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The tears, the triumphs - State and on to regionals

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Livinatthegym

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Feb 4, 2008
204
Region IV
The day started with tears -- mine. It was dd1's last meet and could easily have dd2's. I told them each my favorite gym memory and completely lost it. I never cry, so both girls looked at me in stunned silence.

Dd1 was very happy with her meet. She's state vault champion. Funny, because it's probably one of her worst events. I almost laughed out loud when I heard the family behind me say, "If you want to see how a vault should be done, you should watch that real tiny girl from X gym." She baubled on bars, an event where she routinely scores 9.5. This time she finished at 9.375. She finished 4th AA.

Dd2 was not a happy camper. There's big drop in the number of girls competing between level 5 and 6. The next big drop comes between levels 7 and 8. And, in a small state like ours, that means the age groups cover quite a range. So, dd1, who is almost 15, who saw puberty come and go a couple years ago and definitely has a woman's body, finds herself in a group with pre-pubescent 12 year olds. Her lines will never be as straight. To top it off, our flight was our gym and Chow's. Yes, folks, Shawn Johnson's gym.

Now, we all love Mr. Chow. He's a very nice man and a gentle coach. We've been competing with his gym for 5 years, and I've never seen him say a harsh word to any of his athletes. However, his goal is producing elite and Olympic athletes. His teams are small because he's very discriminating in selecting gymnasts, even for his compulsary teams. He looks at parent height/build, age of the child (his oldest level 8 is 12), in addition to the things you'd normally look for in a gymnast. We hear rumors about daily weigh-ins, etc, but probably not all are true. Anyway, the result is that his gals are pretty close to unbeatable. You might outscore one on a single event, but they pretty much sweep the all-arounds.

So, our girls are competing in a rotation with girls who score 9.5-9.8 on most events, and 3 of them are in dd1's age group. She didn't get skunked (one medal), but for the first time since level 5, when she was competing with a broken hand, she didn't place AA. Fortunately, she did get picked up for regionals, and there, at least, the "Senior B" group is all her age. As she says, "Good, I shouldn't be the only one with boobs and a butt."

Our biggest disappointment, however, is that dd1's teammate did not make regionals. Like dd1, she is done this year. The two of them had been together since level 4, and I would have loved to see them finish out their careers together at regionals.
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
. As she says, "Good, I shouldn't be the only one with boobs and a butt."

It appears that your dd has a good head on her shoulders and a good sense of humor.

I may have missed this before, and I am sorry if you have to repeat yourself - but, why is she leaving gymnastics?
 

Livinatthegym

Member
Feb 4, 2008
204
Region IV
I may have missed this before, and I am sorry if you have to repeat yourself - but, why is she leaving gymnastics?
There are so many reasons. Dd1's in high school, and being a gymnast means
1. She can't try out for the musical or track because of conflicts with practice during meet season.
2. She can't try out for madrigal because of conflicts with practice right before meet season.
3. She can be in marching band in the fall, but she gets in trouble for missing so many practices for games and competition.
4. If her friends go to Sonic for 1/2 price drinks after school, once in a while, she'd like to go along.
(You probably see the pattern, here. She wants to have a more normal high school life.)
5. Her knees hurt, pretty much all the time. A grown up body lands harder.
6. Hardly anyone is left. Our level 10s are in high school, but after this season, the other kids are younger. She likes them, but there is something to be said for same-age peers.

We're not really sure why dd2 wants to be done. She doesn't have fears, mental blocks, or injuries. She's had a great year. She loves the sport. Best we can figure is that she set a goal fo herself (to win an all-around competition), and she met her goal. However, we've always said that the decision to stay or go was hers, and its ok to just want to be done.

Seriously, I think I'm the one who's not going to know what to do with myself. At state, I was talking to a mom whose daughter "retired" a couple of months ago due to injury. She told me that one night, she'd had dinner, run through homework and housework, and announced the family should be getting to bed. It was 8:30. She was just wasn't used to all the time she had with no gym!
 
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Megley

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Congrats to both your dds on a good meet. It must be incredibly tough to be in that age group with girls from Shawn Johnson's gym. She did a fantastic job qualifying to regionals. It must be tough for you facing a future without gymnastics! I can't imagine it and we have only been involved for a year or two. Is it for sure that DD2 will quit or is she just on the fence about it? Best of luck to DD1 at Regionals and to DD2 in deciding what to do.

Meg
 

bogwoppit

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Congratulations of the DD's hard work.

I imagine this will be a year of huge changes for your family, I hope I am as graceful and pragmatic when our turn comes!:)
 

melmonette

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Aug 16, 2007
636
omaha, ne
Congratulations on DD1's becoming the vault champion:) That is great and making regionals:) You must be so proud of her. Does her high school have a gymnastics team??? Maybe she can do that...

