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.