At the begining of this year Aislyn started doing gymnastics. To be honest I thought it would be a great transition from ballet, as she was not enjoying that at all. (Body image issues were popping up, so we cut that out of her life) Well, aren’t we ever so glad that we moved her over. The club she joined was a referral from a friend and their daughter and Aislyn have known each other since they were born. It was a great opportunity for them to grow as friends as well as start a new sport that would increase her physical strength without drawing attention to her image as a little girl.
She started out and after the first lesson, absolutely loved it! I was relieved and was looking forward to a year of just her enjoying the sport. Well, after the second week-one of the coaches came to me and asked if it would be possible for her to come every day? In my head I was like, “um, no lady-can you not see I have a newborn in my arms and another child that has a life?” But instead, I asked why and she said because Aislyn was catching on really quickly. I politely apologized and said that two days was all we could handle. To be honest, in my head I was also thinking, “na, she’s just saying that to be polite, Aislyn can’t be a gymnast that quickly” (I think that I was projecting my own gymnast failure because I can’t stretch to save my life, so it’s more my issue than anything)
So for about five months we attended practice every Monday and Friday without fail. And then they were asked if they would like to compete in a regional trial? I turn to my daughter and she is literally begging to be apart of it. Now, understand that the mother in me wants to protect my child from any form of disappointment or failure with every fibre of my being but I know that the “parent”in me wants her to grow and learn lessons in life.
So I turn and ask if there’s a fee and any uniform requirements-I take the info and proceed to tell Aislyn that I’ll chat to her father and we’ll see if its possible. Two weeks later she was signed up and leotard was ordered. So we went to trials. I think I was more nervous than she was but, like the little athlete she is turning into, she performed brilliantly and proceeded to get a score that warranted a gold medal! I know! Gold! I was so excited for her and so proud as well.
So, thinking that was it-it turns out they qualified to represent our Provence in a south zone tournament. (Part of me was saying, “yay” but the other part was still like-“she’s only seven, isn’t this a bit much for her age?”) thank goodness for husbands and wisdom. After chatting it through and going over it with Aislyn, we entered her into the zone competition. This was in June and the competition was only in August. Now, understand that we would have to travel by car to this town which is approximately 500km away. So all for the love of our child and her first experience in competitions- we packed up and went through to Oudtshoorn. We would have normally made a longer trip of it but on that weekend of the competition was also when our niece was getting married and so we had to literally travel up on the Thursday and come back on the Friday in time for the wedding. We did it and to our wonderful surprise and extreme pride Aislyn, once again, did really well and got marks enough to earn her another gold medal! She is absolutely thriving and totally enjoying the build up and work leading up to the event and reaping the rewards of hard work. We are so proud of her and really hope that as much as she’s having lots of fun, that she is also learning the discipline and stamina of what it is to work hard and reap the benefits of her hard work.