When I watch Olympic gymnastics, I flash back to my childhood and am no longer in reality. My kids know when gymnastics is on TV, they are to sit still and be quiet. The kitchen is closed and an emergency, baring choking or bleeding to death, will have to wait.
I mean really, the tricks and flips those girls do, put me in another state of mind. How could anyone think realistically while watching talent like that!
Then, I start to remember how I used to feel as a little girl. I wanted to do those tricks more then anything else in the world. I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast. When I was four, my mom put me into my first gymnastics class. Boy oh boy, was I in heaven. I loved the cartwheels, the splits and the backbends. A year later that was still all I could do.
Moving on to age 6, then age 7, I progressed a bit to running round-offs and front walk-overs. I loved all the rotations and was will to work hard, practice hard and do whatever it took to go all the way. I walked up and down the balance beam, kicking my leg up a few inches in a well-disciplined sort of way. My arms stretched out; a balancing act that took every bit of concentration I could muster. I would swing on the parallel bars, until my wrists started to hurt. The coach stayed by my side, giving me a little push as I rotated myself around the bar. I remember running down the mat to the pommel horse, stopping to jump on the dismount board, then bouncing a bit. I never made it over the pommel horse.
I started to get older and taller. I’m sure it was obvious to my coaches I wasn’t built to be a gymnast. My mom is 5’11 and my genes were more suited for girl’s basketball. I wasn’t the thinnest either; a deadly combination if you want to float in the air for several seconds at a time while flipping and twisting.
But, it didn’t matter that I didn’t make it to the Olympics. Dreaming about being an Olympic gymnast was what made me happy. I would practice in the basement of my home or flip on the trampoline and in my mind, I was being watched by thousands of cheering fans.
Watching the girl’s gymnastics team reminds me how important it is to have dreams.
I’m older now, but I still remember the feelings I had when I practiced gymnastics. Now, I dream of being a writer. I feel the passion and idolize the gold-medalists (New York Times Bestsellers) just the same. A few months ago started a young adult novel called The Chubby Gymnast. I bet you know where I got that idea. Wish me luck.