfection and hardwork from them. My coaching philosophy became: "Coach your gymnasts as you would've liked to be coached". I listened to coaches gossip and learned that sometimes, if not often, children are much less threatening; if not wiser than many adults. (At least the adults I worked with...) One day I would love to get to coach, to support every gymnast, to work them hard but to understand their feelings and sympathize with them as well as to teach them what it is to be a great gymnast and a kind human being. For now though, my time belongs in the gym as a gymnast.

At the beginning of the year, I still wanted to return to Grace gymnastics as time wore on, things kept pushing me away from that direction. Strangely enough, it was as though a divine source kept me from returning and showed me once again, that everything happens for a reason. At the end of season the GGC team learned that 3 of the team coaches would be leaving for other gyms. One of the head compulsary coaches; Carleigh left for Emerald City Gymnastics and both of the head optional team coaches were leaving as well. Brian also for Emerald City and Jackie headed off to Roach.

I was left without a gym and many gymnasts were left without a coach. And for the second time in my life I watched as a gym fell apart. A large majority of the gymnasts chose to leave. I also left...for home.

And with that;
I dropped out of college,
Almost retired from gymnastics,
Once again lived home for the first time in 2 years,
Re-injured my wrist for the 5th time
Returned to the gym that I thought I had left forever...

It seems I've made a complete circle.

There were other things happening within the gymnastics community that reached my ears but I cannot disclose on blogspot due to the turmoil such gossip has already provoked.

One major shift in the world of gymnastics is the U.S. earning a bronze medal from the 2000 Olympic games after finding that Dong Fong Xiou was actually 14 years of age instead of 17.

Over this past year I have watched two other major knee injuries occur. Two other top level gymnasts in their own gyms have been taken out of the sport for the moment. One gymnast at my "home" gym dislocated her knee and tore some ligaments and another gymnast from one of my past gyms also tore her acl...Her coach, (one of my past coaches) also had a knee injury within the last week. Both Shawn Johnson and Ivana Hong tore acls as well.

Likewise, there have been two major deaths in my family, seperated by only a couple of months. My aunt I lived with for a year was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a year ago. She died last April. My grandma was also killed this past year, in June. She was severly injured in a car accident and died a couple weeks after the incident.

It's been a long, rough journey but change is not as frightening as it used to be. I have learned to cope a lot better and to allow change instead of trying to force things to remain the same. God is changing the world all around us, we are changing and I feel more prepared than ever before for the change that is to come.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Gymnastics and Other Interesting Stuff

I've been missing the GGC girls lately...A lot. :(

I coached today for the first time in a longggg time and I forgot how much I loved it and how comfortable I feel in the atmosphere. I coached for five hours today and I can't wait to coach again soon! :-)

I also tried hot yoga this weekend, and my goodness, it was AMAZING! Within the first 10 minutes my body was already dripping sweat, and I mean DRIPPING! I have never sweat so much in my life but I guess it's pretty understandable when you are in a 105 degree room, with 30 other people, doing stretches and strength skills for 90 minutes! It was hardcore and I wanted to die! Lol, but I definantly think it is another career path I am very intrigued in following.

I am so determined to be successful and live decently without a college education! Not only do I want to prove I can do it, but the idea of school disgusts me and always has! I HATE SCHOOL!!!

Visa champs are on this weekend! I can't wait to have a team party to watch them the week after!!! This weekend I will however be busy visiting a past coach and friend who is very dear to me! I can't wait to see her! :)

Gym went well today. Norm and Rachel were coaching. I did quite a few double backs on tumble tramp onto the hard 12 inch mat, and also front fulls onto 2 8inch mats, and front full, front tuck on tumble tramp. The rest of the day was eh. I wish my wrist and heel didn't hurt so badly. :(

Childhood Memories

Gymnastics is such a beautiful sport, in the way that it makes one feel innocent, magical and young. I would give anything to get the chance to start over again, from day one...Or age 8 when I first joined team. I would make so many different decisions, but I suppose what happened was meant to happen. And the place I am in now is exactly where I should and want to be. I am once again at home.

Driving on the highway, back home, as the sun is just sinking over the mountains brings me back to a place once forgotten. Even more beautiful reminisences is being in a gym I have lived my whole life in. It brings back memories of when everything was simple and I didn't care about a thing in the world. If only my body didn't hinder the full gloriousness of the moment. I still hurt everyday. It's tolerable pain but my goal is to not have the pain continue to harrass me this year. I want to make it through a full meet season, the first full meet season in three years. I know I can do it, my body just needs to cooperate with my heart.

Having Norm as a coach again is what I've wanted for the last 2.5 years I've been gone. Whoever thought I would be here once again though. Certaintly not me. These last 2.5 months have been thrilling and fantastic! Being a gymnast is all I've ever wanted, and it's all I still want! This sport has some divine force within it or something that keeps me coming back for more everyday. It's like a good drug or a loving relationship that you just can't get enough of. I am so thankful for the coaching I have gotten from Michelle and Rachel. They have provided more information, patience, love, respect and coaching than I had gotten over the past couple of years. I can't believe I left this behind over two years ago. I love having girls that are now at my level at this gym, who crack me up everyday and push me to strive harder every moment. It's funny how they were once so young and now they seem to be just like me.
They all want the same thing I want...To be the best gymnast I can be...

Coming in the gym isn't a chore for me and I don't know if it will ever be. I love it so much, I love learning new skills, working hard, sweating everyday, pushing myself what I thought possible, doing what most people never dreamed of doing, being a part of a team, having a gym full of sisters, having coaches that provide everything for a gymnast to get to the top and I love the magic etch in the walls of a gym, the childhood of all girls that grew up training for something bigger than most people could understand. This is my sport, this is my dream, this is my life and this is all I'll ever want.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Miss My GGC Team; But a New Journey With G+ Awaits Me!

A lot has happened in the past 2 years of my life.

Three years ago I sustained an injury that kept me out of the sport for over three months, and then a week before I was released to start training again, I shattered my foot in four peices. That was a difficult year for me. I missed out on State, Regionals and Western Nationals. I quit training at my home gym that I had been at for 16 years of my life, I transitioned to another gym that I stayed at for a few months and then I made the biggest decision of my life and moved three hours away from home to live with my aunt and uncle, to train at a better training facility. It was the best decision I have ever made in my entire life.

I fell in love with my team. It was everything I had ever dreamed of. Grace Gymnastics became my new home! It wasn't easy though. The first few months I had to prove to the coaches and myself that I was a capable gymnast. After not training for so many months, (a total of 7). I was in the worst shape of my life and re-learning skills was a difficult task in itself.

