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Gymnast's POV of the benefit of happiness

tdoesgymnastics

Coach
Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Jan 22, 2017
79
Country
USA
(I've written about this before but decided that a little recap would make the rest of the post make more sense.)

It has been a little over a year since my daughter last stepped foot in the gym. She didn't leave because she was unhappy or injured, it was simply because she wanted to try new things. Ultimately, she joined the cross country team, where she broke the freshman record, and lead the varsity squad in meets and practice, despite only having 6 weeks of training. When asked to write an essay for her English class about happiness, she decided to write it about gymnastics, the sport that gave her everything for the short 5 years that she did it. With her permission, I decided to share it here. Gymnastics teaches these girls so much more than many realize.

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“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” - Walt Disney.


Up until this summer, I was a competitive gymnast. Gymnastics gave me a life for five years that can never be replicated. The sport taught me many things: mental toughness, the value of hard work, and most importantly: the significance of friendship and happiness.


The spring of my 8th-grade year, I made the decision to run track. I was successful and it sparked my curiosity to run cross-country. Since I only had 4 years of school left, I decided to pursue the sport. Knowing that balancing gym, school, and running would be difficult, I made up my mind to retire from the sport I loved.


May 30, 2018, was my final practice. I contemplated how I was going to tackle it. I could go into practice that day unmotivated or I could go in and make every turn count. By 4:00 that afternoon, the choice was made. I was going to be the best gymnast I could be.


My parents were bummed about me quitting. My mom asked me when she dropped off at the gym, “Are you sure you want to do this?” I told her “I’m sure” and that it would be worth it. This made her content. At practice that day, I tried new things that I knew could never be done again. My coach, J (privacy), asked me, “ Do you really want to end this?” I responded with “This is just the beginning.” Later that evening she asked me what I meant. I explained to her how the feeling of happiness I get from laughing with teammates and the thrill I get from trying new tricks, sticking a routine, or winning first on the podium, plus all the lessons I’ve learned will never be forgotten. That the legacy of this sport is forever engraved in me. This made J smile because she’d never looked at it in that way.


At the end of practice, I said goodbye to my teammates. We all promised to say in touch and did our handshake once more. I hugged my head coach, L, for the final time and she whispered in my ear, “You are always welcomed back.”


As you can see, my last gymnastics workout was a happy one. I started the day wondering if my parents would be disappointed in me or that my coaches would be angry, but the weren’t. They were happy and proud of me for continuing moving forward. I’ve learned that if you choose to be happy, others will do the same.


Over the summer, I used this positive energy while at cross-country conditioning. Making my teammates laugh is my favorite thing to do because it makes even the toughest of workouts just a little bit better. I hope to continue the wonderful atmosphere within my team for the rest of my high school running career.
 

ldw4mlo

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
5,380
59
Country
USA
I wish this could be a sticky post........................
 

3cats

Member
Proud Parent
Nov 5, 2018
55
40
Country
USA
I love this so much! Since we are still wading through the uneasiness and uncertainty of my daughter recently ending her gymnastics career it is nice to see that there is stability and success on the other side. This is very much needed for us, I enjoyed reading it and will show it to my daughter.
 

Mish

Active Member
Proud Parent
Aug 15, 2015
591
50
Country
USA
This is beautiful, and on a personal note, could not have come at a better time for me.
Your daughter will certainly be successful in all that she does with that amazing outlook!!
 

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