Pre-Competitive GymnasticsA few posts ago I mentioned that I have been blogging daily for over 10 months, as I had committed to one year of blogging daily back in July 2015. When I asked for some feedback about what comes next, the responses I received were all very positive and recommended that I write when I have something to write. This is the first long weekend of the summer here in Canada, and I figured that if I was going to take a little break, this would be a good time to do so.

Gratitude Tip: There are times when we have to look at what we have committed ourselves to and figured out if it’s still serving ourselves and others. When a friend noticed that I hadn’t blogged for two days, it made me realize that there are people who are reading the blog daily (or as much as possible) and it’s making a difference in their lives. And I missed writing for a few days. Since I am eager and excited to continue writing, I’ll complete my year long commitment. After that, I will likely blog a few times a week and continue to serve my gratitude community as best as I can.

Take a look at your daily activities and habits. Are they serving you? Are they serving your family? There are times when we have been doing something for such a long time (because that’s the way we have always done it) without taking a moment to see if it’s still something that is giving us joy. As parents, I think we often struggle with this when it comes to our kids and their different activities. When our kids tell us they don’t want to go to gymnastics, is it really because they no longer have joy when they are doing it or simply because at that moment they would rather play Minecraft or with their friends?

When I was 8 years old, I became a competitive gymnast and started training 4 hours a day, 6 days a week. We would be at the gym from 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm, and on Sundays another 4 hours. It was a lot for a young gymnast, but I had shown a lot of promise in the earlier levels and at that time in gymnastics, it was common for young girls to train that many hours. There was a lot of condition involved as well as our work on the 4 apparatus – bars, beam, floor and vault.

As the level of difficultly of the tricks I was learning became more and more difficult, I started to become more and more afraid to do them. I remember one night, I was working on a move on the beam, a back walkover – back handspring combination and I was afraid to do it without my coach standing beside me just in case. It’s amazing how I can still visualize that moment and actually feel the feelings over 30 years later. It took my til 10:30 pm that night until I actually attempted to do it, and even though I feel off on the back handspring, I was finally able to go home. That year at the banquet,  I was given the ‘longest workout’ award, a nightgown with those words printed on it to remind me of that night.

It was a tough time in gymnastics, I saw a lot of my friends with serious injuries at very young ages and we all worked very very hard. It did create an amazing bond between the girls I trained with – some of us are still friends today thanks to Facebook. But it’s not an experience I would want to repeat with my own daughter. When I told my parents that I wanted to quit the competitive team (I believe I was 9), they listened to me and agreed with me. I love that my parents listened to what I wanted and supported me, even though I was quitting. And I didn’t quit the sport, I simply dropped down to the recreational stream and ended up becoming a very successful recreational gymnast.

I will always be grateful for my time in gymnastics. I learned a lot and grew up a lot during the 8 years I trained and competed and various levels. And I am most grateful that my parents supported my decision, even as young child. They have continued to be supportive of my decisions throughout my entire life – they may not always agree – but they are supportive. That’s a amazing gift and one that I am hoping to also give my own daughter.

Enjoy this last day of the long weekend my friends (and for my US peeps, your holiday is just around the corner)!

%d bloggers like this: