I am BEYOND PROUD of these three kids!! They ALL three made it to the gymnastics team!! When they first started gymnastics I never imagined they would love it so much or that they would all make the gymnastics team a year later. I certainly did not set out to make them gymnasts. They’ve tried soccer, swimming, dance, karate, baton twirling, cheer, ice skating, you name it, but nothing has ever stuck. Hayley even took gymnastics when she was five, but gave up within a few months. Colin took a Mommy and Me class when he was two. This time was different.
In November 2015, I decided that I would take gymnastics. My kids thought I was crazy!! Okay, maybe I was a little crazy, but I LOVED it!! Soon thereafter, Sydney wanted to take gymnastics. The others weren’t at all interested (been there, done that). In the spring of 2016 Sydney had to move to the afternoon class, which meant Hayley and Colin had to come watch her do gymnastics after school. They were bored as can be. So I told them, “Why don’t you take a class?” And they did! And they loved it!
Colin took his trial first class (Level 1) on May 16th and moved up to Level 2 the following week. On July 3rd, Colin moved up to Level 3. He was LOVING gymnastics and was picking up SO quickly. Colin was taking two classes by then and was having a 30 minute private each week. At each practice, he couldn’t help but look over at the boys who were on team. He knew that’s where he wanted to be. But those boys had been in gymnastics since they were three or four. Colin had just started and he was seven. But, Colin had natural talent and was learning quickly. But even still, there were already ten boys on the Level 4 team and they were really good. So, why didn’t they put Colin on pre-team?? Couldn’t they see his raw talent? I emailed Coach Ben, the Level 4 boys team coach. Coach Ben basically acted like I was crazy for suggesting that a brand new kid without any gymnastics experience would be put directly on team or pre-team. “Sorry, the boys team has already been picked. Try back next May.” Next May? That’s SO far away!!
I knew I had to be patient. Colin was having so much fun and that’s all that mattered. But it’s hard for me to be patient. When I have a goal in mind, I have an action plan to get there. So I talked with Coach Stephen to get some insight, especially to find out if Colin could be on the boys pre-team. Coach Stephen basically told me that the pre-team wasn’t a good for him (i.e., Colin was too old and was too advanced for the pre-team), but that he wasn’t ready for team. Colin was stuck in the middle with no sure guarantee of ever making team. I asked Coach Stephen how we can get him ready. Coach Stephen just told me, “It’s all up to Colin.” That answer really frustrated me at the time, but it was SO true. I needed to just step back and let Colin work for it. It was solely up to Colin. If he wanted the team badly enough, he could get himself there.
We then had one set-back, which turned out to be the biggest blessing. With school starting back up Coach Stephen could no longer offer private lessons. With only practicing two hours a week in a rec class (versus the team practicing six hours a week), was there any chance of Colin ever catching up to them and making team? I decided to see if Coach Matt (the boys head coach) was available for private lessons. He was!! Colin had his first private lesson with Coach Matt on October 4th. After the private, Coach Matt told Coach Stephen, “You need to move Colin up to Level 4.” I think Coach Matt could see Colin’s raw talent and determination.
Most kids progress one level (maybe two levels) per year. Colin went from Level 1 to Level 4 in less than five months. Colin was having SO much fun! Every morning he would wake up and ask me, “Do I get to go to gymnastics?” Colin also asked me to buy him a pull-up bar, and he started doing pull-ups and leg-ups at home. Of course, he was doing hand stands around the house non-stop. By spring Colin could do a back handspring and was continuing to impress Coach Matt with his form and technique. I remember Coach Matt saying to Colin after one of his privates in March, “Well, I think you’re about ready for team!” “Level 4 Team?” I asked. “No, I wouldn’t put him there.” Coach Matt responded. “He’s ready for Level 5 team.” Level 5?!?! That’s huge!! So, in less than one year Colin went from taking his first Level 1 class to making the Boys Level 5 Team. That’s quite an accomplishment!
I’m also pretty proud of little Skittles too! She too was having so much fun in gymnastics! She’s so silly and goofy that I didn’t realize how good she was becoming until one of the coaches pulled me aside in the fall and said, “Sydney is really good. Have you ever considered putting her on team?” “No . . . She’s only four.” The coach was stunned that she was so young. But the coach’s remark made me start watching Sydney more closely. She was really good AND she was super strong! I already knew they picked the team in May, but there were hundreds of talented little girls! One of the moms told me that I needed to get Sydney into Super Fit Kids (which was basically the girls pre-team). But, getting Sydney into Super Fit Kids was much harder than expected. There was a huge waiting list and other factors that went into consideration, like listening skills and maturity. Sydney was really talented, but she was still too silly and goofy. But, that’s what I loved about her!!
