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. :)

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