Finally, in mid-February I began making progress. I finally was almost where I had been a year before but God had different plans for me, and for many of my teammates. Two weeks before state I re-injured my wrist, in the exact same time frame that I had injured my wrist a year before. I was devastated. I competed one event at state and it was a disaster. Regionals and Westerns were out of the question once again.

I had high hopes of getting to compete at Y-Nationals with my team and began training way too soon. I re-injured my wrist and decided to take the summer off from training. It was gut-wrenching to watch my team come together as a family and win Y-Nationals in the level 8 and 9 divisions without me. I felt like I really didn't belong.

I could not wait out the summer and began training one month later. However, I was much more patient with my wrist and really avoided a lot of skills that would flare up the pain.

When school started up in September and I returned to Grace, all my patience was lost. I pushed my wrist way too hard too fast. I was stressed with college and my body was already stressed as it was. I got really sick and finally decided to call it quits. For once I really felt ready to leave the sport all behind. And maybe I would've had better luck doing so if I hadn't decided to start coaching 5 days a week.

It was an unbelievable opportunity that was rewarding in some aspects but I wanted to return to the sport of gymnastics. I kept thinking of how little I had ever accomplished in the sport. I was reminded daily of how my career was ended. So as I coached, I avoided becoming coaches friends because that would make me the same level as they were. I wanted to remain the gymnast in the situation. Due to this decision, I remained half way between lives. I no longer had any friends because my teammates now considered me a coach and I would not join forces with the coaches. I became extremely lonely. The only social life I had were my 10 years and younger level 4's... I was miserable and stuck in a place I didn't want to be in. That was another miserable 9 months of my life and I wanted out! I lowered my hours of coaching and began training.

I tried to start training with the team at first but I felt unwelcomed, especially by one particular coach. I felt I would not be allowed back onto the team so I began training elsewhere. For the first few months I kept wondering if I had made a mistake. I didn't feel like I belonged, I still felt burnt out and scared of many skills. My wrist still felt like it was not totally healed but I knew if I waited any longer, I'd never be able to come back. I felt like I was starting over again for the third time and I hated that feeling more than anything.

In April, my aunt I had lived with, died of pancreatic cancer.

I began traveling home more often, skipping classes and getting out of work. Coaching became a chore for me. And coming into the gym that I no longer felt I belonged with, (or maybe never belonged with) was agonizing. Especially when I was secretly training elsewhere. I realized it was a blessing I had not tried to return though, God had planned for this. For both of the optional coaches had made the decision to go elsewhere to coach. One coach had been there for more years than I had been alive, the other had been there for nearly a decade. Their leaving was a devastation to the team. Gymnasts began dropping like flies and I eventually quit coaching. It was hard to watch a team fall apart. I had seen it happen before in my lifetime and two times was more than enough.

I was not happy where I was. Returning home gave me such relief and joy that returning to college was like returning to hell. The days that I came home I spent with family and eventually got permission to train at my home gym every once in awhile. Being back at the gym where I was raised seemed so surreal and at first it surprised me that I loved going there so much. As weekends came and went, I continued to come into Gym Plus for a few days at a time. Before I knew it, I was training there more and more. My perspective on life had changed and everyone seemed to notice. As school ended and summer began, I really began to take my training more seriously but I loved every moment of it! This made me feel more confused though. Why would God bring me back to a place that gave me more joy than I had felt training for a very long time, a place I felt I belonged but likewise, a place that I thought would never let me come back to their team. I had no idea what to do. I knew I would not be happy anywhere else. Once again I felt I belonged somewhere but how long would that belonging last, it wouldn't be long before I was back on a road leading to nowhere. And then my prayer was answered.

I was invited back onto the team. I feel stronger, happier and that I'm right where I belong once again. I am so excited and honored to get to be on this journey with other girls my level, with the same dream as I have and loving the sport more than anything. It seems I've made a full circle. And no longer am I doing this sport to try to accomplish something unrealistic. Instead, I'm doing gymnastics because I love it, because I learn new things about myself everyday from the sport, because I get so much joy out of training, competing and being on a team full of strong leaders. I don't feel lost anymore, I feel right where I belong.

With that being said, I still miss my Grace family more than anything. They have left such a HUGE, positive impact on my life! I don't know where I would be today with out them. Since this post was inspired by this particular Grace montage, I decided to post it. You guys are sooo bizarre but I miss your crazyness sooooo much!!! Love you all!!!

A-Sac is Back!!!

I just want to say that I am sooo proud of that girl!

Lets rewind 1 year ago: Alicia made the statement that she was considering coming back and I laughed. I seriously thought she was joking, but as a gymnast, I should have known better.

Fast forward to present time: Alicia looks confident, relaxed and strong. She looks in better shape than ever and she looks like she belongs out there! That's what I loved most about last night's gymnastics coverage. She didn't look out of place in the least bit. Infact, I would say that her gymnastics looked stronger than any other gymnast on the floor!

She looked nervous right before mounting the beam, but as soon as she mounted with a beautiful front onto the 4 inches of beam, I knew she had gotten through the hardest part, the rest of the routine was pretty solid and flawless. More so than any other competitor that I saw!

Likewise, her vault was huge! She may not have stuck it or landed as great as she has in the past, but the take off from the table was phenomenal. It looked higher than I have ever seen her (or anyone else for that matter) vault!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gymnastics Now

I bet you all are wondering what I have been up to since I last posted right?... Well even if you haven't been, I am posting anyways. =D

For the past 10 days I have been on an intolerable trip. Ugh, 6 hours in the car, to and from Canada, 7 days on a giant cruise ship in which I dealt with sea-sickness, rain and cold, intoxicating food products and a form of island sickness...Which I will re-name: Ship sickness. It was horrible vacation. I hate vacations unless they are just getting away from work/school.

Speaking of which, it looks like I've been given some new opportunties career-wise! Yesterday, one of my old coaches begged me to take over a group of her team girls. I was really considering it, but it would mean sacrificing my own gymnastics time that I've grown so fond of and plus I've been given other opportunities that may be bigger and better.

One I learned of today. My chiropractor said I should teach "hot yoga". It's only 60 days of training, it gives a good work out, I'd get paid and it's something I'd probably be good at! More benefits! Plus I would probably get to choose hours I did it and it's not too many hours! And since there arn't other people where I live who teach hot yoga, I think my chiropractor would let me use his work facility or at least help me find a place to use.

I've also decided to get my judging certification which looks like it wont be too difficult for at least level 4. I already know the routines, it's just a written test and all I'd have to do is memorize and study deductions and re-learn how to write out skills in short hand. There is a test in September so I have plenty of time!

