It was almost 1 year ago today that we drove our daughter to go watch her friends compete in their 1st gymnastics meet of the season. Unfortunately for her, she wouldn’t be competing as an injury forced her to miss her first full season of competition. While this could have been a devastating setback for some, we were amazed when she was back training in the gym only a couple days after getting her cast put on her arm.
It probably shouldn’t have shocked us that much as our daughter has been amazing us since she was born, but still, this level of determination and love for her sport is something I’m not sure ever I had as a child and I loved sports. I remember dropping her off at training and watching as she worked just as hard as she ever has, cast and all. I’d wonder if she felt any pain or discomfort. I’d ask leading questions, so not to make it seem like I was making a big deal out of it. “Nope, I’m fine, practice was really fun”, she would answer.
She trained and trained all year long, all while her friends competed and showed off their medals with pride, and there were a LOT of medals! Yet, she never complained. She never seemed jealous. She’d hug them and watch their competitions online when it was available and congratulate them on all their achievements. Now I’m going to be perfectly honest here. While we try our best to teach our kids good sportsmanship, I’m not sure I would have handled her situation even close to the way she did if I were put in her shoes. To say that we were proud of her would be a severe understatement.
As we geared up for this year’s competition season, I’m not going to lie, I have been extra cautious with my little jelly bean. She likes to wrestle with daddy, but I’ve had to cut back on it, just in case. There has been extra hand holding while out in public and I may be cutting the grapes a little smaller than I normally do. You can call it helicopter parenting if you’d like but selfishly, I want to see her do the thing she’s been training to do for almost 2 years now!
We were finally able to see her perform at her first ever competition this past weekend and as you can imagine, there were a lot of emotions for everyone involved, especially mom and dad. I had mentioned to someone the other day that it seems to take way less to make me cry these days as it used to, and this was no exception. I had so many favourite parts that I’d need a whole other story to cover them all. That said, at one point during her floor warm-up, she took a hard fall while attempting a move she had just recently learned. Everyone in the crowd gasped as she hit the floor, but not only did she get up smiling, she absolutely nailed the move when it mattered most and everyone gave her a huge cheer. Full disclosure, I’m tearing up again right now while writing about it.
The thing I love most about her gym is that they don’t focus on how many medals you win. They are more concerned with working hard and improving on your personal bests each time out. This was one competition none of us will soon forget. I have watched the videos of her routines over and over again, getting equally emotional every single time. We couldn’t be more proud of our little girl and the hard work she has put in to get to this point. The sky is the limit for her and we can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next, even though I may have suffered a mild heart attack during every single event last weekend…