My Life in Gymnastics

Shannon - Waitsfield, Vermont
Entered on June 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that gymnastics is my savior. Each event can bring out the best and the worst of a competitor, from showing how beautiful and graceful it can be, to exposing everything about yourself. Most of the people who I know from my school really don’t understand how hard gymnastics is. They think that it’s something that anyone can do. But only a gymnast or someone who has tried gymnastics knows how hard it really is. We probably have more opportunities to get hurt than in most sports, from minor injuries to pretty serious ones. I’m not trying to make anyone out there afraid to do gymnastics; I’m just bringing up general awareness of what might happen.

It’s not just the tricks that are hard to learn, you need physical and mental capability to get anywhere in the sport. For the physical capability, I know that at the beginning of my high school gymnastics season each year, we do at least two weeks of conditioning before we get to do much gymnastics. And believe me when I say that my coach is a conditioning guru! Once she made us to wall sits for 5 minutes, and boy, did my legs hurt the next day! Also for the physical, you need flexibility to do certain moves, so it’s important to stretch. Gymnastics needs muscle so you can go somewhere in the sport, because a lot of the moves have to do with strength. For mental capability, you need to have self confidence that you can do a move, and if you don’t get it right away, you can’t beat yourself up about it. Just know that you need to work a little more on what you’re doing. And never forget to listen to your coaches, because they know more about what you’re doing than you do.

Now onto why gymnastics is my savior. I started gymnastics when I was in 2nd grade. But from 2nd grade to 6th grade, I only was doing it one day a week. But when I got to 7th grade, I started on my school’s middle school gymnastics team five days a week, plus the one day a week at my other gym where I started, making my grand total of days doing gymnastics six out of seven. I really got into the sport through my school, because I started competing and learning more. Now that I am a sophomore in high school, most likely if you were to see me, I would be hanging out with someone from my team, talking about gymnastics, or doing gymnastics. It’s something that’s taken hold of me and it just won’t let go. It’s one of the biggest parts of my life right now, and sometimes my friends get annoyed of me talking about it. But I don’t care. It’s something that I love. And it’s better knowing that I’m addicted to gymnastics and not out doing something that would get me in trouble.