I have also been given a coaching opportunity right in town which would be preferable over moving, but not sure yet if that's what I want to do. Still, it's an open option for work and cash. =)

On the other side of work is the opportunity to continue in the sport I love. I didn't realize I would miss gymnastics as much as I did over the last 10 days! And today was fun! I notice that I have so much more fun at gym then I have had since I was like 8! It's amazing! =)

I did a lot of good gymnastics and was invited to the gymnastics camp that Gym + is hosting the rest of this week! I was really surprised actually. No one informed me I was allowed to go so I figured I wasn't invited. Then, out of the blue, Michelle asked me if I was coming to the camp. I told her I didn't know I was invited and she rolled her eyes and stated, "well you're part of the team now arn't you?!" I didn't know what to say. I replied, "Yea, I guess so..." since I haven't fully decided what I am doing. In the end, I am definintly going tomorrow to get to train with coaches I have been missing immensly! Brian, Jim, Mark, Norm (maybe), Nola and others I'm sure! It's gonna be a hard 7 hours but I am extremely excited and honored to get this opportunity! :)

Aw, I've missed Bri Bri. XD
I just realized I never posted my list of skills I've learned or re-learned in the past 3 months! It's been posted on fb for awhile but somehow never made it onto my blog. Incase you're interested, here it is:

Making the most of this summer training, living in each moment, enjoying the present and not even thinking about the future. This summer is the only thing that counts!

Here's a list of brand new skills I've gotten in the last 2 months; May and June:

~ Backhandspring, back lay step out-High beam with pad!
~Onodi onto 8 incher on floor
~Front handspring, front full without any mat-On floor
~Whip 1/2, front full-Tumble trak
~Round-off, backtuck ON beam-With mats all the way up and pad though.
~Yurchenko lays off of drill vault onto resi in pit
~New Dance Combo-Turjete 1/2, wolf 1/1 :)
~Bail over bar with mats stacked up and sting on bar.
~Backhandspring, double-down on h. beam

Here's the list of skills of skills I have re-learned over the last 2 months:

~Yurchenko tucks on real vault landing onto competition level mats for the first time in effing 2 years!!!
~Round-off, Back layout dsmt off of High beam with pad and resi at the end
~Turjete 1/2-Med. beam with pad
~Double Turn-High beam
~Back 1 1/2 twists consistently landed on floor
~Double backs without grabbing legs on tumble trak
~Back 1 1/2, punch front-Tumble Trak
~Side Aerial-Med. beam with pad
~Triple turn on floor
~Blind, front giant-With spot on pit bar
~Blind 1/1's-Pit bar
~Straddle back handstand on unevens
~Layout flyaways by myself!-Off of unevens
~Cast Handstands Consistently on bars
~Tsuk lay drill into pit (off of 2 spring boards)
~Clear hips to 60 degrees-Unevens
~R-off, b.lay full dsmt off med beam-no pad
~Toe Hand-Unevens
~Toehand, toe-hect to kip-Unevens

Adding onto the note since I am still successfully doing gymnastics 1 month later!
July and August New Skills and Re-learned Skills:

Brand New Skills:
Tsuk lay 1/2 off mini tramp into pit

Re-learned skills:
Blind 1/1-Uneven Bars

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Vlog #1

I decided to do a vlog this morning instead of a blog. I sound like a man. LOL.

I had not planned on making this vlog this long. Lol. So if u make it through the 8+ min., ur my hero. This is basically a recap of my long and tedious 2 year road in the sport of gymnastics and also includes what's going on in this present day since a lot of you are probably kind of confused about my life lately...If you know me personally that is. Since I had been pretty secretive about it for awhile, I have decided to come clean in explaining exactly what's going on. And I was too lazy to put in contacts...Just an fyi. I think that explains it. Enjoy-Or at least try to. ;)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Re-born Flame

I can't believe what happened today...

So many doors kept opening and closing for me, but none that were quite right...At the beginning of summer I moved back home, away from the wretched school I felt I'd been imprisoned at for the last 9 months. I had not been committed to gymnastics since last October and even then I had been struggling with being at the gym everyday, dealing with intolerable pain in my wrist and back for the last 2 years. I decided before summer began that this would be my last summer as a gymnast. I felt more ready to let go than I have ever felt in the past, but I felt confused...Confused about what I was supposed to do with my life...I have never thought about my life without gymnastics. A part of me still wanted to do gymnastics, but the only way I could do it was to make sacrifices. I had been making sacrifices for this sport more than long enough. I just wanted to live at home for a year, take a break from college and figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. But what the hell was I supposed to do at home for a year without gymnastics and without schooling. I kept going through different options. Quitting and joining dance team, moving to a different school to keep training as a gymnast, applying to a school to do gymnastics on a college team, work as a gymnastics coach or totally leave the sport of gymnastics behind. I have been offered over 5 coaching opportunities over the last year! And yet after my last job as a coach, I realized I wasn't ready to just coach...Not until I was done with my aspect of the sport. I decided to give this summer my one last shot to see how many skills I could get, I would decide what I needed to do by August, but I kept reminding myself that I was prepared to let go of the sport.

I started training at my very first gym, the one I was practically born and raised in. The gym I had been at for 14 years...but it had never been good enough for me. My expectations were always too high. I felt I wasn't given the opportunity to excell that I should have. I wanted hard coaches that could rocket me to elite...I should have known long ago that that was never even an achievable goal anywhere. I would have never been given the opportunity to go that far in the sport. I was too rebellious and sharp tongued as a child. And as I got older I did what I wanted, including what I wanted in the sport of gymnastics. Little did I know that that would change when I moved gyms at the "old" age of 17. I learned what most gymnasts go through, the good, high level gymnasts. The ones that get burned out early in their careers. The ones that are lucky to make it 4 years in collegiate gymnastics. After less than 2 years more at much more stringent gyms, I realized I liked choosing what I wanted to work, skill-wise as a gymnast. Likewise, I liked being the one to push me. No one else can make me perform well or work hard for what I want than me. And as I started training at home again, I realized how much I took for granted the years past at this gym.

Skills started coming back quickly, new skills started coming too for the first time since I had been at this gym. I liked training again! But I knew I could never ask to return to the gym I had caused so much disruption and chaos in, they would never let me return even if I had wanted to. I tried to push the idea out of my head and focus on just enjoying the process, but my future and what to do with it kept harrassing me. Too many different options were available and none were quite right.

