I started doing gymnastics when I was three years old. I was a nationally ranked gymnast who was constantly participating in competitions around the world. The world of gymnasiums and competitive athletes was crowded with plenty of coaches and other gymnasts watching each event. At a tournament in Brazil for the Pan American Games, I was one of hundreds of other gymnasts all fighting for the same thing, a shiny gold medal. After the entire competition had finished, I had won the gold medal for all around individuals and our team placed first in the team division. After the award ceremony, an older man walked toward me. He started a conversation with an offer which could have changed my life. He said that he wanted me to come and train with the Brazilian gymnastics team for the future Olympics. I was shocked. I thanked him and told him that I would need to talk over the situation with my parents and finally, I made my final decision to decline the prestigious invitation. Now, five years later, I still wonder if I made the right choice to decline the invitation. Eventually, I also began to rethink my life as a competitive gymnast that could have been fighting for a gold medal in the 2008 or 2012 Olympic Games.
About two or three years ago, I was provided with a decision that changed my life forever. I was still doing gymnastics every day but I was becoming fed up without a regular life. The days I spent at the gymnasium were everlasting. One day, I told my parents that I was becoming completely uninterested in gymnastics and that I wanted to experience a normal life. All I wanted was different friends to experience all my memories with. After discussing the issue with my parents, we decided to talk with an experienced physical therapist. The physical therapist said that I was becoming detached from gymnastics and that I should start a “new” life. After the visit to the physical therapist, I knew the next day would be a gruesome one. I met my coach at the gym to talk over the situation. I told him that I was losing interest in gymnastics and from that point on I became an average kid. I wonder every day if I made the right choice to quit gymnastics for an average day at school.
Life always offers opportunities. The choices that we make in life are sometimes difficult and potentially regretful. I believe that the opportunities that life offers are not always guaranteed to be the best choice.
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