Tuesday, June 3, 2014

quiet water

At times it is hard to understand the why behind it all. In the back of my mind I hear Boo's little voice telling me her heels hurt too much to walk. I see her icing her knees, turning down play dates & classes she would like to take, always watching the clock... I see her in the backseat of the van driving to gym. As much as I try not to we seem to breathe and eat gymnastics. 
Why are we doing this?

That isn't really a question. 
I know why. 
It is who she is. 
That is what makes it even harder when a chunk of brutal reality knocks. 

Last night at practice a young, sweet teenage girl gathered her teammates and coaches around her. She sobbed through her good-bye. She was walking away from the hours, days, years spent in the gym not because she had an elsewhere to be but because her body just hurt too badly to continue.

There is a silence in your heart in moments like these. 
Boo said, "It is nice to have days off from gym- well until you have them then you miss gym..."

She asked a dozen questions
"What will she do? Where will she go, mom?" 
Out into the world, I guess.

I know where Boo would go- the water. She would slip below the cool blue surface. Swim to the bottom of the deepest pool just because she can. Slowly float back to the top and repeat.

The gym is like a snow-globe. It has its own weather. A set scene. Predictable pressure, and precipitation. Along the way there are on onlookers and globe shakers. Rough, soft, and steady hands passing them around. Gym holds them in a protective bubble, effectively filtering the noise of the outside world. What it can't protect them from is themselves.

One day life inside the gym globe will end.
Hopefully, the lessons and inner strength will last these girls a lifetime.
But I worry so too will the pain.
All I can ask for is when Boo's time comes to walk away she is able to do it the same way she waked in to this sport- on her terms.

Boo sitting on the sidelines with one of the girl who retired from team early this spring.
Spirit of the Flame 2014


  1. Wishing you and Boo strength as you walk your chosen path, although secretly I don't think either of you really need it.
    I know people look at us as we start on a similar journey, and they wonder and question what 'I' am doing to my daughter.
    The reality is only clear to those who have already taken this road - my daughter is making this journey by choice. She chooses to do what needs to be done, and I am aware that one day she will choose to stop.
    Whatever happens between now and then is up to her.
    But even now - when the whole journey is new and fresh and exciting - I have no doubt that she will not regret it.
    It's a tough journey, but also a good one to have as a part of your life.

    1. Oh yes, yes! I have had a lot of gym moms tell me how much they liked this post. It helps to not feel alone and little bit less crazy. Unless you are gifted one of these kids it would be hard to understand.

  2. That is a really nice post, Misty. It's good that you think about these things. I think it is very healthy for everyone to stop once in awhile to examine how and why they spend their time the way they do. Bottom line is that Beach has a huge passion and talent for gymnastics and you are an incredibly good mom to support her in her pursuits. It is good for her to know that you would support her if she were to choose to stop gymnastics too.

  3. We have decided to take a break from gymnastics. The main reason was because of the cost. The 2nd reason was the summer schedule. Getting my daughter across town for 8:30-12:30 practices with my other 3 kids in tow is unrealistic. So we quit. We are taking classes for fun at a closer gym. My daughter still gets to learn level 4 routines but at a much cheaper cost and less hours. She would never have quit on her own but now when I ask if she wants to join team she will say yes. I will say okay well you will have to practice 15 hours for level 4 and then she says nevermind. I guess we will just take it one day at a time...

    1. Megan,
      If it wasn't for working at the gym I don't know what we would do. It is not an easy sport on any part of your life, time, money, physical pain,... I am glad you guys found a middle ground. Keep us posted!