Then today at gym, I was working series on beam when suddenly Michelle asked, "Do you wanna compete for us next year?"
I stopped, not believing the words I was hearing, I looked over at her.
"W-what?" I finally stuttered.
"Do you wanna join team with us and compete here next year?" She asked confirming exactly what I thought she was referring to.
I looked confused, as well as unsure about what to say. I couldn't believe she had actually asked me the question that I would've never had to courage to ask her.
"Um, I don't know.." I finally stated.
"You don't have to decide now, you can wait til the end of summer before you make a decision." She assured me.
I then went on to tell her about my email to SPU and what the coach had written back. I told her that I thought about trying to get on the team in a year but didn't have a place to train.
"I just didn't think you'd ever let me join the team again." I told her truthfully.
"Of course we'd let you do team again!" She stated in surprise.
She smiled, "Besides, all the girls love you and would love having you on the team."
"Ok," I said, still in shock, then added "that'd be really cool!"
She then hugged me and added me to the team skill chart!
I have been on cloud 9 since practice and so excited for the path God's laid out for me to follow..back at home again. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Khorkina of Great Britain...

Elizabeth Tweddle has been one to watch over the past decade, now at the age of 25, she has proven that she is still one to keep a close eye on. Not to mention, her routines are considerably harder, more artistic and original than they've ever been! Most gymnasts fade out by their late teens or early twenties, Tweddle on the other hand seems to have become increasingly more fantastic as the years pass. Her most recent performance at the 2010 European Championships in Birmingham, showcased signs that the code may in fact be improving.

Her floor routine is highlighted with a double arabian piked immediately connected with a lovely split jump! All of her passes are of high difficulty but I was completely mesmerized by her last pass. Even after the first two difficult passes and some high valued dance skills strung through out the routine, she managed to have more than enough endurance to end with a back 2 1/2 twist, punch front full into an immediate sisson! I really love how the new code highlights jumps out of tumbling! Especially when it is performed so beautifully as Tweddle makes her dance elements look. The crowd loved the routine as well, clapping to the beat as she began her tumbling sequences and cheering loudly as she finished her final pass. She not only won that event but then went on to perform an enchanting and likewise very original and artistic bar routine which highlighted a bit of Khorkina's magical style and flair.

Tweddle began with a very difficult combination of heely right into a sky high khorkina connected with a lovely gienger. She then performed two incredible tkatchev releases from a toe-on. The first piked, and the second straddled and then caught with hands crossed into reverse grip, (Pheobe Mills is the first one I have ever seen perform a tkatchev catch like that of Tweddle's), and that led to an immediate release to low bar which looked like a straddle back half. (Nicoleta Daniela Sofronie is the only gymnast I've seen perform this skill). The difficulty doesn't end there though. Tweddle then goes into a toe-hand connecting it into another Khorkina styled skill to high bar, also performed from a toe-on instead of a clear hip as Khorkina first unveiled the move from. Tweddle then ends the routine with a stuck full-out from an immediate cast handstand. The same dismount, I believe, that Khorkina used. Not only was the routine packed with unbelievably original and difficult skills but likewise, every cast handstand was hit right on top and each skill was done flawlessly! Her form was perfect from her toe-point to her legs tightly glued together.

I can't wait to see more of Tweddle in the future!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A God Given Gift?

I was watching, "Touched by an Angel" the other day. (I know, I'm a nerd), but I love that show! Anyways, I watched one particular one in which the angel, Tess, was telling one of the characters in the show, a woman, that she was given the gift of poetry. Poetry was her passion and was used to better the world. Tess told her that everyone is given a gift, a talent, a passion from God. And that, God doesn't give us passions without having a purpose for that love. I thought to myself of my own passions; none have ever been greater than my passion for gymnastics. I feel in love with the sport when I was barely walking and the love continued to grow within me over the next 15 years. However, there have been times where I didn't give any gratitude to God for giving me such a precious and beautiful sport. I used the sport for my own pleasure and for my own reasons. My success was never contributed to the God that gave me the talent and desire for the sport. The more I let this truth sink in, the more I realize that there must be a reason God has allowed me to still want to do gymnastics, to still love the sport and most of all, given me the ability and body to still continue to train. However, there isn't one day now that I take for granted. Instead of going in for just my own benefit, I am trying to go in to inspire and uplift everyone around me. I am now trying to be a more encouraging teammate; giving help whenever I can. God doesn't make mistakes, there is a reason for everything. And while I still have a passion for gymnastics and a body to allow me to continue in this sport, I am gonna keep on going. If I only get one day; I'm gonna take it, if I only get one summer; I will take it, if I only get one more season; then so be it. Whatever happens, I am trying to stay in each present moment, loving everything God has given me, and trying not to cling tightly to any earthly things. This summer may be a test of my faith, but so far everything is proving that I still have time in the sport. Even so, I understand that overly-caring for the sport is the last thing I want to do. I am allowing myself to not care, at least not the way I used to. I am not looking into the future anymore than I have to, nor the past. If this summer is the last one I get in this sport, then it's gonna be one hell of an awesome summer!

So far, last month and these two days of June have been exhilerating! I was exhausted when I went into the gym today but I was excited to see Coach Nancy. This gym is so funny, it doesn't seem to matter how hard you try to get away, somehow people always find there way back. Both Perry and Nancy have returned, at least for now. Today was pretty uneventful. I was really tired. This was the third day of gym in a row, my wrist was hurting, and I have been going on walks and runs everyday this week so I wasn't really up to doing well at practice. It seems that not "caring" has allowed me to feel that "wasting time" is okay, I no longer feel frusterated, upset or angry when I'm doing skills that I will probably never compete or even do again. When we go to snack-break I enjoy getting to talk to my teammates; and Nancy in today's case. Then on tumble tramp we worked whips, and then moved onto whip 1/2, front lays. Mine felt good and of course, this prompted Michelle to suggest I make the front layout into a front full twist. I secretly had been contemplating going for it before she spoke, but I wouldn't have unless she had suggested it. Only 2 years ago, I shattered my foot on a tumble tramp doing an attempted front layout, front full. The only reason this injury happened was because instead of staying in each present moment, I was only worried about the front full. The result was that I attempted to do a front full in the front layout and well, it didn't work out so well. Likewise, in 2006/2007 I became very fearful of whip 1/2's and basically any back tumbling due to the fact that I landed on my head on a whip 1/2, 2 times in a row. That stupid mistake also happened because I was thinking too much ahead. I have a tendency to do this in both the gym and in life outside the gym... As I stood at the end of the tumble tramp, preparing to go, my mind momentarily slipped and I thought of my tumble-tramp, front full accident. Then instead of holding onto the thought, or even thinking anything else at all, I just jumped backwards. I stayed in each move, backhandspring, whip, whip 1/2, late twist I thought to myself, and then I was rebounding forward and twisting. I landed on my butt in front of the mat at the end of the tramp but I went for it, was safe and wanted to do it again. =D I continued to work on it til the end of practice, since we only had about 15 minutes left anyways. When Michelle told us to take our last turn, I said outloud that I was going to land this one on my feet. No one was listening, but I didn't care. I went for it, this time turning the front full over a little more and easily landed, perfectly on the mat. Michelle cheered for me, in fact she seemed more excited than I was. Honestly though, I am very excited at the progress I've made and the risks I've decided to take. I guess "not caring" has it's advantages, and apparently so does staying in the present moment!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


A lot has happened in the last couple of days.