So Sydney stayed in her normal Fit Kids class the rest of the year and into 2017. While Sydney never moved up to Super Fit Kids, Coach Stephen kept telling me to be patient and that everyone was aware of Sydney’s talent. I started to become aware too. Her cartwheels were perfect and she taught herself a pullover and a back hip circle. None of the other girls could even come close. But still, why hadn’t Sydney been moved up yet? She was still silly and goofy, but when it mattered she was so focused. I just wished I could peek into the coaches’ heads.
Finally, at the end of May, I got an email from Coach Denson that said, “Good Afternoon! Over the last few weeks, the coaches have evaluated the students for movement to the Xcel team. I want to congratulate, your child for being invited to the Xcel Team.” But, he didn’t say which girl. Was it Sydney or was it Hayley? Hayley also started taking gymnastics classes about a month after Colin. I think the boredom of watching Sydney from behind the glass wall caught up with her and she wanted to give it a try. After the trial class, they started Hayley in Level 2. A few months later, Hayley’s coach moved her up to Level 3. Hayley wasn’t the most graceful gymnast, but she was strong and fearless. Like Sydney and Colin, she was going two days a week. The front office was probably SO irritated with me because whenever one of the kids moved up, we had to completely change our schedule to try to get them all in together.
I was also taking classes (an adult class Friday nights and sometimes a private in the middle of the week). And Keaton was taking Mommy & Me classes with me. He LOVED it!! My two favorite classes were the Mommy & Me with Keaton and my Friday Adult Gymnastics Class. I especially LOVED going on Fridays because the class coincided with Sydney’s Fit Class, so on Fridays Sydney and I went to gymnastics together. It was our thing! And whenever our two classes were finished, we would jump into the ball pit together! It was SO much fun!!! I really miss our Friday classes!
Okay, so back to Denson’s email. Which girl was it? Which girl made the team? I sent an email back to Denson asking for clarification, but I didn’t hear anything back for two hours. That was the longest two hours!! I was so excited, but I didn’t know who to be excited for (and who to be sad for)! Finally, I got another email from Denson which read, “Over the last few weeks, the coaches have evaluated the students for movement to the competitive team. I want to congratulate, your child for being invited to the Developmental Training 3 Team. The team will be training to compete Level 3 in the Fall 2018.” Then Coach Denson clarified in a separate email to me, “Sydney is invited to the JO program to train for level 3 and Hayley is invited to the Xcel program.”
WOW!! I was on Cloud 9!! They ALL made the team!! They all worked SO incredibly that past year and they ALL made the gymnastics team!!! I was SO proud of them!!! Colin had found out first that he made the team the day before. Although Colin was told informally by Coach Matt in March, he had to wait until May before he received the official letter welcoming him to the Boys Level 5 team. Colin was ecstatic!!!! He kept saying over and over, “I made the team! I made the gymnastics team!!” He was SO happy!!!!
While it was hard, I decided to wait until after gymnastics the following week (just three days later) to tell Hayley and Sydney. We knew Colin was going to make the team, but we didn’t know that Hayley or Sydney were going to make the team. I wanted us take the time to celebrate Colin first and before we celebrated Hayley and Sydney. They each needed to be celebrated in their own right. And I’m glad I did!
After gymnastics on Monday, Hayley and Sydney climbed into the car. I turned around to them and told them I had some exciting news. They listened intently. I said, “Guess what? You both made the gymnastics team!” Sydney, cried out, “Yes!! Yes!!” Hayley had this confused look on her face. “You mean I made the team? I made the gymnastics team? Mom, I made the gymnastics team? As in me?” I told her, “Yes Hayley, you made the gymnastics team!” Hayley’s eyes filled with tears. She thought she had to first be on Level 4 before she could make the team. That’s what we all thought. But yes, Hayley too, made the gymnastics team!! Hayley was SO happy!! In fact, I have never seen her happier! I’m SO proud of them! Now we have high hopes for little Keaton!! XOXO