Darn You Olympics for Making Me Emotional

 (7th Grade – 1990)

Dang it. The Olympics are making me all emotional. It’s making me reminisce about the days when my body didn’t hurt, spending hours in the gym with my best friends, and having the ability to do crazy stuff with ease. I miss practicing for hours. I miss practicing a skill over and over again trying to get it as close to perfection as possible. OCD much? I miss the feeling I would get performing my routine on the balance beam. Beam was my favorite event and the feeling I would get is indescribable. I also miss hauling ass down the vault runway and pushing with all my might off the horse. Bars… well, bars was meh. That event scared me so I wasn’t very good at it. I was consistent with my routine, but it didn’t have much difficulty. And floor, oh, I miss the dancing in my floor routine. I also miss my front tuck tumbling pass. I loved front tumbling. It’s so much fun! However, I don’t miss my leo going up my butt all the time, though. Haha!

I was talking with a friend the other day about how I miss being creative with my body. I love what CrossFit does for me as it satisfies my need for competition and pushing my body to its limits. However, there is a part of me that is itching to express itself – it’s the artistic part of gymnastics that I miss the most.

Despite my stupid club gymnastics coach being stupid (Hmmm… I’ve been talking about him a lot lately. Not sure what that’s about.) I do have a lot of great memories about my gymnastics career. Two of my most favorite memories are from my school gymnastics career. I was lucky to have gymnastics offered as part of my school athletics program in both junior high and high school. Coincidence that two of my fondest memories are from school gymnastics and not club? Ha.

(9th Grade – 1993)

My junior high memory started at Districts during my 7th grade year. I was one of 11 girls competing as an “all around” meaning that I competed on all four events. (In school gymnastics you had the choice of competing in as many events as you desired. In club gymnastics, it is mandatory that you compete in all four events.) During the awards ceremony, I remember standing in 11th place looking all the way down to the 1st place gymnast and said to myself, “I am going to get first place. I want to be there.” Since that day I made a choice to work my ass off and it paid! In 8th grade I placed in 4th, and in 9th grade, I got first! It was one of the happiest days of my life.

(11th Grade – 1995; apparently I liked this pose)

My high school memory was during my junior year when my team placed 2nd at State. The difference between jr. high and high school gymnastics is that in jr. high everyone does the same routines, and in high school we are able to create our own. Also, the highest competition for jr. high was Districts, where in high school it was State. We had such an amazing team that year and I am grateful and honored to have competed with such awesome ladies. Our team performed so well that night and if I remember correctly, received our highest team scores that season. I also received my highest beam score during the state competition and placed within the top 20. It was somewhere around a 9.1-9.3 (that was when the scores went up to 10).

(2nd Place Team – Decatur Gators – 1995! My team is probably going to kill me for posting this, haha!)

Okay, enough about me, back to the Olympics. These athletes are phenomenal, amazing, and inspiring. Oh, so very inspiring. I am so amazed at what these athletes are capable of! Sheesh. Their hard work and dedication is so admirable. I think my favorite part of watching the Olympics is when the athletes go up to their parents after their competition – seeing the joy or the pain – the connection that they have at that moment is just wonderful.

To copy a friend’s Facebook status update, “I love the Olympics. They make me feel like I’m hanging out with the whole world :)”


(Circa 1987 – Awkward and brace-faced at 10 years old)

And for your enjoyment, here’s a video of me doing a tumbling pass back in 2009.


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