Basically, I didn't make it into Cirque, but I wasn't ready yet so that was what I was hoping and planning on happening. However, even though I was rejected, the trip gave me confidence in myself in knowing that I actually had the skills to make it. I just hadn't been working them consistently to feel ready to do them. Looking back, it actually makes me laugh that the woman told me I just needed to get some double backs, off of bars, rod floor and tumble tramp. I nodded, but I really actually DO have double backs at those 3 places... I just hadn't done them this weekend because the equiptment was new and I took too long to warm up. Like I said though, I wasn't ready and I didn't really want to make it to Cirque just yet..Not til I know what I'm doing with my life.

The next big decision I have made was that I am not returning to college next year which may mean that this summer will be the last one I have as a gymnast... :( It makes me sad yet at the same time I feel like I'm not going anywhere. I keep relapsing; Injuries, training for a few weeks then not training at all, and other personal issues I've been dealing with. Maybe it is time to be done. Yet since Kamloops, something happened.

I went into the gym last night. My very first gym, wait...technically 2nd, but first gym I was on team. And I did amazing!! I was tumbling incredibly well. Landing all of my back 1 1/2 twists to my feet. Then I was doing double backs easily on the tumble tramp and I wasn't sweating with nervousness. I felt really calm and relaxed about the skill. I ended with a back 1 1/2 to punch front on the tumble tramp.

Then on bars I was finally making my casts all the way to handstand. I then proceeded to make a full length, level 7ish routine...easily... Kip, cast hs, 2 iar clear hips to 60+ degrees, jump to high bar, kip, cast, giant, giant and then did a layout flyaway without anyone standing there! That would be the first one by myself in over a year! Plus the routine was almost too easy! I went onto blind, front giants and felt more confident in myself. I kept my shoulders open a lot better and was almost making the front giant, finally! I then did toe-hands, made 2 iar, almost 3!

Here are the picture(s) I promised:

I hate this picture with a passion. If only I hadn't sounded so dumb when I talked to Sabrina, then I wouldn't have had such an irritated-awkward-half smile on my face. Ugh...

Here's where the Canadian nationals were held!

And the gymnastics center I auditioned in!

We weren't allowed to take any footage of the actual audition.

And here is Canada's flag. =D

It just makes me wonder why...I don't understand why I love gymnastics this much, to literally come into the gym everyday even though I have so many reasons not to. Now I don't know what to do. All I can focus on right now is living each day, in each moment. Not worrying about the future or the past. Just enjoy the journey. Afterall, that is part of my life purpose; learning to live in the present.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kamloops-Canadian Nationals

The drive to Canada was uneventful...til I realized the big Canadian gymnastics meet was 5 minutes from our hotel! By the time we got there the meet was over but I managed to get there in time to see the Canadian National team and talk to Sabrina Gill. It was beyond awkward. I get so tongue-tied around elites...Ugh. I managed to get a picture with her and probably made her think I was socially retarded. Oh well... The picture is gonna go on as soon as I'm back home to upload it. I will keep you updated on the audition tomorrow. And since we are now on that subject, I caught sight of Rick McCharles (, but was unable to chat with him since he was conversing with other people at the meet. I look forward to seeing him tomorrow.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Moving Out

Not only am I moving out and back home tomorrow but Auburn is also in the process of moving.

Fortunantly, I was somewhat aware of this due to fb postings. Even so, I was not prepared for today's practice to be a "moving out/working day". I enjoyed getting to know the other girls better though. We cleaned both foam pits out and it was disgusting! Sidney was busy rapping, Amber kept throwing foam at me, Chase was throwing bags of foam at Sidney and D, and D said a bad word!

After we managed to fill a truck full of foam and mats, Coach Peter sent us to beam. We figured it would be normal training, instead we were ecstatic to be paired off into four teams to have contests against each other. It was so much fun! On beam, we started with easy(ier) skills. Backhandsprings and backtucks. Then we got to the challenging stuff, stalder and forward rolls, and double turns. It was bomb!

Then we headed to floor, to again play as teams. We had bizarre contests. Handstand walks over each other, handstand contests, (I got third).--Baely and Alexis won, and technically they are both at tops level of conditioning since both have/are training for elite. We had back tuck contests, skill contests, (where we could pick who did what skill) I went up for a triple turn and did a flawless, amazing one! It was awesome! We had to do improvs. One was to imitate Madi Podlucky. Haha! That was a priceless improv! We had to act as animals, and then we had to sing Lady Gaga. It was as if this was a practice test for this weekend. I walked out, since I was the only one left on the team, and when I was up I sang loud and clear, "Ra ra ah ah ah, roma rom ma ma, Ga ga, ohh la la, watchurbad romance!" My dance moves worked well too and when I finally came back to reality, Coach Peter's eyebrows were raised in surprise and his smile said it all. Baely Rowe and I won that contest! =) Then we played add-on, my team won with my Produnova that I added at the end. =D The girls wanted to see it again so I had the priviledge of doing it once more for everyone! I <3 the support of the girls, my new teammates. I am excited for next year, next season.

I just am worried about this summer. I am gonna need at least a few weeks over here to train. Thankfully, I have many new friends I might be able to stay with. Mia, Julia, Elizabeth, AGC girls? We'll see, somehow it'll all work out. "All is well".

And when I come back, AGC will have moved to a new location. Hopefully it's a good change!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Grace No More...

I dropped by Grace this evening.

Evanni has already transitioned to a new gym, Mary is leaving on Friday and I have no idea how many others who have already left or are on their way out. :'( It's so sad to see a once flourishing gym that had become so incredible, suddenly fall to peices. I watched it happen once before at my very first gym, after that, it was never the same... It's such a high turnover sport anyways, it would only take a few years before all of the optionals would have moved on, but it's so hard to know that in a month, nothing will ever be the same...The coaches will have moved on, the gym team they worked so hard to create will no longer be the top team and girls will start dropping like flies, (They have already begun to do so).

