(This article was originally written here. Re-posted by permission from the author.)
Life of a Gymnastics Mom
1. Music is No Longer Just Music…it’s Potential Floor Music
My daughter LOVES music. In fact, she has loved music since she was a little girl. After doing two years of compulsory gymnastics, she had the opportunity to pick her own floor music. From that moment on, music was never the same again. Don’t get me wrong, she stills LOVES music, but now, every song on the radio must be picked apart to determine if it would be great floor music.2. Rips, Tears, Blisters, and Blood – My Gymnast’s Hands
3. Don’t Forget to Remove the Nail Polish
4. My Living Room is Now a Practice Gym
Long before she was a gymnast, my little tomboy would climb the walls in my home. I don’t mean that theoretically! She literally would climb the walls like Spiderman, especially doorways. When she started gymnastics, we got her a practice mat and a beam. As she has progressed in gymnastics, I have lost more of my available floor space to her practice equipment. In fact, I use to have a living room, then I needed more room for practice equipment.
5. My 10-Year-Old is Ripped
I know gymnasts are ripped, but I didn’t expect to see my 10-year-old walking around with ab muscles and huge arms and legs. She has bigger muscles than me and she is closing in on her dad too. While people in our family like to joke that she started developing shoulder muscles in the womb, it isn’t true. Gymnastics has given her confidence and a body that rivals professional body builders.
6. Practice Leos are Expensive? Haha
When my daughter started gymnastics, I was surprised at how expensive gymnastics leotards were. Then I had to buy my first competition leo. Today, competition leos are the most expensive items in my daughter’s closet.
7. Gymnastics’ Moms are Yellers
I know what you are thinking, not all gymnastics moms yell at competitions. While this may be true, I bet you’ll find that more moms cheer than don’t. When we attend my daughter’s meets, she never has to worry about where I’m sitting or whether I’m watching. Instead, she just has to listen. Unlike some moms though, I don’t just cheer for my kid. I cheer for all of my daughter’s teammates…each and every one of them.
8. Watching Your Son or Daughter Compete with Hopeful Anxiety
I never realized how anxious I could be until I saw my daughter compete for the first time. As her skills have progressed and her level become more difficult, my anxiety has actually got worse. Where I use to watch with hopeful anxiety that she would be able to control her front hip circle on the uneven bars, I now hold my breath, with one eye closed, and a hand in front of my face while she is on the beam. I like to think that it will get better someday, but I don’t think it will. I’ve seen pictures of Olympians’ parents and I recognize those faces…hopeful that they will nail it and ready for a train wreck too.
9. My Car is My Gymnast’s Home Away from Home
Our home, gym, and school are in the same town…thank goodness, so we don’t have hours of travel each week, but my car is still my gymnast’s home away from home. Some days, she does homework, eats lunch, dinner, snacks, etc, and other days, it’s a mobile dressing room. Whatever has to be done to get ready for gymnastics…is usually done in my car.
Some of my family and friends don’t understand how or why gymnastics is such a big part of our lives. Gymnastics is expensive, time-consuming, and emotional, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
So, aren’t all of those are very true? Did we miss some other things? We would love to hear from your experience. Please don’t hesitate to share!