This Saturday is Middle's return to the arena, as it were. Her first meet back since her back fracture. And she has been working like a champion. On every event. Since she was cleared. She hasn't missed a practice, hasn't been late to a practice, is chugging through strength and conditioning like a rock star.
But last week, she came home one day upset because he coach told her she wasn't a 7 anymore, unless she could do her beam series. But she WAS doing her beam series. When I met with coaches in December to lay the groundwork and have the all-too-common communication meeting, they said she needed (1) nothing on vault (2) a front tumbling pass on floor (3) a giant to dismount on bars and (4) her beam series. She was checking things off of her list and polishing, polishing, polishing. Middle is still unable to do the beam series that everyone else is doing at this level because she is not cleared for walkovers yet. So . . . . she has to do a level 8/9 series that is two backhandsprings on the beam. In December, coaches told me that if she was doing it, showing forward progress, not afraid, that was good and that she'd be good to go. But, sometime between that meeting in December and last week, coaches decided that her doing the series and showing forward progress wasn't quite enough and that she needed to be doing the series ON HER OWN, ON THE HIGH BEAM. Well, she wasn't quite there yet. Safe to say, we had a miscommunication. And I talked to coaches, specifically her beam coach a couple of times this weekend. The bottom line is: I laid it out for Middle and she got up yesterday and did it. She actually did it several times, both on their own AND inside her full-routine on beam.
Which means, this weekend, she's competing bars, vault and floor. It seems odd to me that she had to prove herself on beam. Prove that she can do this advanced skill, and she STILL isn't competing beam. Odd sport, gymnastics. But the point is . . . she'll be on the floor for three events and both she is overjoyed. Over-freaking-joyed.