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I need help deciding if I should quit.

RoseyPosey352

New Member
Gymnast
Apr 28, 2019
3
Country
USA
*just a little warning this is going to be long sorry*

I am 16 and I am currently a sophomore. I have done gymnastics since I was 2 in the mommy and me class (14 years!). Lately gymnastics has been getting harder for me because I have been wanting to quit.

I am a level 5 gymnast who would be moving up to level 7 (we are going to compete one meet of 6 so we can move up at my gym). I am not even close to moving up but did good in level five that it doesn’t make sense to me to stay in 5. I don’t want to move up and I have no motivation to learn any new skills. It feels like I am giving myself mental blocks on skills before I even train them! I dread going to practice so much and I think about it even at school all day. I have states in a couple days but I am hardly even looking forward to it :(

But quitting would be hard physically because of the exercise and also because I don’t do anything else outside of school really. I am on the varsity gymnastics team and do enjoy that more than club gymnastics, but I don’t want to lose my skills and not be able to compete for school. I also have Osgood Schlatters in my knees which makes it difficult every practice.

I have been having trouble getting my homework done and I am losing a lot of sleep, staying up until midnight many days of the week doing it. The homework isn’t going to get any less or easier next year and I am worried that practice takes away time that I need for doing homework.

My heart just isn’t in gymnastics anymore but I feel like if I quit the 14 years was all for nothing. It makes me upset that the sport that I used to love so much doesn’t give me the same feeling anymore. I would miss my teammates so much, too. But right now it feels like I am doing gymnastics for every other reason, not that I enjoy the sport itself. Is now a good time to quit?

(Ps sorry this was so long and thank you if you read it all)
 

Flippin'A

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Former Gymnast
Dec 4, 2017
203
31
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USA
I quit gymnastics to be on my high school team after 12 or so years in the gym and I can honestly say I don't think a second of it was wasted. Would you feel like you'd wasted that time if you quit at 18? 20? 40? There's always going to be an end to everyone's club gymnastics career, but that doesn't mean the time you spent in the sport was wasted time or you have to walk away completely. Competing for your high school is a fun way to keep up your skills and enjoy the sport again. And instead of looking at this like closing the gymnastics door, try getting excited for all the possibilities you could be opening yourself up to. Is there a sport or activity you've always wanted to try but never had time for? Are there academic goals you'd finally have time to pursue without the stress and time of practice to worry about? Would it be nice to just get a decent amount of sleep every night? No matter what you end up doing the things you learned in gymnastics-- perseverance, courage, strength, goal setting-- are never going away.

No one knows if you're done but you, but by your description it just sounds like you just need to know that it's okay to stop and you won't be a quitter or have wasted those 14 years. One trick that seems to work is to take a week off and pretend like you've quit for good. If you feel a sense of peace and relief then it's the right decision. Good luck!
 

NutterButter

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jan 24, 2013
604
Country
USA
I am a firm believe that when one door closes another one opens. From what you’ve shared, it sounds like you have little joy left in the sport. Be true to yourself and pursue activities that bring you joy. It sounds like you don’t even have to give up gymnastics entirely if you are still on your high school team. Have you considered coaching? Just know that if you decide to quit, another door will open and you will discover new passions.
 

Pirouette

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Oct 16, 2014
100
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USA
My dd is also a sophomore, and I totally understand what you are saying about the time commitment of school increasing each year. She has struggled more this year than in previous years to balance it all, but it is getting better.

If you were my daughter and I heard everything you are saying here, I would encourage you to take 1-2 weeks off gym (after states) to BREATHE. Refresh. Relax. You'll be better equipped after that to decide what is best for you.

DD is also on XC and track at school -- she does pole vault (she is JV). 2 of the 3 varsity girls are former gymnasts. They still get that awesome feeling of flying but the hours of practice are much more manageable. And the varsity girls have college options in track that they would not have had in gymnastics (I believe they retired from gym at level 7 or 8).

Good luck to you as you figure it out!
 

ausnat83

New Member
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Mar 13, 2019
16
30
Country
USA
A couple of things-

The time you spent in gymnastics has not been wasted. You enjoyed it (at least some of the time). You learned about persistence and hard work. Gymnastics is wonderful full-body training for body awareness and strength (it carries over to all sorts of sports). And so on... none of these things go away if you stop club gym now. You also may enjoy and get more out of your HS gymnastics if you're not overwhelmed with negative feelings about the club gym.

Sunk costs. Have you taken economics yet? This is an important concept in decision making that people often get wrong - and pay for it. The costs you need to weigh in a current decision are *only* the ones in the future. The time and effort you put into gymnastics in the past is not relevant for decision making now, because it's already been done - putting more and more time and work in now won't get it back. *If* you decide to stop club gym, focus on what you can do with the time and energy that you'll be freeing up. Try a new sport? A different hobby? Boost your grades to help with college admissions? Find a great volunteer role and commit 1-2 afternoons a week to it? Focus on the years in front of you and decide what will be the most rewarding way to spend that time - club gym or something else.

