WIth the help of rest and strengthening exercises, she is recovering from her injuries. Her dedication and love of the sport of gymnastics is evident.
Here she stood, after her gymnastics class ended, not ready for the excitement to end, and clearly not ready to go home. She and I stayed for another hour to watch the team practice, both of us admiring the talent and grace of the gymnasts. As we watched, we talked, shared, laughed, and dreamed together.
These moments of connection are precious; I realized that I was not ready to go home either.
The ponytail is making a comeback in our house. I have to admit that I love the way our daughter’s ponytail swirls and bounces as she plays. I also have to admit that I’m surprised how seeing my daughter in her ponytail can bring me back to my days–years, actually–as a gymnast (in a ponytail, of course).
My memories of being a gymnast are so powerful; I can still feel the thrill of swinging on the bars, releasing my hands, and catching the bar again a moment later; I can feel the extension of my legs and toes as I leap across the beam; I can hear my hands and feet pounding on the spring floor, as I tumble my way through my floor routine and feel the power in my body as I flip through the air. To this day, I still remember my bar and floor routines (I even hear the music for the floor routine in my head).
As an adult, I experience gymnastics in a different way, as an observer. I enjoy watching gymnastics, no matter what the skill level. I delight when kids work for and accomplish a new skill, discover their own strength, and find the confidence in themselves to try something new. Most of all, I love watching children having FUN with gymnastics.
In my memories, the gymnast in me can still feel her power, strength, confidence, joy, and grace. Now, these qualities present themselves in different aspects of my life, mostly through being a mom and a photographer. My hope for our girls is that they discover and keep their own power, strength, confidence, and joy through doing the activities and sports that they truly love. As always, keep following your hearts and dreams, girls.
I loved being a gymnast; I’m still a gymnast at heart!