Unless you are a gym mom, it’s hard for others to see how much you sacrifice for your child in order for them to participate in a sport such as gymnastics. Gym moms give up a lot in terms of time, money and energy so they can support and encourage their athlete to be all that they can be. Other sports parents (especially those who participate in seasonal sports) think Gym moms are crazy with the amount of time this sport consumes,”You drive what?” “spend how much money?” “they go how many hours?” “that’s crazy!”
For us Gym moms we know why we do and we push aside any reasoning just to see that smile on their face, that sense of pride they get when they have worked so hard for something and achieved it. It’s that glisten in their eyes and sparkle in their soul when they get so excited for competition, or when they finally get to advance to the next level.
While they’re so many articles out there pointing out what sports parents do wrong or what they can improve on, I want to focus on what they are doing right.
For those of you who understand this conundrum, I just want to lift my proverbial wine glass up to you and say “Cheers Moms… WELL DONE!, without your commitment and dedication, they would not be where they are today!”
We admit we are not perfect, our athletes are not perfect, we all make mistakes and we are learning along the way– but we keep at it because they love it.
We know the day will come when they will move on but for now, as long as that light is still lit, we will do what it takes to help them learn and grow.
Here’s to the Gym Moms who:
- Have to work 2 jobs or take up a PT one just to pay for gymnastics (cringe when it’s time for new competition leo and warmup, but it is so pretty…LOL)
- Drives almost everyday to/from practice
- Give up their evenings and trades in hat to become a nascar taxi cab driver to get to the gym on time, then has to figure out siblings schedules and sports
- Drops them off at the door knowing they are safe and trusting they are working hard doing what they love
- Picks them up and gets to see that excitement/smile on their face when they finally got that new skill
- Doesn’t stay for every practice or hovers over them and lets their sport be ‘their’ thing
- Knows how to tame the gym beast by providing healthy snacks for them before/after practice
- Supports their coaches and works with them to support their athlete
- Doesn’t try to coach them or lecture them on the way home
- Have to go back to gym and pick up forgotten grips and then stays up late the night before getting everything ready for competition day.
- Does athlete’s hair on competition day
- Does it again
- takes it out and does it one more time
- Finally gets it right and all are happy
- Gets them to the competition early against incredible odds
- Doesn’t try to coach but cheers and supports their athlete and their teammates from the stands (even though the scoring is a complete mystery and we will never fully understand it)
- Hugs when they do well and gives hugs when they don’t
- Doesn’t focus on winning but what they can work on for next time
- Understands their frustrations yet, doesn’t protect them from failing so they can learn and try harder
- Stomach is in knots and holds breath every time their child is on beam (damn you full turn)
- Sees things for what they are and tries not to make it more than what it is. It’s just one day, one competition, at level ? and tries not to place blame on the coach, judge, gym etc. (although difficult at times)
- Understands the reality that their athlete may not be an Olympian, or of the longevity of the sport and tries not to control the outcome and enjoy the present moment by going with the flow
- Loves their athlete unconditionally no matter where it takes them (level 5, level 10, college or turns into a new passion altogether)and realizes one day this too shall pass yet, the memories and lessons learned from this wonderful sport will be with them always
There are so many more reasons to pat ourselves and each on the back (feel free add and comment below). We all recognize that as gym moms, the crazy in me honors and understands the crazy in you. It’s a world that only few understand however, we must learn to keep it real and not step in the total ‘crazy’ quicksand. Veteran gym moms please step in and help new gym moms understand this amazing journey. If we can all learn to support one another, help other out when needed, we can make these years for our children and ourselves enjoyable and memorable.
So keep up the great work Gym Moms, here’s to you, CHEERS!!…..you truly are Gold Medal Moms.
This article is exclusively written by our contributor:
Jodi Brichta-Coyne is a Small business coach/consultant, Lifestyle Coach, Author and Speaker. As a business and marketing expert she helps women redefine their business to be more profitable so they can enjoy more quality time with themselves and their family. Jodi is the Author of the best seller “Are you still there God? It’s me, Jodi.”
Like you, Jodi understands the challenges facing midlife women today with balancing a home/family, career and 2 young kids active in sports. She has started Gold Medal Moms to support parents and help them navigate the sports journey, you can find her at jodibcoynecoaching.com
Photo Credit: Gymnastics Mom at Champions Gymnastics Club by Kristi Stovall