There isn't a right or wrong decision here. Consider taking a break from club gym for a few weeks and give yourself some space to make the best decision for you personally. Sometimes just giving yourself the option - guilt free - can help reduce stress and frustration, even if you don't actually decide to leave.
 

catherine

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Proud Parent
Aug 23, 2016
6
48
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USA
Retiring from gymnastics would not take away all that you have gained from the sport. I understand completely why it feels that way.

In life (speaking as a 48 year old) this will happen many times. You start on a path either career wise or perhaps in a relationship and you give so much of yourself to that path. But, passions change and if you continue the path because you feel you’ve put so much in it you end up exhausted emotionally from trying to keep going just because you feel you must. It is so hard to change paths because of all the reasons you listed.

I’ve been a professional swim coach for over 20 years and swam through college. I did not want to retire before college but had many friends who did. It was the right decision for them, and I sometimes feel like they had more important opportunities/experiences that I may have missed by making swimming my number one priority. I did really love it though hence the mixed feelings. Now that I have a child (11) and think about her future I look at things differently as a coach than I used to. I see that if the passion isn’t there, as much as I believe in perseverance, there is a time to be grateful for what you have received from the sport and move on. Sometimes just taking a break (after you finish the season) can be enough to decide you do love your sport or that you do want to move on. Either is okay. You are young and you will find other interests if you move on. You will carry what you learned from gym with you always. You will be a stronger person for it. Gym has helped shape you into the strong thoughtful young woman you are.

Good luck. I know how difficult this must feel!
 

ldw4mlo

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Feb 13, 2015
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There are many things you have learned in gymnastics that will carry you through life. And many things you can bring to other sports and activities.

The end of gymnastics most certainly doesn't mean you will never have movement and exercise in your life.

It sounds like its time to move on to other things.

Perhaps you might want to consider a gym with an Xcel program where you can go less hours, still train and train the skills and at the pace you want to.
 
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RoseyPosey352

New Member
Gymnast
Apr 28, 2019
3
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USA
Thank you all for replying and your advice, it was really helpful! I think I realized, even when just typing out my post, that it is time to move on from the sport. It has been a part of my life for a long time and will still be there for the varsity season. I just feel burnt out and don’t have the same passion for it as I used to. Thank you again!
 

Jard.the.gymnast

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Apr 12, 2017
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Thank you all for replying and your advice, it was really helpful! I think I realized, even when just typing out my post, that it is time to move on from the sport. It has been a part of my life for a long time and will still be there for the varsity season. I just feel burnt out and don’t have the same passion for it as I used to. Thank you again!
Maybe you can find fun in coaching (if you are still feeling a passion for the sport)? One rec class per week or so might be a fun addition to keeping you healthy and active.

Good luck with whatever comes next!
 

RoseyPosey352

New Member
Gymnast
Apr 28, 2019
3
Country
USA
Maybe you can find fun in coaching (if you are still feeling a passion for the sport)? One rec class per week or so might be a fun addition to keeping you healthy and active.

Good luck with whatever comes next!
My coach was asking me about it the other day haha, I am definitely thinking about it! (A little nervous I’m not sure why, it’s just little kids :) )
 
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Jard.the.gymnast

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@RoseyPosey352 Little kids are easy. Show interest in them, ask them questions, and let them have fun while setting your standards and expectations for practice and you will be great.
Yep, the hardest thing is often to not laugh all practice because they joke around A LOT! It's in a good way, but if I laughed at every joke they would make (I have one kid who actually comes up to me several times per practice to tell me a joke) I couldn't coach.

They really are some rays of sunshine
 

ldw4mlo

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Feb 13, 2015
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@RoseyPosey352 you know yourself.

My daughter is 13. She still doesn’t have any idea what she wants to do in life.she does know one thing. She doesn’t like working with little kids. When I remind her she was once one. She tells me knows and doesn’t like to. No desire to babysit either.

As an ambassador in her school she could of been a kindergarten helper/reader. or work in the food pantry. She chose the food pantry. When as an older team member she has to help with the little kids, she does it. And my normally closed mouth kid complains about it the whole way home.

They are not the best listeners well because they are little. She gets that. She also gets she doesn’t have the patience for it. And that’s OK. Folks who chose to work with little kids should actually like it. :);)
 

edelweiss

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May 6, 2013
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If you go back and read what you wrote you'll see your answer right there :)

It's never easy, especially after all the years in the gym. But it's truly "not for nothing" - think of all the physical skills you developed and performed, think of the strength you developed, both mentally and physically. Performing in front of judges whose job it is to deduct every tiny mistake is not for the faint of heart. At some point gym comes to an end for everyone and I would think/hope most would not think it was all for noting simply because it ends.

Sleep and health are very important, especially so at your age. If you are concerned about keeping up your skills while still participating on the Varsity Gym Team, what about occasional private lessons? That way you are not completely walking away from your gym yet are moving on from the intense schedule.
 

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