Dear Grace Team,

I love you guys so much and miss you already. Unfortuantly, change is bound to happen in our everyday lives. We can be comforted in knowing that God always has a plan and that change will always lead to something bigger and better. Have faith! Forever and ever, we will always be a team and a family. Thanks for allowing me to become a part of the family. I Love you all!


On another note, I keep having signs show up about this weekend. And yes, I am literally going up to Kamloops to try out for the cirque audition. Mostly just going for the experience and fun since it's likely I wont get in, at least not my first time. Ironically, here is what one of my youtube subscriptions, (sgmarsden), posted today.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

No New News

Not much has been happening in the "elite" gymnastics world for the past week. Apparently Pacific Rim Champions did air on NBC and fortuantly I had a friend record it so I'm gonna have the enjoyment of getting to not only watch gymnastics but also experience the PAC Rim Champs with a buddy!:-)

Not much has been happening in my own gymnastics world since getting my new beam series. I'm still just getting back into shape slowly and painfully, but I'm loving the process. This week has been the most hours I've done in over 6 months. I made 23 hours and went to practices 6 days this week. Might I mention I trained at 4 different gyms in those 6 days. I just realized that...I'm excited to say that everything is starting to get easier as well! However, these last two days have been more difficult, partially from lack of sleep since in the last two days I have slept approximately 9 hours and driven in my car for about 6 hours. Not the most fun experience, but I pushed through and somehow made it through a 4+ hour practice today.

Left home at 6am to get to the gym. Fortuantly, I came prepared with running shoes. Mary, one of the the fastest women in Tricities, was running us today. It was actually a really fun, challenging trail run that lasted about 20 or so minutes. Then we played Black Jack the rest of the day. I know, I know..Black Jack is a form of gambling. LOL. This is a different type of black Jack though, well sorta. Basically the game starts by rolling a die, depending on what number you roll will decide the event you go to, you then roll the die again and the second number will tell you what skill you are to do. After you complete the skill a certain number of times you get to do the real blackjack part, in which the gymnast pulls two cards and coach pulls two cards. The person with the card at or under 21 wins!

Since that was about the extent of my day, I'm going to leave my post at this. Plus I'm going to go see a movie with my mom and sis tonight! =)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Beam Time!

My list of new skills keeps increasing!

I have been struggling with deciding what to do with my future. I had been trying to go for a chance to be a SPU gymnast, that idea might have gone out the door with the D+ I recieved on my last paper in English...

I came down to a few conclusions.

Either go back college and compete club at Auburn, drop out of college which means no gymnastics or try out for Cirque Du Soliel.

You may think I'm kidding about the last option. I'm not. I talked to my mom and we are most likely traveling up to Kamloops for the open audition this month. Even if I don't get through to the selection process, it will still give me an opportunity to experience what it's like and then I may try again for the next open audition in like a year or something.

God works in mysterious ways.
For years I have desperately wanted to go to an "elite" level gym with good coaches. For years I have been stuck in a place I didn't want to be training at. A gym that had no optionals, short training hours and some coaches who didn't really care. Then I got injured. The injury took me out of the sport for 6+ months. I went back to my "original" gym to get back in shape and then to a gym in Wenatchee that was kind enough to allow me to get strong again. The coach got me in shape without killing me or expecting me to do more than I could handle. It was the first step in coming back to the sport. I traveled across to state to train at another gym, Grace Gymnastics, and the coaches helped me get back to almost where I had left off but before I had made it, another injury sidelined me. I headed to Tricities to train with one of my past coaches who helped keep me in shape despite the injury. It wasn't enough time to recover and soon enough I was out again. For the past 6 months I have been coaching at Grace, I planned about just taking 6 months off and then returning to the sport. Unfortuantly, people kept telling me otherwise. After only a few months I felt like maybe this was the end. I tried to stay motivated but apparently Grace was not the place to continue. I tried a couple of gyms but I was still waiting for the injury to heal. Finally I knew I had to get back, it was now or never. My coach in Tricities talked to the Auburn coaches and that's where I decided to train. I understand now why God waited for this year, this moment, before he allowed me to find the gym I'd always dreamt of. I was much too immature at my first gym. I was disrespectful and going through my own issues that had to be worked out. I grew up through injuries and learned more about myself but there was no way I would've survived the conditioning or hours after my first injury. It took me 6 months before I actually was in decent shape. It's still a struggle and now, instead of clinging to the sport like I did before I just allow it to be a part of me. If I decide to quit, then so be it. Now it doesn't matter, this part of my life God has allowed me to choose what I want to do. Whatever I decide will eventually lead me down the path I will follow. For now, I have many different roads to choose from. And at this present moment, I pick gymnastics.

With all of that being said, I awoke early this morning; 5:30 to be exact. And drove to practice from my home town. It was a long journey and I felt jittery and nervous for practice. I had accomplished the task I needed to get done last week which was going over on vault again, so I wasn't worried, just nervous. Lol.

I felt tired the whole way and was worried it would affect my gymnastics. The conditioning Coach Peter gave us was intense but it felt good once we made it through. Then we went to beam. I was excited for this event and it had been the event I had hoped we would go to. I eagerly did the warm up. Then I made Coach Peter laugh when I skipped past the backhandsprings and first went for backtucks. I warmed up backhandsprings on floor. I was about to head up to a high beam when Coach Peter said, "Show me a backhandspring, layout". I easily did one. That needs to go on the beam he stated. I figure he meant low...Nope, he meant high..with a pad. I did a few backhandsprings. He watched and yelled, "you should've gone on that one!" I kept balking, I had never done this skill. Not even on a low beam, well I had Rachel spot me on them 3+ years ago but still... Yet Coach Peter believed in me, he kept reminding me that I had to throw out the old Janet. "if you can't leave behind who you were, then we can't move forward." He stated, and I knew he couldn't be more right. Part of me, (the old me) couldn't believe I was actually going to go for this. Everything in my past told me why there was no way I could do it. Yet there was another part of me who just kept saying, "focuse on the skills, one at a time." I was shaking a lot. I went to the floor to do some more on a line. Coach Peter walked by and said, "this is a mental task, not a physical one." That statement in itself meant a lot. It told me that I physically could do it if I just let go of my thoughts. I stood on the beam and powerful thoughts swarmed through my mind, this part of your life is unscripted, you can choose whatever you want to do and it will not matter. And I with that true freedom I prepared myself. "This is your last one Janet," Coach Peter said. I nodded. I stood there, shaking, and then leaned back. I saw Lindsay vault on the rod floor drill as I pushed off into my backhandspring, it was straight and with that I jumped into the air and flipped over just like I had done on the floor many times. Not only that but I landed easily on the beam. I wooped and hollered, scaring Coach Peter, (I'm sure) as I jumped into his arms...Literally. Looking back on that I should've controlled my joy, but I was too much in the moment. A beautiful, breath-taking moment I thought I would never again get the chance to experience since my last wrist injury. Apparently, "never say never" is a true statement. =)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Gymnastics: The Comeback is Good!