You know what I wouldn't even know what to do with myself either without gymnastics. I love watching my girls and I can't imagine being without taking them to gymnastics either.
Big hugs to you:( I know it is going to be quite an adjustment that you all will go through.
I hope your dd2 sticks it out even if she didn't have the best meet.
I am sorry your dd1's friend and teammate did not qualify:( It must break her heart for her friend and then their family as well.
Wow... it must be wild to compete against Chow's gym. I am sure they are amazing to watch though at meets.
 

Livinatthegym

Member
Feb 4, 2008
204
Region IV
Well, where's my head? Dd1 is my level 8, dd2 is my level 7. Yes, I mix up my own kids. Call 'em by the wrong names sometimes, too.

Bog, I sound a lot more graceful here than I do in real life. I'm planning to get over my grief by spending the money I would have used in tuition next year on a trip to Disneyworld. Can't be sad if you're heading for the Mouse House.

Melmonette, nope, no hs gymnastics in Iowa. Haven't had it since the 80s. And, yes, it's wild to see the Chow's girls (especially when they're not in your age group). The nice thing about our gym rotating with them was I got to see all their routines.
 

kristilyn73

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Jan 17, 2008
1,326
Minnesota
Living at the gym...My DD Is on spring break right now and I dont know what to do with myself in the evenings! It is most certainly a lifestyle change.

What an amazing way to end your DD"s careers.. I get teary eyed just thinking of it.

We have competed against a couple other very good teams from IA. Triad is impressive too.

My Husband is from Iowa and keeps talking about moving back! But in his small town there is not a gym. We would have to Drive to Des Moines or Omaha!
 

gym law mom

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I'm impressed with both your girls and I love dd1's take on her body changing!!! Both kids sound like they are mature beyond their years and have really thought the whole gym thing through. As much as parents want to still be a part of it, if your child's heart isn't there anymore, then they have the right to say "its over." I want to congratulate you and letting them follow their dreams.

I'm sure you and your dds will still be welcome as "club cheerleaders" at meets next season. Always a nice way to stay connected. Speaking of staying connected----keep dropping in here.

Oh yes---big congrats on dd1 going to regionals. So sorry her gym "sister" didn't make it.
 
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maricarmunoz

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hi i'm from the philippines. I wonder if you could help me get a choreographer for my daughter for her floor routine? She is now in Chicago. thank you so much

maricar
 

DEMom

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Oct 27, 2007
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Livinatthegym-
Two DD's quitting at the same time! I would cry too! I feel for you.:(. As you know I am going through the same thing with my DD quitting gym although she is leaving for other reasons. Like you, I don't know what to do with myself. I feel somewhat lost. I was very active in the parents organization and it has become over the years my social life. I will have a lot of time to fill. (Is this getting us ready for what it feels like whe kids go off to college??)

So I agree something to take your mind off gym is good. A Disney vacation is good! For me, I actually bought a car last week :)- a BMW convertible! I don't think I would have done it if she wasn't quitting. It's pretty extravagant of me - I never buy anything for myself - it all goes to the kids. So we are still going to the gym - we have a 30 day notice. I'll tell you I love picking her up in that car! That money that was going to gym ... I have a better use for it now!

Anyway Great job for DD1 getting to regionals. That is a big accomplishment and fr DD2 for her accomplishments at lvl 7. I'm sure DD1 will enjoy the musicals and marching band. I am glad they both reached their goals. My DD's goal was to be an 8 at regionals but it never worked out - coach didn't move her up even though she had most all her skills this past summer. I think for my DD repeating a level became boring and she lost interest so coach lost interest in her.

I think that is great your DD wants to do musicals. They are a great experience. Back when I was in HS (a long... long.... long... time ago) I quit ballet (13 years) so I could do plays in HS and have more of a social life. I never regretted it. Wow! :eek:I just realized I quit a sport after many years (not as intense as gym) and I never regretted it! I was ok and my DD and your DD's wil be fine too. It's just time to move onto another chapter of their life and ours.

I wish your DDs the best of luck in their endeavors. If DD has not tried track before- gymnasts are typically pretty good a long jump and high jump.
 

Blackie6

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Mar 1, 2007
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Livingatthegym,

One of the reasons I love this forum....I loved your post! While the mom in me cried with you reading about one journey ending for your girls, I loved about how you will spend your tuition check, LOL, and with all that savings you can afford to stay at the Poly! Also, it was nice for you to share about Mr Chow...whenever I see him on tv now I can remember what you said about him here. What a wonderful opportunity for you to be able to compete with his gym and see those routines and quite an accomplishment for your daughters as well...to keep up with that level of gymnastics. Your DD's must be quite talented. CONGRATS on your DD's trip to regionals and good luck on their new activities. My DS (12) is involved with drama and music as well and he loves it & I hope he continues with it when he gets to HS. Please keep us posted on how "retirement" goes for all of you!
 

