State gymnastics was last weekend. We went. Of course. We actually went up the night before and spent the night to avoid Bronco home game traffic and to have a nice, relaxing day of it. MOTH had a training, too, but that's a whole 'nother story.
So . . . . state gymnastics is a learning curve, for sure. USA Gymnastics is a learning curve. Fo' sho'. Gyms are divided by size. Girls are divided by age. But those ages aren't necessarily how they've been divided all season. Girls are placed into sessions based on qualifying scores. There's just SO much that we didn't know and didn't learn before we were actually AT the meet! The learning continues. Life is a learning journey, right? Right.
So, our girls, the whole team qualified for the A session. That's great. Feather in the gym's cap.
Our girl shook it out like this: She's USAG Level 5, Small Gym, Junior Division, A Session.
And she finished . . . .
2nd on bars
2nd All-Around with a whopper of a score . . . 37.95
4th on floor
6th on vault
And how about this, sports fans . . . . with a story to go with it . . . .
If you're not new to What The Heck Happened Here?, you'll know that she's been struggling on beam. She's a good beamer, but had a series of falls and a season low score at the last meet. More than anything, that series of falls broke her spirit and confidence and gave enough wiggle room for the seeds of doubt and the 'yea, maybe this IS scary" thoughts to plant themselves in the tiny cracks in her otherwise tough exterior. So, going into state, MOTH and I held an impromptu parental prayer session that went like this, "God, I just hope she stays on the beam. A nice, clean routine with no falls . . . . "
After warm-ups but before her routine, she was dorking around. She was being distracted by one of her coaches. She was doing butt-balances in the time when her teammates are going, but she wasn't allowed to look. Her coaches are tough about "don't look at scores . . it doesn't matter . . . . it's just a number."
And then it was her turn. There is that moment of waiting. When I was a gymnast, it seemed like an eternity. Now, as the mother of a gymnast, it's so, so, so much longer. I don't think MOTH breathes for long minutes while she is waiting to salute or actually doing her routine. So, she's on. Looking good. Clean. Crisp. Sharp.
It was so good. Not a wobble. No bobbles. Just good. Right to the very end when she stuck her dismount and grinned at those judges.
We, MOTH and I, of course, had a complete parental meltdown. Tears were welling up in my eyes before the final salute. I'm a tattle tale, but when I turned and looked at him, his eyes looked a little misty. She nailed it. Absolutely, positively, 100% rocked that routine. Though she's been trained to not look at scores, we parents must occupy our minds with something in the gallery, so I was sure she'd get a great score. But I didn't think it would be this great . . .
And then, there was just joy. And happiness. For her. With that one routine, I could see the cracks in her confidence sealing up. I'm certain I'm not imagining that she was, indeed, walking a little taller when they rotated to the next event. And pride. For me. It surged through me like a current. It still is.
Here she is . . . . the balance beam state champion. But before that, before anything, she's my daughter. And I'm so, very proud of her!!