By Alexa Brisson
According to Sporteology.com, gymnastics is one of the hardest sports in the world. The strength that it demands, both physically and mentally give gymnastics the title of one of the most challenging sports. While gymnasts complain about their absence of a social life, excruciating injuries, and abnormal bodies, gymnastics still seems to steal our hearts every single time.
I began gymnastics when I was two years old. My grandma enrolled me in the hope that I would come out of my shell. Yes, I was that shy awkward child, but my grandma’s plan proved to be very successful.
As I continued, coaches noticed how naturally strong and flexible I was. I also proved to have the mindset of a competitive gymnast, which entails determination, focus, and most importantly passion.
I began performing at a competitive level when I was eight years old. From then on I was hooked. I practiced four hours a day, five days a week. I gave up school dances, hanging out with my friends, football games and all of the other fun things that a typical child gets to experience, but my passion to excel in this sport was way too strong to stop me.
Gymnastics challenges both your body and your mind. I pushed my body to do things that probably should be illegal. Running until being sick, conditioning so hard you could barely walk the next day, and lift sessions that push you to your limits was all done to ensure that I would be in the best shape in order to improve my skills, and that wasn’t even the worst part.
The interesting thing about gymnastics is that your biggest opponent is not even the opposing team member, but yourself. For example, coaches tell you that you must flip six feet over a four-inch beam or you will never move to the next level. Yeah, I’d like to see my linebackers do that. Even though you are scared stiff because you could possibly smash your face on the beam, you have to find it somewhere in you to push yourself past your mind full of fear in order to complete the skill.
That is why I love gymnastics. It is the only thing that can challenge me more than I challenge myself. I am completely in control of the outcome. I can’t depend on my team members to force me to complete a skill, even though they always encourage me to do so. You can’t blame anyone if you don’t do well at a meet; you simply realize that you have to put in more gym time. Consistency is key in the sport of gymnastics.
If you ask anyone to describe me in one word, almost everybody would say consistent. I am consistent with every single part of my life from gymnastics, to schoolwork and extracurricular activities. I am one of the most dependable people I think I know and I have gymnastics to thank for that.
As I approach my final meet, I think about all that this sport has given me such as a good work ethic, dependability, some of my best friends, time management skills and responsibility. Gymnastics has truly shaped me into the person I am today. I gave up many things that I will never have the opportunity to get back, but I gained so much more in the long run.
So, thank you gymnastics for being there for me when no one else was. Thank you for challenging me and pushing me past my limits. Thank you for letting me take my anger out on you, and finally thank you for giving the strength to do what people say is impossible.