Livinatthegym

Member
Feb 4, 2008
204
Region IV
Livinatthegym-
I quit ballet (13 years) so I could do plays in HS and have more of a social life. I never regretted it. Wow! :eek:I just realized I quit a sport after many years (not as intense as gym) and I never regretted it! I was ok and my DD and your DD's wil be fine too. It's just time to move onto another chapter of their life and ours.
I think that says it all. We're all going to be ok. When I am completely objective (kind of hard right now), I have to think that dd1 would have been better off leaving last year. This year was hard for us. High school brought so many conflicts. Dd1's body hit the limits of what it would/could do. But, the kind of kid who excels in gymnastics isn't the kind of kid to go down without a fight. She still fought her way into regionals.

We have a few more practices to go, too. Dd1 wants to stay through the end of April, even though she'll be done after regionals. Dd2 wants to stay through May, or maybe even into June. She says "she'll see." Mom says we'll see how busy she gets with softball.

So, you enjoy whipping around in that BMW (your gym must be more expensive than mine!) and I'll head for Florida (Yacht Club, rather than the Poly, Blackie; I want to try out Stormalong Bay). I suspect in that in a very short time, we'll be as busy as we were with gymnastics as the kids find other things to fill their time.
 

melmonette

Active Member
Aug 16, 2007
636
omaha, ne
wow... I am surprised that Iowa doesn't have high school gymnastics. In Minnesota, high school gymnastics is huge. The girls go from levels 9-10 and compete the high school season. Almost all the high schools in Minnesota have a large gymnastics team.
Oh well how about diving? Maybe one of the girls will want to start diving:)
 

jls1969

Member
Sep 27, 2007
105
Wow...what a great post. You have a great head on your shoulders and I loved your DD's comment about butts and boobs. :) I admire the approach you are taking...I have often wished my daughter would choose to live a more normal life...there is something to be said about not putting all of your focus on one activity. I occasionally ask my DD this, and she says she is perfectly happy doing what she is doing. You listened to your daughters and allowed them to make the decision when they were ready and had reached their goals they had set. I pray that our time will come and that I will handle the situation as well as you. I think gymnastics is great, but I also think there are so many other things to experience...you and your family will get to have that!:) I am also surprised to hear Iowa has no high school gymnastics. Our state does, and although they only compete L6, it is still an option.

Enjoy Disney World...you are right about the Mouse House...there is NO sadness allowed. Enjoy your new phase and the time with your DD's...
 
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flippymonkeysmom

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Good luck to you and your dd's in life after gymnastics. You know - they will all eventually have to stop at some time anyway - in your dd's case not only has she had the wonderful experience of competing (and doing extremely well) - now she will also have the opportunity to enjoy her last years of high school. It really is the best of both worlds. And yeah - I'm pretty sure it won't be long before your time and hers are filled with a whole bunch of new activities. These girls are high energy - they don't know the meaning of sitting still, lol.
 

kristilyn73

Active Member
Jan 17, 2008
1,326
Minnesota
wow... I am surprised that Iowa doesn't have high school gymnastics. In Minnesota, high school gymnastics is huge. The girls go from levels 9-10 and compete the high school season. Almost all the high schools in Minnesota have a large gymnastics team.
Oh well how about diving? Maybe one of the girls will want to start diving:)
I will say that my town in MN Has 3 public high schools and not one has a gymnastics team! I think they are a dying breed...

Living at the gym.... that new car... I will say that every time I start looking at making that purchase, or a nice Camper, or maybe a Cabin.. my Husband says.. Talk to your Daughters... and see if they are ready to quit Gymnastics & Dance (my middle child is a competitive Dancer...arg). Needless to say, No new car for me!

Enjoy the extra time & Money!!!!
 

mariposa

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good luck to all of you on life after gymnastics. i am sure it will be an adjustment after years of living the lifestyle. hope you all find wonderful things to do with all your time (and money, LOL). your girls did awesome, i am sure you are all proud.
 

midwestgymmom

Active Member
Aug 27, 2006
661
midwest
Living at the gym. Congrats to your dds. So will you be going to SFalls for regionals?? I will be there Sat for the level 10 session watching my dds two teamates compete. I cant imagine the sudden withdrawl of gymnastics we have had the last 2 weeks off and it is really strange I hope you have a blast at Disney. The hs gymnastics is dying out in SD slowly a few more teams drop every yr.
 
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