Last Saturday my daughter, Rosie (age 11), had a gymnastics meet. She's been on a team for four years now and this year, in particular, she has really upped her game. She works incredibly hard, practicing three times a week with nary a complaint. At her last meet, she did very well; placing high in three out of the four elements (beam, bars, vault, floor) and 2nd overall in her age group. It was the best she'd done to date and she was thrilled. She walked out of the meet with an ear to ear grin and a trophy the size of half of her body - completely useless and totally awesome.
The one thing she's been sort of struggling with all year is her floor routine; more specifically her tumbling pass which is a roundoff-backhandspring. It's a pretty basic skill at her level but you have to land it perfectly to score high and she was regularly landing with her ankles turned in which looked a little sloppy. For the record, I had to ask her coach to explain this to me as her pass looked fine and exactly the same every time I watched it. Anyway, she recently worked one on one with her coach for about an hour specifically on her pass and by the time they'd finished she had it down. As a mom, it was really fun to watch all of this unfold....her first real taste of success at the meet, her realization she could do more to improve, her heightened desire to work hard and make it happen and her excitement when her hard work paid off and it finally clicked for her. As you'd imagine, once she got it, she was beyond fired up to give it a go again at a meet. Which brings us back to last Saturday. Off to Acton we drove. We arrived early and went in to find her team for the warmup. I was nervous. She was not. I told her we were going to get lunch and as I was asking if she wanted anything she interrupted me mid-sentence and said, "I''m good, mom. You can go. I'll see you later." Ok then. About a half hour later my husband, my other daughter and I got back to the gym and took our seats. These meets are typically very slow and somewhat tedious when you're not watching your own kid. But they got things moving right away and within no time Rosie was up in bars. She did well, scoring a solid 9.0. Next was beam. This is her favorite event and I am always so impressed at how unphased she seems to be by the fact that she has to do a cartwheel on a very high (4 feet) and very narrow (4 inches) apparatus. Again, she did great, scoring a 9.3. Next was floor. She had yet to score above an 8.5 on floor this year. I was sweating. She was smiling. She got out there and hit her tumbling pass perfectly. When she finished she was almost giggling as she knew she'd done it. She was given a 9.2 and she was over the moon. Finally, she went over to vault and did her thing. She finished out with a 9 on vault and for the first time ever she scored 9 or higher on all four events. Jeff and I were so excited for her. After a long and tortuous wait the judges finally finished tallying the points. The girls are judged first on the individual elements and then overall. Rosie placed second and seventh on beam and floor respectively. And even though her overall total of 36.5 was the highest she'd ever scored, it was not enough for her to place overall. From across the room I could read the disappointment in her face instantly. She had done so well and yet, for her, it wasn't good enough which totally broke my heart to see. I wrapped my arm around her and we walked out of the gym, her head down as she processed all that had just happened. "You did great, kiddo. I am so proud of you." I told her. She responded with a shrug of her shoulders and a quiet Mmmmm.
You listen here, Missy!
Listen to this:
HEARTS ON FIRE - FMLYBND