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