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Tumbl Talk

I'm Not Ready...

Posted on 3/12/2019

By Carrie Spender, Tumbl Trak Educational Coordinator

Each USAG Region across the nation is gearing up for an exciting season finale. Qualifying scores are in. Sectional, State, Regional and National goals are close to being realized and the 2019 competitive season will be in the books. Tonight, as my 14-year-old daughter (gymnast), and I were chatting about the upcoming week, I was shocked to hear her say...

“I can’t believe this weekend’s State meet will be my last meet EVER!”.  

Although she’s talked about the possibility of being “done” here and there, this statement certainly had an air of finality to it.  The day I have feared has come.  She has made up her mind.

Parents devote enormous amounts of emotion, time, energy, and resources into supporting our kids to achieve their best in sports.  Boosting and bolstering from the sidelines is our specialty AND our identity to some degree.  Uniforms ready, snacks packed, weekend scheduled.   

What if I’m not ready to be “done”????

Nastia Liukin did an interview in which she described her feelings of wanting to be done with gymnastics - and how her parents(mom) handled it.  I think her mom’s answer is a brilliant life lesson that applies to any sports career or decision to “quit”.  Check it out HERE.

When I describe the opportunity of gymnastics to my girls, I use a metaphor: 

Imagine a life where you can eat as much delicious ice cream as you like.  Every day, all the time, and with great benefit to your health and wellness.  But,  when you turn 16, you can not ever have ice cream again for the rest of your life.   What choices would you make before you are 16?  (Inevitably, all kids react….”I’d eat ice cream every day!”)

Gymnastics is like that ice cream.  Enjoy it every day you can - because there will be a day that you are not able to do it anymore.

Don’t get me wrong.   I’m not going to miss compulsory floor music.   I am going to miss the excitement of  holding my breath when she competes a new skill -  seeing her team huddled together in their glitzy gear - driving a carpool of kids and listening to their chatter.  I am going to miss watching HER do gymnastics.