Wednesday, July 25, 2012

what it is and what it isn’t

When I started thinking about this post I thought, well it is just one of those mom moments.  But that is the trouble it isn’t just one of those mom moments, in fact that is the whole point…competitive gymnastics is something operating way outside the normal realm of childhood fun and games.  Okay I’ve said it; perhaps I have even said it before but today is a new dawn of not loving this incredibly cruel sport >sigh< that my child loves. 

But when is enough, enough?  This year (level) is hard on my child.  She is challenged in ways she has never been before.  Comfortably working in the dead middle of the pack for the first time takes the pressure off being the best; for that I am grateful and unless you have had a child standing in her shoes you might think I’m crazy for that, oh well.  Guess what it gets crazier to the point that I found myself thinking in a moment when she is doing something crazy, well if she breaks her arm she can stop doing gymnastic.  Does that make my state of mind any clearer to you?

I have made peace with a lot of issues with this sport.  Having to work hard to gain skills is good for her, even those like her squat-on jump to high-bar which her visual impairment makes even harder.  None of the difficulties out on the mat or the hours of practices bother me…any more.  What is getting to me (again) are parents who take their child to TOSH (arguably the best orthopedic specialty hospital in Utah) to correct a vault run of an 8 yr old, parents who pay for private ballet lessons just to get pretty fingers, and parents who add extra conditioning (& excessive gymnastic privates) to their child’s life.  It makes me want to scream, perhaps even punch somebody.  It’s not okay and get away from my child.
What else is killing me is the whole “I pay people to judge my child”.  And that this sport has the potential to end like hitting a brick wall going 85 mph.  It could end in an injury, one day you train your normal 4 hrs surrounded by your friends, your beloved coaches, your life is there, and the next day you can never go back, or you do your last routine at 18 yrs old and that is it nothing else.  Yes, there is diving and ski jumping and the physical fitness you gained but your love, your hours, your sweat and tears, are in the end for nothing.  What I am saying is it is not a sport/love she can do her whole life it ends abruptly and she doesn’t know that.  She cannot even begin to understand it.  It is her whole life, it is all she knows & loves.
I feel like I need to say, don’t worry she doesn’t have any idea I feel this way and I will support her no matter what dream she needs to follow.  And I am not going to scream or punch anyone (today)… and now I need to go, she has gym.           

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