After feeling miserable about school I have come to find that once again gymnastics gives me a sort of meaning to life. After a rather depressing and fearful workout last Wednesday, I decided today was going to be different. I awoke ready to face any challenges that came my direction. Fortuantly, I was ready for the workout Coach Peter had planned for us.

After many minutes of conditioning, it was off to vault. This was the event that had given me trouble on Wednesday, for some reason I just felt terrified and couldn't get myself to even cartwheel to the board. I wonder if it had to do with feeling so much pressure in so many different directions. I had a little problem getting my run going but once I figure out my steps and went over on my first one, I was fine! I made all of the rest of my round off, backhandsprings over the vault. Some of my hurdles were slowed and not very good, but quite a few of them I was really being aggressive and could've easily flipped if the vault had been a bit higher. I was pleased with the progress I had made and headed to class in a good mood. I then made the three hour drive back to my hometown.

I had decided to train at my first gym I had been a part of when I arrived home. The workout went really well and Rachel seems to have bumped up the amount of conditioning which is definitely a plus. It was only three hours but we accomplished a lot in that time frame. Floor was first and I actually did front fulls in front of a mat, a big step for me because I tend to twist too early when I don't get to land on the mat, and even though the first couple did twist early, by the end I was dive rolling out of them onto the mat! I also worked some double backs on the tumble tramp and trak! I showed Rachel my new dance pass and she liked it. -My turjete 1/2, wolf 1/1. The rest of practice went well but floor was the best event and reminded me of how far I have come since the injury that happened to me a little over 2 years ago. I am on my way back, and finally I am healthy. =)

Thanks to everyone who has supported my dreams and goals! I can't wait to see what this year brings! =)


There's so much drama in the gymnastics world. A lot of the time I feel like I'm living in a soap opera. One of my more recent posts had to do with PSSG-Puget Sound School of Gymnastics closing. It looks like there is a possibility that this did not occur. In fact, according to the rumors, it looks like Brad may have bought the gym back! He is currently at Roach, but looks like he is thinking about branching to gym off in 2 locations! This may still be all rumors but the whole situations going on are insane. It seems that once I entered the world of coaching I heard so much more gossip about this region than I ever realized went on!

On top of that, I forgot to mention the locations that the Grace coaches are traveling to. Brian and Carleigh have both been hired at Emerald City Gymnastics. Not only that but more rumors have it that Tony Ammons will be heading over there as well! Jackie on the other hand is heading to, the one and only, Roach Gymnastics that I have so feverently been discussing. It should be interesting to see how this all plays out...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Rule...

Good God! The stupid rules in gymnastics are changing again. It's fricking ridiculous! I am still against the "new" code of points where there is an open ended scoring system, but I have come to terms with the idea since I don't think we have much of a choice in the system. I was also increasingly irritated that the amount of gymnasts in the team competition at the Olympics was narrowed down to 3 up, 3 count. Now, to top it off, instead of taking 6 girls to the Olympics, we have been limited to 5. There goes one more girl's Olympic dream... :(

Friday, May 7, 2010


Speaking of Kristina Baskett, I ran across a youtube video of her doing a photoshoot for a triathlon magazine! I was immediately interested and inspired by the fact that she had done triathlons and wanted to share the video with you all. :)

I got interested in triathlons when I was just 12 years old. The idea of getting to do three sports in one sounded exciting, plus they were things I was all decently good at. Little did I know how much training, committment and time goes into training for such an event. Even so, at the age of 18 I am still very interested in one day doing a triathlon and am taking babysteps to pursue this endeavour. I have not yet gotten the chance to train or race in one because I am still soley focused on gymnastics training, but I know that once I have completed my time as a gymnast I will have something that's just as challenging, if not more so, to pursue.

Here is also another inspiring montage of an Ironman Triathlete. You can check out her blog at

This is the kind of person I strive to be. Someone who is not afraid to do what people say is impossible. A person who does what they love to do and conquor obstacles that seem impossible to overtake. This is the person I am meant to be, each day as a gymnast, and even being human, I am learning this concept. I feel this is a part of my purpose.

More Region 2 Gossip

As I went in to coach today I started noticing there were a lot of new faces. I mentioned this fact to one of the coaches and in turn she replied, "They're all from PSSG". I didn't understand why there would be a big group of girls who would come from PSSG (Puget Sound School of Gymnastics). And then she told me that PSSG had recently closed down. What the heck?! I have become far too much aware of all of the gymnastics gossip once I entered the coaching realm. Most of the time I don't care to have the information because that just causes more secrets that I have to keep. Fortuantly, this secret has already been open to the public, more or less, due to the fact that there are girls transferring to Grace because of their gym's closure.

Puget Sound School of Gymnastics has been one of the past top gyms in Washington, if not in region 2. It was home to Kristina Baskett; 2000 Olympic trial qualifier and then one of Utah State's top gymnasts. In other words, it was a really good gym with high level coaches and gymnasts. The first owner, Brad, who created PSSG's amazing program sold the gym a few years ago to Linda and Jeff Lutz. Jeff and Linda divorced Jeff moved to Alaska while the program was taken over by Linda Lutz, who was coached by the one and only, Laurie Reid. Laurie Reid is considered a guru in women's gymnastics and judging, she is the owner of my first gym I trained at. There are rumors around that PSSG will be re-taken over by past coaches but at this point in time, the damage has been done and gymnasts from the gym have since moved onto other teams. It's such a sad case because the PSSG is HUGE and it was a gym that once created such outstanding gymnasts.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

2 more down...

Everything happens for a reason...Everything happens for a reason.

I came into the gym late to bring ice-cream for my gymnasts ice-cream party I had promised them if they filled up the "ice-cream" poster I had made. They filled it all up a couple of weeks ago and I promised that since my time of coaching would soon be over; the sooner I brought the goodies in, the better.

I was then surprised by the way the optional girls were acting. Minutes later I come to find that Coach Jackie and Brian would be leaving Grace. Coach Carleigh left less than a week ago, I'm leaving this month and now the head optional coaches, who, might I add, have been coaching at Grace for longer than ten years! Brian may be pushing the twenty year mark! And now, *POOF* they're gone. I am literally still in shock from the whole ordeal. I now understand why God had done everything over the coarse of this year. Injuring my wrist, allowing me to make a transition into coaching, giving me time to realize Grace was not the gym to come back to, pushing me toward a gym that would provide me with the coaching I needed and now letting me understand why I had to be pushed away. I stand in the presence of God once again and I feel awestruck; as well as still depressed for all of the high level gymnasts at Grace. Grace is falling apart, just as Gym + had a little over 8 years ago, when Norm and Laurie stepped out of the picture. Grace's top coaches are leaving so many girls to cope and try to re-build their gym. I pray that everything works out, and for me at least, God has delivered. May he deliver for them as well.

Everything happens for a reason...

My New Hero

She's the type of gymnast I strive to be.

A friend to everyone; no matter what level or age they may be.

She is a leader and isn't afraid to play that role in life.

She's full of personality and loves to play and have fun!

She's very confident in herself but she's also just as humble.

She's one of the highest level gymnasts in region II.

She's Baely Rowe!

The first day entering Auburn Gymnastics I realized this was not just a team of gymnasts. Auburn is a team of sisters and friends. They were not what I expected, not what I had heard from everyone. They were quick to welcome me, even though my gymnastics level was nowhere near what most of theirs were. Likewise, the coaches treated me as an equal, more or less. They arn't pushing me as much as some of the other girls, but that doesn't mean that they arn't pushing me and making me a better gymnast. When I first met Baely, she was one of the girls who quickly said hi and introduced herself. I knew of Baely prior to ever seeing her in person. I had heard many things about her; some good and some bad. So far with what I have seen of her, I have nothing to say but good things. She led us through warm up and did it with such a confident attitude I couldn't help but admire her leadership role. She is well aware of the fact that she is a top level 10, and on the verge of elite yet she is respectful to every single person in the gym. There is a difference between arrogance and confidence, and Baely conveys that well to all of her teammates. Her example is not only what one would hope to see in a gymnast, but in a person as well.

There's a harder side to being the top gymnast in a high level gym. She is pushed harder than possibly any gymnast there. I have seen her shed many tears but they are tears of frusteration. The tears that reminded me of a gymnast I used to be. Crying doesn't mean you arn't good enough, arn't strong enough; rather they signify that you care enough about the sport to do the one thing that some people look down on; to give in and cry. And when I came to realize this, my respect for her became even stronger. Thus this is why Baely, even though she's 4 years younger than me; is my hero!

Good Luck at Nationals Rowe!

Not her best routine, but it's from one of her biggest meets and I<3 her floor routine and music!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Comeback...

There are a lot of gymnasts who are planning big comebacks; Alicia Sacramone, Shawn Johnson, me...

This is my first real post that is open to the public about my gymnastics, but I'm tired of trying to keep it a secret. My love for the sport shouldn't have to be a secret in the first place.

It's been over 6 months since the day I had decided I needed to take 6 months off for my wrist to completely heal. Naturally, I think I lasted about a month or two before I started some limited gymnastics training. Since that time I have moved onto 2 more gyms. In total, I have trained at over 7 gyms...Only competed for two of them though.

I have almost finally transitioned back from coach to gymnast, for the second time...

I started training at my newest gym nearly 3 weeks ago.

At first I kept questioning whether there was any point in me returning. I have been out of shape for three years, (although I'm in much better shape than I was 1.5 years ago). I felt like I had nothing left to give, that starting over again was the last thing I wanted to do. I was surprised, however, with how quickly my body has come back! 2 weeks ago I did yurchenko tucks on the real vault onto mats for the first time in 2 years!!!! TWO YEARS! That's a LOONNNNGG time in the sport of gymnastics! And yet I managed to get the skill back in what...a week?! On top of that, I have started working backhandspring, back layout step outs for beam. A skill I have not worked, literally, for over 3 years! I am doing blinds again as well. Not only that, but at the gym prior to this one, I made 3 blind, front giants! Likewise, I haven't made that many in one day for 2 or 3 years! How is it that I'm getting all these skills back like this? I believe that,
Number 1. I am a lot stronger.
Number 2. I have patient and supportive coaches...finally!

Due to the fact that Westerns was last weekend and the girls and coaches had headed down to Wes De Moines, Iowa; I had not trained for a week. Thus yesterday started rough. I already felt out of shape again and after only a short while on bars, this was the result:

It looked a lot nastier yesterday. There's still blood splattered all over my grips, it's lovely. By the end of yesterday's practice I was loving the sport all over again! I've started doing open pike (almost layed out) yurchenko drills into the pit, round off-back lay dismounts off beam, back tucks, leaps and turjetes on beam, back and front twisting on floor and still working on getting most all of my skills back on bars.

My progress that has been made so far with as little training as I've done is immense in my opinion. And finally, for the first time in 2 years, I have this summer to train again! (Knock on wood). And let me have you know, this summer is gonna hurt like hell, but hopefully I will be ripped, in shape and ready for a full, injury free season in the sport of gymnastics! :)

I'll keep you posted on what's happening in my gymnastics life.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pacific Rim Gymnastics

Sooooooo, does anyone have the footage from the Pac Rim Gymnastics Champs in Australia this last weekend? I have found some footage on youtube but most of it isn't the greatest. I saw Bridget's bar routine and felt thourougly disappointed for her... We, as humans and gymnasts, need to remember that sometimes things happen. No matter how prepared we are, bad things still occur. Bridget was a reminder for the world that she is human. All elites are, no matter how incredible of athletes they are.

But that look of disappointment on her face says it all...

Meanwhile, my training has been put on hold while the Western and Eastern United States came together to perform on the national stage! Girls all over Washington did awesome! Evanni from my own gym earned 5th place! This is quite an accomplishment and I am super excited for her! Mary, Julia, Bria, and Margaret also all competed and did well! I am sad to say that this will be the last week I will spend with them, not even the whole week. I will be going into the gym Thursday around 6pm to bring ice-cream and treats to the level 4's and then Friday will be my last day coaching. Part of me is sad, but I am also jubilant that I will be free of work and will get to continue to pursue my passion in my own gymnastics world!

Continuing on that note, I will get to start training more. This will be the last easy(ish) week I will probably have for a long time so I am taking advantage of it! Though I am still training more than I had been, I didn't manage to get myself in the gym today. Yesterday, however, I managed to get to Grace and spent 2.5 hours exercising and honestly, I am finally looking and feeling stronger! Tomorrow will be much longer in training than I have done since last Monday. Early morning I have my cycling class, then classes all day long and then 4 hours at gym. That being said, I better head off to bed.